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Director's Choice: 31 May-1 June; 6 June-9 June

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I know "Swan Lake" isn't over yet, but PNB just published the trailer for the "Director's Choice" program, the last rep of the season, which runs from 31 May-1 June and second weekend 6 June-9 June.

The three ballets on the program are:

  • "Agon" (Balanchine/Stravinsky)
  • New Christopher Wheeldon Ballet with music by Jody Talbot
  • "Diamonds" (Balanchine/Tchaikovsky)

Here is the video:

The "Diamonds" clips feature Carla Korbes and Stanko Milov. I'm not sure who the man is in the first Pas de trois from "Agon"; the women are Maria Chapman and Lesley Rausch. In the second Pas de trois, I'm fairly certain it's Mara Vinson with Batkhurel Bold and Karel Cruz. In the "After the Rain 'Pas de deux'" shots, Wheeldon works with Maria Chapman and Karel Cruz, with Kaori Nakamura in the background to the left and Paul Gibson taking notes on the right. The still at the end is Batkhurel Bold and Lesley Rausch in the "Agon" Pas de deux.

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I just received an email that PNB is offering a 25% Mother's Day sale discount for up to four tickets per household on all Director's Choice performances. (This doesn't apply to the least expensive tickets or to previously purchased tickets.) Website prices reflect the discount; the discount code for phone sales is "Glow."


I don't see a deadline.

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PNB posted a video of Francia Russell rehearsing the first Pas de Trois from "Agon" with two casts. Allan Dameron is the pianist.

The first cast is Jonathan Poretta with Elizabeth Murphy (light leotard) and Kylee Kitchens (black leotard).

The second cast is Benjamin Griffiths with Brittany Reid (aqua leotard and print skirt) and Chelsea Adomaitis (dark blue leotard).

I'm not having much luck identifying the other people in the studio. Maybe Ezra Thomson (unless another man also has creative facial hair) and Jessika Anspach (in gray over white).

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Casting's up for the first week of "Director's Choice," and, as always, it is subject to change. It should be published to the website soon at this link:


In the meantime, here is the spreadsheet, which includes corps casting for "Diamonds."

Rep 6 performance casting week 1.xls

Principal Casting:


Friday, 31 May: PDD-Rausch/Cruz; 1st PDT-Poretta/Kitchens/Murphy; 2nd PDT-Chapman/Tisserand/Bartee

Saturday, 1 June matinee: PDD-Rausch/Cruz; 1st PDT-Poretta/Kitchens/Murphy; 2nd PDT-Griffiths/Kitchens/Murphy; 2nd PDT-Dec/Gaines/Thomson

Saturday, 1 June evening: PDD-Gilbreath/Grant; 1st PDT-Griffiths/Kithens/Murphy; 2nd PDT-Dec/Gaines/Thomson

New Wheeldon

All performances: Dec/Tisserand, Foster/Moore, Gilbreath/Bold, Korbes/Grant


Friday, 31 May: Korbes/Cruz

Saturday, 1 June matinee: Nakamura/Orza

Saturday, 1 June evening: Korbes/Cruz

I'm looking forward to seeing a Rausch/Cruz pairing in "Agon": (Rausch has danced it before with Bold.)

Of the partnerships in the new Wheeldon, only a Foster/Moore pairing was at all predictable.

Orza's partner for "Diamonds" in the last run was Mara Vinson.

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I saw him and Karla (plus the others) at a working studio rehearsal. They all looked great - the piece is very different from the other Wheeldon pieces performed by PNB to date. Costumes totally awesome too.

Joshua looks more muscular and like he lost some weight (not that he needed to). I only mention this observation because I had just seen him featured standing in the front of the Trocadero ad, kind of funny. He is looking really lean and mean (in a good way). I'm excited he was given this opportunity and hope we see more of him next season.

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I'm hoping for a second cast second weekend: in the background I saw Carrie Imler, Andrew Bartee, Karel Cruz, Leta Biasucci, Benjamin Griffiths, Kiyon Gaines, and maybe Eric Hipolito. (Of course, that would be one man too many for a second cast.)

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No such luck: there's a single cast for all performances of "Tide Harmonic." Week 2 casting is now up on the PNB website:


Joshua Grant is partnering Laura Gilbreath in the "Agon" Pas de Deux first weekend Saturday, and then Maria Chapman second weekend Thursday and Saturday night.


Thursday, 6 June-First PDT: Suddarth/Anspach/Mullin; Second PDT: Kitchens/Tisserand/Bartee; PDD: Chapman/Grant

Friday, 7 June-First PDT: Porretta/Kitchens/Murphy; Second PDT: Foster/Hipolito/Davis; PDD: Korbes/Bold

Saturday, 8 June (eve)-First PDT: Griffiths/Adomaitis/O'Connor; Second PDT: Foster/Hipolito/Davis; PDD: Chapman/Grant

Sunday, 9 June (mat)-First PDT: Griffiths/Adomaitis/O'Connor; Second PDT: Dec/Gaines/Thomson; PDD: Korbes/Bold

Tide Harmonic:

All performances: Dec/Tisserand, Foster/Moore, Gilbreath/Bold; Korbes/Grant


Thursday, 6 June: Imler/Bold

Friday, 7 June: Gilbreath/Cruz

Saturday, 8 June (eve): Imler/Bold

Sunday, 9 June (mat): Nakamura/Orza

Here are the .pdf versions of both weeks of casting:

Rep 6 performance casting week 1.pdf

Rep 6 performance casting week 2.pdf

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PNB just sent out an email with the post-performance Q&A schedule (as always, subject to change):

Week 1:

Friday 31-May eve: James Moore

Saturday 1-Jun mat: Kiyon Gaines, Ezra Thomson

Saturday 1-Jun eve: Laura Gilbreath, Joshua Grant

Week 2:

Thursday 6-Jun eve: Price Suddarth

Friday 7-Jun eve: Carla Korbes

Saturday 8-Jun eve: Rachel Foster, Benjamin Griffiths

Sunday 9-Jun mat: Chelsea Adomaitis, Leah O'Connor

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