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Retirements at the End of the 2014-15 Season

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In addition to Carla Korbes' announced retirement earlier in the season:

PNB has just announced that long-time corps member Brittany Reid will retire at the end of the season. She and Jessika Anspach are the last two corps members hired by Francia Russell and Kent Stowell. I'll always remember her Spinner in the lovely black-and-white Art Deco dress and her sweeping Flora.

Here is the press release:

Pacific Northwest Ballet Dancer Brittany Reid Announces Retirement

Following a 15-Year Career with PNB, Final Performances in Swan Lake.

Seattle, WA– Pacific Northwest Ballet corps de ballet dancer Brittany Reid has announced she will be retiring at the end of the run of Kent Stowell’s Swan Lake (April 10 – 19), following a 15-year career with PNB.

"I am going to be married this summer and will be moving to the Washington, DC area, where I plan to teach Pilates,” said Ms. Reid. “I want to thank everyone at PNB – both in the audience and behind the curtain – for an amazing 15 years! You have been my friends and family, grown up with me, watched me grow onstage and off, and made me the woman I am today. I leave PNB for the next phase of my life with joy, and thank you for sharing your lives with me!"

“Brittany has been an absolute mainstay of PNB, performing corps, soloist, and principal roles in almost every production over the past 15 years,” noted Artistic Director Peter Boal. “Perhaps more than any other Company member, Brittany has listened and applied every correction, working tirelessly to improve every day. She has been a great support to me and to all of her co-workers and she will be missed. We thank her for her impeccable work ethic, her positive demeanor, hundreds of exciting performances, and countless pirouettes! We wish her only the best in the next phase of her life.”

Ms. Reid is from Huntington Beach, California. She trained at the School of American Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet School before joining the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in 2000. Some of her favorite roles with the Company have included Ulysses Dove’s Vespers; David Dawson’s A Million Kisses to my Skin; Helena and Hippolyta in George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and roles in his Serenade and Who Cares?; Summer in Kent Stowell’s Cinderella, and Flora in his Nutcracker.

“Brittany Reid was an outstanding member of a generation of young PNB women who created the Company’s reputation in the dance world for having the most beautiful, elegantly long-limbed female dancers in the country,” said Founding Artistic Directors Kent Stowell and Francia Russell. “In her 15 years with PNB, she distinguished herself in every ballet, every role in which she was cast. She could never wait to rise to the many challenges of her work with the dedication and total commitment that are integral to her character. And she could never finish making her performances better and better. Brittany has been a superb Company member and a shining example for the younger dancers following her from the School into the Company. Each of us who worked closely with her will always remember her bright eyes, her sweet, open smile, her big hugs, and her surpassing love of dance. She leaves behind her, with colleagues and audience members alike, a wealth of affection and respect.”

Ms. Reid has danced leading roles in George Balanchine’s Coppélia (Spinner), Divertimento from “Le Baiser de la Fée,” The Four Temperaments, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Helena, Hermia, Hippolyta), and Symphony in Three Movements; Peter Boal’s staging of Giselle (Zulme); Todd Bolender’s Souvenirs; David Dawson’s A Million Kisses to my Skin; Ulysses Dove’s Vespers; Paul Gibson’s Sense of Doubt; Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty (Fairy of Temperament and White Cat); Jiri Kylian’s Forgotten Land and Sechs Tänze (Six Dances); Mark Morris’ A Garden and Pacific; Alexei Ratmansky’s Don Quixote (Juanita); Kent Stowell’s Cinderella (Stepmother and Summer), Nutcracker (Flora, Peacock), and Silver Lining; Susan Stroman’s TAKE FIVE…More or Less; and Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs. She originated leading roles in Kiyon Gaines’ M-Pulse, Morris’ Kammermusik No. 3, and Margaret Mullin’s Lost in Light, and a featured role in Gaines’s ə{SCHWA}. She has also been featured in Balanchine’s Apollo, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Diamonds, Serenade, and Symphony in C; Trisha Brown’s Spanish Dance; Hynd’s The Merry Widow; Peter Martins’ Fearful Symmetries; Marius Petipa’s Paquita; Ratmansky’s Concerto DSCH; Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana and Swan Lake; Richard Tanner’s Ancient Airs and Dances; and Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance).

