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Sleeping Beauty, February 1-2 and 7-10, Two Extra Performances

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Important to note about the next rep in February, Sleeping Beauty:

  • This is the last run of the Ronald Hynd production
  • Saturday matinees start at 1pm.
  • There are two additional non-subscription performances on:
    • Saturday, February 9 at 1pm
    • Sunday, February 10 at 7pm.
  • There are no post-performance Q&A's after Sleeping Beauty, but, Doug Fullington's pre-performance talks are on!

Here's the press release, part 1:

ONE LAST KISS: Pacific Northwest Ballet presents its final performances of Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty

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February 1 – 10, 2019

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

321 Mercer Street at Seattle Center

Seattle, WA 98109

Nine Performances Only!

February 1, 2, 7, 8 & 9 at 7:30 PM

February 2, 9 & 10 at 1:00 PM*

February 10 at 7:00 PM

*Note earlier matinee show times.

“Enchanting…and spectacular. Moments of beauty that can only be described as otherworldly.”

The Seattle Times

SEATTLE, WA—Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 2018-2019 season continues with the perfect pre-Valentine ballet for all ages, the magnificent full-length classic, Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty. Artistic Director Peter Boal has announced that this will be the final run of PNB’s production of The Sleeping Beauty featuring Mr. Hynd’s choreography and Peter Docherty’s sets and costumes. “I see Ronnie's staging as one of the finest,” said Mr. Boal. “His blend of original choreography and vivid mime give us delightful and despicable characters who lead us through a timeless and heartwarming tale. PNB has been proud to present this production to tens of thousands over almost twenty years.” PNB will announce a new production of the story ballet at a later date. The Sleeping Beauty runs for nine performances only, February 1 through 10, 2019 at Seattle Center’s Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Tickets start at $37. For more information, contact the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424, in person at 301 Mercer Street, or online at PNB.org.

 

Long regarded as the ideal classical ballet, The Sleeping Beauty’s beloved fairytale world was crafted to mirror the opulent splendor of the Imperial Czars, its first patrons.  PNB’s production of the ballet remains true to Marius Petipa’s 1890 original and each act — from the evil fairy Carabosse’s flying entrance in the Prologue, to the Rose Adagio’s spectacular balances, to Act III’s celebrated Bluebird pas de deux — offers rich opportunities for dancers to demonstrate technique and artistry, and take star-turns. Ultimately, however, the pivotal brilliance of Beauty rests with Princess Aurora; she must captivate as a teenager, inspire a Prince’s love as a vision, and awaken a queen, all while mastering some of the most technically grueling choreography in classical ballet’s cannon — a genuine mark of distinction for a great ballerina.

 

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Op. 66, 1889)

Choreography: Ronald Hynd (after Marius Petipa)

Staging: Ronald Hynd, Annette Page, and Amanda Eyles

Scenic and Costume Design: Peter Docherty

Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli

Running Time: 3 hours

Original Petipa Production Premiere: January 15, 1890; Imperial Ballet, St. Petersburg

Hynd Production Premiere: 1993; English National Ballet

Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: February 1, 2001

 

“[PNB’s] The Sleeping Beauty blends tradition with delight. Everything about it is just right.” – Seattle Weekly

 The Sleeping Beauty represents the pinnacle of 19th-century Russian ballet, a collaboration of dance, music, and design that continues to influence ballet today. The well-known story served as a foundation on which the ballet's creators — composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, choreographer Marius Petipa, and designer and director of the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres Ivan Vsevolozhsky — developed a work that demonstrated a century's worth of achievements in classical dance. Coveted among ballerinas, the leading role of Princess Aurora offers opportunities for a rich display of classical technique and artistic interpretation, from the famed Rose Adagio to the elegiac "vision scene" adagio and finally the triumphant wedding pas de deux.

Pacific Northwest Ballet's production of The Sleeping Beauty by English choreographer Ronald Hynd was originally set on English National Ballet and is based on the historic Royal Ballet version, with which Hynd and his wife, former Royal Ballet ballerina Annette Page, are intimately familiar. That production, in turn, was closely based on the original Sleeping Beauty of 1890.

Ronald Hynd has commented on his own history with The Sleeping Beauty: "In 1946, the Sadler's Wells Ballet [now the Royal Ballet] re-opened the Royal Opera House with a sumptuous production of Marius Petipa's choreographic masterpiece, The Sleeping Beauty. …As a teenage student I saw many performances during that 1946 season. A group of us, young hopeful dancers from the Rambert School of Ballet, would rush to the gallery whenever we could afford the two shillings and sixpence. …By the time I joined the company at Covent Garden in 1952, I seemed to know nearly every step of the work, absorbed no doubt by love and ambition. … Over the years, I had secretly nurtured an ambition to stage my own production of The Sleeping Beauty…Elizabeth Anderton, then Acting Artistic Director of English National Ballet, invited me to present this new staging in 1993 to mark the centenary of Tchaikovsky's death.”

