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Patricia Barker Announces Retirement after Next Season

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There was a link to Patricia Barker's retirement announcement in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in Friday 26 May's links. Here it is again:


I wanted to note that in the print version, the article started on the front page, with a photo of Barker in rehearsal for Diamonds that could be seen through the front window all of the newspaper vending machines.The article continued in the front section of the newspaper, with two more photos that have not been published online: one of Barker at barre in 1980 as an advanced student in the school, and another of her full flight as Odette from the 1996 production of Swan Lake.

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I wanted to note that in the print version, the article started on the front page, with a photo of Barker in rehearsal for Diamonds that could be seen through the front window all of the newspaper vending machines.

Speaking as a journalist, I was thrilled that Richard Campbell got front page, above the fold placement for this story -- the arts don't usually get that kind of "hard news" preference. He got a similar space when he broke the news about Stowell and Russell's retirement, and good for him!

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She must be a symbol of Seattle.

Her image is absolutely distinctive -- as recognizable as the space-needle's. Those feet are one of a kind, and look of her legs would be recognizable from a long way off. I'm sure the photo deserved its place above the fold, in the window. Probably sold more papers than usual.

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Sunday, June 10th ~ 6:30 p.m.

McCaw Hall

"The greatest highlight of my career has been to live in someone’s heart if only for an hour, to give joy, sadness, pleasure...I have fulfilled my purpose as an artist."

– PNB Principal Dancer Patricia Barker

SEATTLE, WA - Join Pacific Northwest Ballet for a one-time-only production in honor of its beloved ballerina, Patricia Barker, who retires from 26 years on stage with the Company at the conclusion of this season, June 10, 6:30 p.m. at McCaw Hall. The last time Ms. Barker will perform as a member of the PNB Company, A Celebration of Patricia Barker is an evening not to be missed. The special program will feature Le Corsaire Pas de Trois (after Marius Petipa), excerpts from George Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Agon, Act IV from Kent Stowell’s Swan Lake, plus special surprises.

"She is, in the true sense of the word, a ballerina," said PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal. "You can see that from the first minute she's onstage."€

Former PNB Artistic Directors Kent Stowell and Francia Russell added their praise: "To say Patricia is one of the great ballerinas of our time is simply to state the obvious. For us, who have guided her and watched her grow from unruly teenager to radiant young star to mature and continually fascinating artist, she is still a miracle to be savored daily. The example she has set onstage in a vast array of roles, and offstage in endless classes and rehearsals, has set the bar almost impossibly high for the generations of young dancers who look up to her and will follow in her footsteps.

"The greatest joy, and the greatest responsibility, of an artistic director is helping dancers fulfill their potential. Patricia has repaid us, and her devoted public, by surpassing all of our dreams."

A CELEBRATION OF PATRICIA BARKER is a one-time-only performance on June 10 at 6:30 p.m. at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street. Tickets range in price from $30 to $200 and may be purchased:

* By calling the PNB Box Office at (206) 441-2424 (Mon.-Fri. 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Sat. 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.)

* In person at the PNB Box Office, 301 Mercer Street (Mon.-Fri. 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Sat. 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.)

* Online at www.pnb.org

More about the performance ~ an evening not to be missed

Joining Ms. Barker in this very special performance are the following dancers performing in leading roles: Principal dancers Stanko Milov and Casey Herd will perform with Patricia Barker in Le Corsaire Pas de Trois (after Marius Pepita).

For the "Athalie" from George Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Patricia Barker will dance as Titania, with principal dancer Christophe Maraval as the Cavalier, and principal dancer Jonathan Porretta as Puck. The "Scherzo" features principal dancer Le Yin as Oberon and soloist Jodie Thomas as Butterfly. PNB company dancers and PNB School students perform in the roles of Fairies ("Athalie"), and Butterflies and Bugs ("Scherzo").

Jonathan Porretta and soloists Lesley Rausch and Maria Chapman perform in the first pas de trois from Balanchine's Agon. The second pas de trois will be danced by principal dancer Batkhurel Bold and soloists Mara Vinson and Karel Cruz. The pas de deux will be performed by Patricia Barker and principal dancer Olivier Wevers.