Ms. Reid’s final performances with PNB will be during the run of Kent Stowell’s Swan Lake, April 10 – 19, 2015. Tickets and information are available through the PNB Box Office, 206.441.2424, online at PNB.org, or in person at 301 Mercer Street at Seattle Center.

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From today's press release about the season-ending Encores performance:

In addition to the previously announced departures of principal dancer Carla Körbes and corps de ballet dancer Brittany Reid, the Season Encore performance will be the audience’s chance to offer a fond farewell to soloist Kiyon Gaines, who will be leaving the Company and joining the PNB School as a faculty member. “Kiyon has been such a vital part of PNB for the last 14 years,” said Mr. Boal. “When I first met Kiyon, he was an eager teenager bouncing around the studio and nodding in agreement to every word I said. His infectious energy filled the room. What a pleasure it has been to watch him develop over the years, not only as a dancer, but as a choreographer and a person. Though Kiyon takes the stage for the last time as a member of this Company, we’re so grateful that he will join the Pacific Northwest Ballet School as a faculty member and continue to be a part of the institution.”

Other company members leaving PNB at the end of the season are corps de ballet dancers Raphael Bouchard, Jahna Frantziskonis, and Charles McCall.

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Well, it's what I heard through the grapevine, but it doesn't make me any happier now than it did when I first heard about it. I was really hoping that Gaines could come back next year for Waiting at the Station. I'm glad he's going to be on faculty (and I imagine will still coordinate the Next Step program) but this still makes me sad.

The other departures are frustrating in their own ways too. Frantziskonis has really stepped up, and taken full advantage of any opportunities -- it's been great to watch. And McCall has been coming into himself as well.

I was in the house when Bouchard stepped in at the last moment for Griffiths as Benvolio in Romeo et Juliette -- he just rolled with the situation and I thought, "now here's someone who's ready to go." And he's been looking great when he gets the chance to move out (his run and slide down the diagonal in Cerrudo's Memory Glow is one of my favorite moments in that work). As I understand it, they're all going on to other places and other opportunities, and I get the need to explore, especially in a career like dance, but I'm so sorry to be missing the next stage for them.

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According to the press release for the live stream of the "Encores" program, Eric Hipolito Jr. is also leaving PNB sad.png.

Other company members leaving PNB at the end of the season are corps de ballet dancers Raphael Bouchard, Jahna Frantziskonis, Eric Hipolito Jr., and Charles McCall.

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At tonight's Q&A, Peter Boal said that

  • Jahna Frantziskonis is joining San Francisco Ballet. I still haven't gotten over Jean Ratelle playing for the Boston Bruins, so I don't expect to get over this.
  • Eric Hipolito Jr. is joining Ballet Arizona. He will do brilliantly in BA's rep.
  • Raphael Bouchard is "returning to his native Montreal to dance." (No company named).

Boal said he was unsure about where Charles McCall is going.

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An article about Kiyon Gaines:


It's the first mention I've seen that Gaines, who will be a part-time faculty member, choreograph, and continue to manage and mentor in the Next Step program for company choreographers will also be involved in Dance Chance.

At the Q&A last weekend, Gaines described how fellow SAB student Josh Spell -- a wonderful dancer at PNB until 2011 -- told him that he should audition for Francia Russell and Kent Stowell, who were holding a private audition for SAB students. Thinking that PNB was a company of tall women and not being tall, he first said no, but Spell convinced him. He was surprised that Russell and Stowell invited him and Spell to join the Professional Division of PNBS because they were too young for the company. After a year in the school, he was surprised when he was asked to join the company.

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