 

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More from the press release:

 

SPECIAL EVENTS

 

BALLET 101: Ballet Classics – The Sleeping Beauty Fairy Variations

Saturday January 19, 3:00 pm

The Phelps Center, 301 Mercer St., Seattle

The six solos choreographed by Marius Petipa for Princess Aurora’s godmothers in the prologue of his 1892 Sleeping Beauty are a study in symbolism, structure, musicality, and pointe work. Dance historian and PNB Audience Education Manager Doug Fullington will lead this studio presentation featuring PNB School Professional Division students dancing Petipa’s original choreography for these solos. This is the third of PNB’s four-part BALLET 101 series exploring many facets of the ballet industry. Tickets are $25 per session. For tickets and more information, visit PNB.org.

 

PNB CONVERSATIONS & DRESS REHEARSAL

Thursday, January 31 at 5:30 PM

Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall

Join PNB Audience Education Manager Doug Fullington in conversation with a panel of Princess Auroras during the hour preceding the dress rehearsal.  The conversation begins at 5:30 pm, followed by the dress rehearsal at 7:00 pm. Tickets ($30) may be purchased through the PNB Box Office.

 

BALLET TALK

Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall

Join Audience Education Manager Doug Fullington for a 30-minute introduction to each performance, including discussions of choreography, music, history, design and the process of bringing ballet to the stage. One hour before performances.  FREE for ticketholders. (Note: There will be no post-show Meet the Artist Q&As during the run of The Sleeping Beauty.)

 

YOUNG PATRONS CIRCLE NIGHT

Friday, February 8

Join members of PNB’s Young Patrons Circle (YPC) in an exclusive lounge for complimentary wine and chocolates before the show and at intermission. YPC is PNB’s social and educational group for ballet patrons ages 21 through 39. YPC members save on their subscriptions and additional tickets. For more info, visit PNB.org/YPC.

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First weekend casting is up, but, if you've been stalking the website frequently checking the website through your browser, you may have to clear your cache before it will come up.  It was showing up on my phone this afternoon, but nada until I cleared my cache in Chrome.  As always, casting is subject to change.

https://www.pnb.org/season/sleeping-beauty/

(scroll to bottom)

  • Laura Tisserand and Dylan Wald make their debuts as Aurora and Prince Desire on Saturday afternoon, February 2 at 1pm. (Early start for Saturday matinees).
  • Elizabeth Murphy debuts as Lilac Fairy and Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan debuts as Princess Florine on Saturday evening, February 2. 
  • Not making role debuts, but first time role partnerships (at least on the mainstage in the full length):  Lesley Rausch and Jerome Tisserand on Opening Night, Friday, February 1, and Leta Biasucci and Lucien Postlewaite on Saturday evening, February 2.
  • Noelani Pantastico will portray the Queen and Jonathan Porretta will dance Carabosse in all performances first weekend
  • There are many debuts in most roles throughout the weekend.

Link to downloadable spreadsheet:

Sleeping Beauty 2019_01_23.xlsx

 

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PNB just published a video feature on Lesley Rausch who speaks about her experience with rehearsing and performing Aurora:

 

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Moira Macdonald wrote the first of an "occasional series" called "How do they do that?" about balancing on point, with the Rose Adagio as the example.  The article itself is interesting, and there are some takes on technique for each of Leta Biasucci and Lesley Rausch, but there's also a video of primarily studio rehearsals, with a short clip of Rausch in costume, so dress or performance.

https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/dance/how-pnb-ballerinas-find-the-perfect-balance-on-the-tip-of-a-pointe-shoe-in-sleeping-beauty/

Biasucci's partners are William Lin-Yee, in a grey sleeveless shirt and shorts, Kyle Davis in the plaid shirt, Miles Pertl in the turtleneck, and Steven Loch in a grey tank and blue tights.  I only recognize Prince #3 where Rausch is in costume -- the clip goes by so quickly -- and that's Lin-Yee.  The studio clip with Rausch shows her doing the shoulder lift with Joshua Grant and the balance with Steven Loch.  Then there's a clip with Biasucci and Lucien Postlewaite as Prince Desire.  Angelica Generosa is shadowing Biasucci in the back of the studio.

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While second weekend casting isn't yet up, I just got a heads up that the Seattle Times article linked in the post directly above was updated to read:

"Also scheduled to dance the role of Princess Aurora during the run are Rachel Foster, Angelica Generosa and Laura Tisserand."

with an update note at the bottom.

