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Season Encore Program to Honor Stewart Kershaw

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The press release is just out for the season-ender -- here it is in full.


Season Encore Performance


Performances include works by Balanchine – Caniparoli – Dove – Goecke – Hynd


Sunday, June 13, 2010 – 6:30 pm

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

321 Mercer Street, Seattle Center

Seattle, WA 98109

SEATTLE, WA – Pacific Northwest Ballet wraps up its critically acclaimed 2009-2010 season with the annual Season Encore Performance, a crowd-pleasing reprise of the past year’s greatest hits. An evening of thrilling selections and inspired performances, the program will feature PNB’s entire Company, and the PNB Orchestra under the guest baton of retired Music Director/Conductor Stewart Kershaw. The evening celebrates Maestro Kershaw’s extraordinary 25-year career with PNB and includes selections from The Four Temperaments, The Sleeping Beauty, and Coppélia, among others, and will also contain a few surprises and special guests.  Tickets to this special event will benefit the PNB Orchestra, raising much-needed funds to keep live music flourishing at PNB performances. The Season Encore Performance will be presented one night only, Sunday, June 13 at 6:30 pm at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street. Tickets may be purchased by calling 206.441.2424, online at www.pnb.org, or in person at the PNB Box Office, 301 Mercer Street.

“The Season Encore Performance is, without a doubt, one of the most memorable performances of the year,” said Artistic Director Peter Boal. “We will celebrate our dancers, remember an exciting repertoire, and applaud Maestro Kershaw for his remarkable tenure as Music Director.”

The line-up for the 2009-2010 Season Encore Performance includes:

Roméo et Juliette (Orchestral Selections)

Music: Sergei Prokofiev

The Sleeping Beauty (Rose Adagio)

Music: Peter I. Tchaikovsky

Choreography: Ronald Hynd (after Marius Petipa)

Mopey (Excerpt)

Music: C.P.E. Bach and The Cramps

Choreography: Marco Goecke

The Seasons (Fall)

Music: Alexander Glazunov

Choreography: Val Caniparoli

Raymonda (Act III Entr’acte)

Music: Alexander Glazunov

The Four Temperaments (Choleric)

Music: Paul Hindemith

Choreography: George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust

Red Angels

Music: Richard Einhorn

Choreography: Ulysses Dove

Coppelia (Act III pas de deux and finale)

Music: Léo Delibes

Choreography: Alexandra Danilova and George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust (after Marius Petipa)


Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Season Encore Performance will be performed one night only, Sunday, June 13 at 6:30 pm at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street at Seattle Center.

Tickets range in price from $25 to $160 (with discounts available for PNB subscribers) and may be purchased through the PNB Box Office:

· By calling 206.441.2424 (Mon.-Fri. 9am–6pm; Sat. 10am–5pm)

· In person at 301 Mercer Street, Seattle (Mon.-Fri. 10am–6pm; Sat. 10am–5pm)

· Online 24/7 at our website, www.pnb.org

· 90 minutes prior to the performance at McCaw Hall, located at 321 Mercer Street. (Subject to availability.)

· Discounts of up to 20% are available for groups of ten (10) or more by calling Julie Jamieson at 206.441.2416 or e-mailing juliej@pnb.org.

Please Note: No student & senior rush tickets or Teen Tix discounts are available for this performance.

# # #

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 2009-2010 Season is sponsored by Microsoft Corporation. Additional season support is provided by ArtsFund, the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, 4Culture – King County Lodging Tax, and Washington State Arts Commission.

Programming subject to change. For further information, please visit www.pnb.org.

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Casting is listed on the PNB site:

The Sleeping Beauty (Rose Adagio)

Aurora Lesley Rausch

Duke of Aquitaine Batkhurel Bold

Duke of Bordeaux William Lin-Yee

Duke of Burgundy Kiyon Gaines

Duke of Glascony Jerome Tisserand

Mopey (Excerpt)

Benjamin Griffiths

The Seasons (Fall)

Bacchante Ariana Lallone

Bacchus Karel Cruz

Raymonda (Act III Entr'acte)

Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra

The Four Temperaments (Choleric)

Lindsi Dec

Red Angels

Carla Körbes

Batkhurel Bold

Carrie Imler

Jordan Pacitti

Coppélia (Act III Pas de deux & Finale)*

Swanilda Mara Vinson

Franz James Moore

*The finale has Dawn, Prayer, Spinner, Jesterettes, and Discord and War, which means lots of dancers!

The performance marks the retirement of conductor Stewart Kershaw, to whom the program is in honor, and Jordan Pacitti, who retires after 11 years with the Company. Pacitti will work full-time on his company, Jordan Samuel Fragrances, which he started through the Second Stage program.

Here is a link to a radio interview Pacitti did in April about his plans and in which he answers "Why now?"; the transcript on the linked page isn't exact:


Here's a link to a PNB video about "Red Angels", with an an interview of Pacitti and Lesley Rausch, and clips of performances -- Pacitti/Rausch, Lallone/Wevers -- and rehearsals -- Pacitti/Imler, Pacitti/Rausch, Dec, Porretta/Nakamura, Boal partnering Rausch while Postlewaite watches, and Korbes/Bold:


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Just back from the Season Encore. Peter Boal began the evening by briefly discussing retiring conductor Stewart Kershaw. After choosing his first season program as the director, he received a cell phone message from a man with a plummy British accent: "Petuh, you've forgotten the trombones". For all the care and feeding Mr. Boal had put into programming a mix of contemporary, classic and new works, there was nothing exciting for the trombones to play!