For Act IV from Kent Stowell's Swan Lake, Patricia Barker performs as Odette with principal dancer Jeffrey Stanton as Siegfried, guest artist Otto Neubert as Von Rothbart, and twenty-four Company dancers and PNB School students performing in the swan corps.

More about PNB Principal Dancer Patricia Barker ~ one of the most gifted ballerinas performing today

Originally from Richland, Washington, Patricia Barker trained on scholarship at Boston Ballet School and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Since joining the Company in 1981 as an apprentice, Ms. Barker embarked on a brilliant career. She has danced leading roles in virtually all of PNB’s vast repertoire, from works by George Balanchine to William Forsythe to Kent Stowell.

In 1986, the same year she was promoted to PNB principal dancer, Ms. Barker performed the role of Clara in the film version of PNB’s production of Kent Stowell’s Nutcracker, entitled Nutcracker: The Motion Picture. She also performed Titania in the BBC's 1999 film version of PNB's production of Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream, filmed at Sadler's Wells Theatre, London. In 1994, Kent Stowell created the title role of Cinderella for her in his full-length ballet.

Ms. Barker has danced leading roles in George Balanchine's Agon, Allegro Brillante, Apollo, Ballet Imperial, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Chaconne, Concerto Barocco, Diamonds, Divertimento No. 15, The Four Temperaments, La Valse, La Sonnambula, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Titania, Divertissement pas de deux), Mozartiana, Prodigal Son, Rubies, Serenade, Stars and Stripes, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Sylvia Pas de Deux, Symphony in C, Symphony in Three Movements, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Theme and Variations, Valse Fantaisie, Western Symphony and Who Cares?; Todd Bolender's Souvenirs; August Bournonville’s Bournonville Variations; Ulysses Dove’s Red Angels and Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven; William Forsythe's Artifact II and In the middle, somewhat elevated; Ronald Hynd's The Merry Widow (Hanna) and The Sleeping Beauty (Aurora, Lilac Fairy); Mark Morris’ Pacific; Kirk Peterson’s Amazed in Burning Dreams; Jerome Robbins’ In the Night; Kent Stowell’s Coppélia (Swanilda), Dumbarton Oaks, Firebird, Hail to the Conquering Hero, Nutcracker (Clara, Flora, Peacock), Orpheus Portrait, Pas de Deux Campagnolo, Swan Lake (Odette/Odile), The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet (Juliet) and Zirkus Weill; Marius Petipa's Le Corsaire Pas de Trois, Don Quixote and Paquita; Richard Tanner's Ancient Airs and Dances; Lynne Taylor-Corbett's Mercury and Tunes; Glen Tetley's Alice, The Rite of Spring and Voluntaries; Rudi van Dantzig's Ginastera; and Hans van Manen's Five Tangos.

She also originated leading roles in Ib Anderson's Brandenburg Concerti; Donald Byrd's Capricious Night and Seven Deadly Sins; Val Caniparoli's The Bridge and Torque; Lynn Daly's Ruby, My Dear; Nicolo Fonte's Almost Tango and Within/Without; Kevin O'Day's Aract; Christopher Stowell's Zaïs; Kent Stowell's Anima Mundi, Carmen, Carmina Burana, Delicate Balance, Duo Fantasy, Kammergarten Tänze, Palacios Dances, Poéme St. Saëns, Quaternary, Ravenna, Silver Lining and Time and Ebb; and Lynne Taylor-Corbett's The Quilt.

Ms. Barker has performed on tour with Pacific Northwest Ballet and as a guest artist throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. Her numerous guest performances include New York City Ballet's gala Dinner with Balanchine, the World Stars Gala in Prague and Le Gala des Etoiles in Montreal, and performances with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet and Royal Danish Ballet. In addition to her performing career, Ms. Barker is a member of the faculty of Pacific Northwest Ballet School and has been a guest teacher at schools throughout the United States. She appears on the Freed of London video, Patricia Barker on Pointe Shoes. Ms. Barker also serves as a spokesperson for the U.S. Bone and Joint Decade in collaboration with the U.S. Surgeon General, and is the founder and owner of BKWear dancewear.

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