The article originally listed Sarah Ricard Orza, who is no longer on the list; Angelica Generosa has been added.

 

 

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And casting for second weekend is up! 

https://www.pnb.org/season/sleeping-beauty/

(scroll) 

Two new Aurora/Desire pairings:  Angelica Generosa (debut) and Seth Orza; Rachel Foster and Kyle Davis (debut).  Generosa also debuts as Princess Florine on Friday, February 8, with Benjamin Griffiths as Bluebird.  On Sunday, February 10 at 1pm, Madison Rayn Abeo and Christian Poppe debut as Florine/Bluebird. 

I'm really glad Kyle Davis is cast as Desire: when he partnered Abeo in Nutcracker last December, I kept seeing Desire. 

 

Downloadable spreadsheet to follow, when I get home. 

 

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Steven Loch makes his debut as Carabosse on Saturday, February 9 at 1pm and performs again on Sunday, February 10 at 1pm.  The preview in the live rehearsal video is really great: so much thought, detail, and pacing went into his interpretation.

Here's a link to the downloadable spreadsheet:

Sleeping Beauty 2019_01_28.xlsx

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Dear Seattle based Balletalerters:

I am planning a last minute trip to Seattle next weekend to see the last run of this production of the Sleeping Beauty.  I want to go to three performances. The first one will be on Friday February 8. For the remaining two I would to have to chose between Saturday matinee, Sat. evening or Sunday matinee, Feb. 9 and 10, respectively.  Any advice is greatly appreciated as I am not familiar with PNB dancers which I hope to rectify by making this trip. 

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If I were going to be in town for second weekend, I would go to one of the two performances (Sat or Sun matinee) where Steven Loch is performing Carabosse.  

You can get a very good sense of Leta Biasucci's Aurora (and Loch's Carabosse) from the studio rehearsal (partial) video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnMOgx5cuLs

Biasucci, Lesley Rausch, and Rachel Foster have danced Aurora before.  Angelica Generosa is making her debut.  (Laura Tisserand is as well, but she's only dancing first weekend on the main stage.)  Biasucci, Foster, and Generosa are shorter dancers.  Lesley Rausch has long lines and is medium height.   Foster and Rausch are the senior ballerinas in the Company, along with Noelani Pantastico, who is recovering from injury.  Biasucci is the newest Principal.  Generosa was lauded by a local paper whose critics need to be sold on ballet. 

Rausch and Jerome Tisserand have danced beautifully together over the years and are one of my favorite partnerships.  The other partnerships are relatively new. 

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Thank you very much, Helen. I may just maximize my trip and go to four performances instead of three. This government shutdown really messed up my plans. When air traffic controllers warned it might be unsafe to travel by plane I panicked and cancelled my plans. Now I am scrambling to make last minute booking/reservation.

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If the casting stays as planned, if you go Friday evening, Saturday matinee and evening, and Sunday matinee, you'll see two or three dancers in each Fairy variation, three Lilac Fairies -- including Laura Tisserand -- and four different casts of Princess Florine/Bluebird and the Gold and Silver trio (in the Wedding Act).   That means every dancer in the Company who can stand on two feet.

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29 minutes ago, Helene said:

That means every dancer in the Company who can stand on two feet.

😆 

I just finished watching the rehearsal footage (thank you for linking it).  Any doubts about making this trip have been assuaged. I will be tormented with regrets if I miss this marvelous choreographic beauty.

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On 1/28/2019 at 8:29 PM, Dreamer said:

Dear Seattle based Balletalerters:

I am planning a last minute trip to Seattle next weekend to see the last run of this production of the Sleeping Beauty.  I want to go to three performances. The first one will be on Friday February 8. For the remaining two I would to have to chose between Saturday matinee, Sat. evening or Sunday matinee, Feb. 9 and 10, respectively.  Any advice is greatly appreciated as I am not familiar with PNB dancers which I hope to rectify by making this trip. 

Everyone is distinct and wonderful and in different places in their careers.  If you have time, I would see them all.  Here are my thoughts/perspectives:

Sat matinee:  Biasucci/Postelwaite.      Her second time in the role, the first time she was in the Corp. Big year for her, on the cover of dance magazine, two fellow dancers who choreographed for the main company chose her to be in the leading role.  These two had opening night honors for Nutcracker.  I saw then their second Nut, they looked very natural together. Lucien is a big draw himself as well.  He was away at Ballet de Monte Carlo for about 5 years, and gives very polished performances with big little extras.