The program notes begin "Dear Friends, Stewart Kershaw would often quip that he did not want the words One too many Nutcrackers written on his tombstone...." (Mr Kershaw formally retired in October, prior to PNB's 30+ winter performances of Nutcracker). Peter then gave the stage to Louise Nadeau to describe what it was like to dance with Mr. Kershaw at the baton, it was easier to use his silver hair as a spot for 32 fouettes than the traditional red light visible in the first balcony! She noted his attention to small details in the musical cues for dancers, his constant note taking at rehearsals, and support for new choreographers and their music choices.

Maestro Kershaw then began the evening with Prokofiev's Romeo et Juliette, excerpt of Tybalt's death & funeral cortege. After highlighting the past of PNB, we saw glimpses of the future - Lesley Rausch as Aurora in Rose Adagio. Lesley has the technical skills and she is still developing as a romantic lead. Mopey was next on the schedule, but was cancelled without explanation. Scenery was moved, and then we saw Autumn in "The Seasons" with the always faboosh Ariana Lallone (may she never retire!) and Karel Cruz, who is a great match for height and body build. I liked this the second time around, I think I wrote in the original review that it seemed under rehearsed, the reprise was more successful.

More notes in the program by Peter Boal: "There are two dancers I wish to write about. One is Mara Vinson. Before coming into this job, I had my eye on Mara as an Aurora. She was a budding young solist who struck me as ready for the challenge. Seeing her again in the role this past season revealed a technically flawless dancer and an accomplished artist - one with wings that seeks to fly. I support Mara's decision to explore a world outside of PNB, but I am sorry to see her go." (it is worth noting that last week Mara starred in an Asian-American oriented dance production, with another former PNB principal).

In the final set, Ms. Vinson and James Moore danced the pas de deux and Finale with the corps to close the night. I felt their dancing was more mature and secure than Rachel Foster and Benjamin Griffiths last Thursday. James Moore had his hair slicked back, under the lights he looks like Joaquim Phoenix (minus the beard and David Letterman interview problems). Ms. Vinson received flowers and an extended ovation, but she seemed (as always) very in control of her emotions. She was a lovely dancer at PNB, but never the star dancer - opening night castings always went to to Carla Körbe or Kaori Nakamura.

The second half began with The Four T's / Choleric (Alisdair didn't come see this rep, but he gave a great review to Ballet Arizona, and I think he would have liked this performance). Lindsi Dec also punches her faboosh club card tonight, but the corps really stood out to me. The future of PNB is in good hands / feet.

But this was Jordan Pacitti's night, and the crowd was with him 100%. More from Peter Boal's program notes..."The other dancer who can't escape without a few words of praise is Jordan Pacitti. I've known most of these dancers since they were students of mine as teenagers in New York. Jordan is one of these." (an old picture from the 1990's is in the program, showing Peter leading an SAB young men's class filled with dancers who later came to PNB).

The crowd went wild as the dancers come on stage for Red Angels. We had the "A" team: Carla Körbes and Batkhurel Bold were on fire, and Carrie Imler and Jordan Pacitti were cheered from start to middle to finish. Each artist has a short solo at the end and each cheer got louder and louder and louder. Partial Standing O when they came out for bows. Red Angels needs to catch on fire at more companies, this work is genius, the dancers love it, the audience loves it, even the families who stuck around from the matinee of Coppelia were cheering wildly tonight for Red Angels. (Hint to any artistic director reading this!)

Peter Boal came out to announce an unpublished encore. I'm not sure who the choreographer is /was (maybe Mr. Pacitti?) anyway, it involved a rug, a ton of happy dancing on the rug, comedy, and a short solo by Mr. Pacitti that was verbally encouraged and cheered. More cheering, when Mr. Pacitti came out for his final curtain call, he was overcome with emotion and had to rush back behind the curtain before he completely lost control of his tears.

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A couple of notes to follow up on Jayne's thorough descriptions.

Ben Griffiths had a severe leg cramp just moments before he was supposed to go on in Mopey this evening -- he was in the wings ready to go when it happened. This was so last minute that they just decided to cut the work from the program.

The unannounced encore piece was Ordinary Festivals by Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig. The piece dates from 1995, but PNB acquired it for their Laugh Out Loud Festival in 2008. We saw maybe 2/3 of it this evening. It's a charming piece, but one of the omitted sections, which is all about the dancers throwing oranges up in the air, and catching them on their knife as they fall, is extraordinary. Pacitti looked great in the sections we saw tonight, but he's even more interesting in the knife contest.

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It was a wonderful evening.

Who was the woman in the evening dress who rushed on, then off, the stage after "Ordinary Festivals"? Also, one of the corps dancers was singled out (by Jordan I think it was) during the final bow? It was clear that the company was saying good-bye to this dancer (she had a swimming pool of tears in her eyes). From where I was sitting, I couldn't make out who this 3rd dancer leaving the company was.

Like Jayne, I was very struck by Choleric from the 4T's last night. Lindsi Dec danced the lead and was terrific, but it was all the other dancers behind her that really arrested my attention. I was once again struck by what a magnicent Balanchine company PNB is. These dancers "get" Mr B -- from the loftiest star to the newest corps dancer. PNB danced Choleric with such complete commitment and confidence that I leaned over to my wife and whispered: "PNB dances Balanchine better than any other company in the US, perhaps in the world." (Surely an exaggeration, and note that I don't know what I'm talking about in any case since I've seen so few other companies -- except on video -- but dag-gummit, there is just no way another company could be so "there", in every way, from every dancer, as when PNB dances Mr B's neoclassical works.)

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In the afternoon's Q&A, Peter Boal told us that there would be a few unannounced departures. Jordan Pacitti singled out a dancer for the final onstage bow, which is real-life mime for a dancer for whom it is a final performance with the company. I thought I recognized Duge; I'm sad to see her leave. I wish her happiness and success in whatever she does next.

Thank you for the ID on Janie Taylor: I thought she looked familiar!

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