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Am I the only one??

With all the "special" performances of PNB happening these days, I missed that there will be an evening of encore performances this coming June 11 at 6:30pm. It is a retrospective on the season just past (last "regular" performance for the 2005-2006 season will have been that same afternoon).

This looks to me to be a superb evening. I ain't missin' it.........I can tell you that!

Go here for more info:


P.S. Casting is also available on this site.

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I don't know about "only one" but they didn't make an announcement about this until fairly recently, and I only got the "official" press release last week, so don't feel too remiss.

I'm not sure, but I think that the company realized that the single night program they produced last year (a farewell tribute to Russell and Stowell) sold quite well, and that they might repeat the pattern.

I'm certainly not complaining. It's a juicy program!

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I was trying to figure out how I knew about it, and realized it was from a poster that was displayed in the outer lobby, just outside the gift shop, during the March "Points of View" program.

I don't remember if there was an insert in the March program. I don't think there was one in the Sleeping Beauty program.

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In the post-performance Q&A tonight after Jewels, Peter Boal said that in addition to the printed schedule, there will be a special performance, which is being kept a surprise.

This is going to be great:

Rubies -- complete ballet

Kiss -- full work

In the Night 3rd pas de deux

Nine Sinatra Songs "That's Life" pas de deux


Jardi Tancat -- full work

Time and Other Matter pas de deux

Mopey -- complete solo

Red Angels -- complete ballet

To be announced.

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What a Year. What a Night.

That's how Peter Boal's notes to the audience started out in the program for this special performance/party. He captured it perfectly in just these 6 words.

There were standing ovations everywhere (and for once I didn't object in the least). The biggest was for Nicholas Ade who is retiring. He was pulled out of the corps to stand at the front edge of the stage by one of his fellow dancers in Rubies. The house erupted in applause and any one not yet standing stood. The shouts were deafening and wouldn't quit. Nicholas drank it all in with his usual grace. He was moved; we were moved. This was PNB saying goodbye to a retiring corps dancer. It doesn't get any better than that!

The night went on and became magical. At the end of the 8th Encore performance, Boal came on stage and spoke directly to the audience. He was genuine; he was complete. I've seen Boal on several occasions speak to either the entire audience, or to a smaller group of the audience, but this was the 1st time I truly felt he OWNED his position and the contribution he has made. He stood there admist the standing ovation for the season he had just given us and GOT IT. He said nothing about himself but thanked the musicians, the dancers, the crew, the donors, and Kent and Francia for the incredible company they had built, and he thanked us the audience, for as he said, all of this would mean nothing without an audience who comes and appreciates. Then to thank the audience one more time, he announced there would be an unannounced 9th Encore; the lights dimmed. Somehow I knew it had to be Diamonds, and it was (from the Polanise on). A final standing ovation followed with all the members of the company on stage this time, including Ade's wife and new baby, and even company members from the wings who came out in their street clothes at the urging of Ariana Lallone. Yes. What a Year. What a Night.

Here is the full text of Boal's program remarks:


What a Year. What a Night.

We have so much to be proud of from this past Season's performances. Tonight we invite you to join us as we shout "Bravo" and congratulate ourselves for a year of triumphs.

Let's face it. This year could have been a disaster with that poor guy from New York with no experience replacing the tried and true and much-loved Kent Stowell and Francia Russell. Ten new works? Big gamble. Would our audience stay with us? What about our dancers, staff, and supporters? Well, as the Seattleite with one year under my belt, I want to say thank you. Thank you for showing up, subscribing, writing checks, and applauding. You have made this an amazing year. You put your trust in the new guy. You honored the accomplishments of the past by supporting the present.

Tonight is your reward.

We are also honoring one of our most valuable members of the Company on this occasion. Nicholas Ade retires tonight to assume a new role as the Principal of The Francia Russell Center. Nick is a role model for all of us. The energy and commitment he pours into every role is exemplary. Whether performing a principal role or the smallest corps de ballet role, Nick approaches his work with professionalism and enthusiasm. I suggested to Nick that he retire with a principal role in Emeralds. Nick diplomatically declined, choosing instead to retire in a corps de ballet role, shoulder to shoulder with friends and peers, a remarkable team player to the end.

Though we welcome Nick to PNB School, we will miss his engaging stage presence and profound contribution to hundreds of performances over the past eleven years.

How many new artistic directors bid farewell to only one dancer at the end their first year? All of our dancers have been offered contracts for next year and all have accepted. This fact speaks volumes about the atmosphere within our institution. I am honored by this quiet and powerful endorsement. As we bring the curtain down on my first year and look with excitement towards the next, it is reassuring to know that we are an institution without internal division - Artistic Director and Executive Director, staff, dancers, musicians, crew, board members, donors, subscribers, and patrons united as we look toward tomorrow's triumphs. Thank you all for an unforgettable year.


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Seattle and PNB are tremendously lucky, and I am happy that he has been welcomed so warmly...saw him this past weekend at NY State Theatre and felt so fortunate for all he's given us here, too.....

what a great role model.....

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In today's Links, there's an article by Roger Downey in Seattle Weekly called Looking Up: After one season under the leadership of Peter Boal, Pacific Northwest Ballet is on the rise. The main question raised by Downey is "What had changed?"

Downey wrote, "As usual, the Seattle audience paid no attention to plans or projects and waited to be told by someone else that it was safe to take the plunge." But there's another half, which is the number of people in Seattle who want to get in at the beginning, and I think from Opening Night, there was a difference in the air: the donors who had had their fill of pre-performance champagne looked younger than their opera and symphony cohorts, and they looked like they were having a blast. There is a relatively recent tradition of younger people working in new businesses, getting in on the ground floor, and hopefully, they will become a core audience of the ballet. The question for me was whether Boal and the Company could sustain their interest during the season (and hopefully their checkbooks). Based on attendance numbers, I think the answer is yes. In my opinion, the brilliance of the 8 Encores program was to reprise the works that by now were vouched for, drawing in the audience that was fearful during the first run -- who hopefully will attend next year's first run -- but also reassuring the audiences that loved the new season that there's more like it to come, and giving a pat on the back to the audiences who did appreciate the programming from the first performances.

Cast lists are easily interpreted as a litmus test of who is in favor -- barring absence due to injury or pregnancy -- and how AD's "type" their dancers. Russell and Stowell had an interesting balancing act during their administration, to hire dancers, particularly Soloists and Principals from outside the school to draw in audiences while building the school to the point where there aren't enough slots for all the best dancers, who feed into other companies. Most people who've watched a company have at least one dancer that they feel is underrated and unfairly relegated to the bench and wonder why certain partnerships are not explored. I think it was inevitable that after 27 years, Russell and Stowell would have their patterns of choice. Boal has been at PNB for one year; perhaps after three or five or ten years we'll see the same thing. But what we've seen this year is a wide distribution of roles among all levels of the company, new partnerships that have either gelled or have tremendous potential, and different types of works that are particularly well-suited to dancers that had not been featured often before. In addition, dancers like Patricia Barker and Jeff Stanton are dancing with a different freedom than they have in the past, working with different partners, and, for Barker in particular, not bearing the weight of the Company on her shoulders.

And Boal hasn't neglected the dancers that long-time ballet-goer have come to expect to see. I think he's shown great sensitivity to his audiences and his new community. Yes, we are extremely lucky.

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