Sat evening: Generosa/Orza.  First time in role.  Angelica has incredible balance.  She is naturally always on her leg.  All around such strong technique (SAB trained).  She has the chops, will be exciting to see her take on the acting part of a story ballet.  I don’t recall seeing her partnered with Orza before.  Tonight at the dress rehearsal panel discussion when asked about the Wedding pdd fish dives she said « I just go for it ».  Tonight Lesley Rausch said we should go see her, and raved about how good she is.  Also I think it says something positive she was given  Saturday evening show, and also  a subscription show.  She is also cast as Fairy of Joy, Gold/Silver pdt, and Princess  Florine.  Busy work for a Soloist!

Sun matinée: Rausch/Tisserand.  This is Lesley’s third time in the role, It may be the most nuanced. On PNB’s FB there is a video of her describing the mental aspects of rehearsals.  These two have a lot of experience dancing together, but not this ballet before, but definitely this is the most mature partnership.  Lesley’s artistry has grown so much since she became a principal in 2011.  Lately I have been snatching up tickets when she is dancing because I am afraid she might be pregnant or retire soon.  She is so in her prime and just keeps becoming more fantastic (not sure how that’s possible) so selfishly hope none of those events are on the horizon.

Good luck making your choices!!!

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Gavin Borchert's short weekly arts preview for The Sleeping Beauty in Seattle Weekly:

 

Quote

If they’d only had evite.com back in the day, Carabosse would never have been left out of Aurora’s christening and all this whole The Sleeping Beauty mess could have been avoided. Pacific Northwest’s version of the ballet features Ronald Hynd’s choreography and Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous music. GAVIN BORCHERT McCaw Hall, pnb.org. $37–$189. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1, 2, 7, 8, 9; 1 p.m. Feb. 2, 9, 10; 7 p.m. Feb. 10.

On that topic I saw Ryan Cardea, a stellar Drosselmeier, perform Catalabutte at the open dress last night, and he was fantastic.

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I'm curious how many casting permutations have happened, since the program showed Sarah Ricard Orza being coached by Carrie Imler. Hope she is doing okay. I missed her Odette/Odile debut in Swan Lake last year, so would have liked to see her as Aurora.

Enjoyed the Saturday 2/2 evening performance. I always enjoy watching Leta Biasucci. Elizabeth Murphy was a lovely Lilac Fairy.

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Ricard Orza is too injured to dance Aurora. This was confirmed in two parts: the Seattle Times published an article in which they listed Ricard Orza among those who were cast originally for Aurora.  They published an update, removing Ricard Orza and adding Angelica Generosa in the list of Auroras in the body of the article, with a notice of correction at the bottom of the article.  At the panel discussion and Q&A with Auroras Lesley Rausch, Rachel Foster, and Generosa, Rausch said that sometimes people get opportunities when someone is injured, and then she pointed out that this happened to Generosa.  

Orza is okay enough to perform Countess, which she did Opening Night.  So I hope it is something she recovers from quickly.

I agree about Murphy's Lilac Fairy.

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Leta Biasucci was exquisite in the 2/2 evening show.  Her opening solo was very precise and quick, all her dancing spot on.  In each act she played the character spot on as well.  I even heard a lot of laughs when Aurora reacted to the news she was getting married, more male than female IIRC.  I love that bit of dancing PNB posted on FB, it’s right before Carabosse presents Aurora with the spindle.

I’m sorry not to see Sarah Ricard Orza but I am also excited to see Angelica Generosa’s debut.  

I also heard rave reviews about AG’s Florine at the dress rehearsal, so I hope she will still dance that role second Friday.  Her Bluebird listed is Ben Griffiths, but opening night he was substituted by Kyle Davis.  I really like Kyle Davis, but I was really missing Ben during Nutcracker.  I didn’t see him cast for much, and only caught him in one Candy Cane after Christmas.

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I'm going to miss Peter Docherty's costumes so, so much, from the saturated turquoise and royal blue dresses of the courtiers to the jewel-toned fair costumes to the garland dance costumes for the women, to the hunting scene and Act IV ensemble dresses, but, especially, the opalescent vision scene long tutus with the full, tulle underskirts.  

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On 2/4/2019 at 11:38 PM, seattle_dancer said:

I also heard rave reviews about AG’s Florine at the dress rehearsal, so I hope she will still dance that role second Friday.  Her Bluebird listed is Ben Griffiths, but opening night he was substituted by Kyle Davis.  I really like Kyle Davis, but I was really missing Ben during Nutcracker.  I didn’t see him cast for much, and only caught him in one Candy Cane after Christmas.

Ah, now I see what my friend was raving about!  PNB posted a video of Angelica Generosa dancing Princess Florine on FB.  I believe it is from a dress rehearsal since you can hear a man talking early on.  

https://www.facebook.com/PNBallet/videos/346734766178143/

It is a very unique (to my eyes) interpretation, I just love it!  I have watched it at least a handful of times in the last hour.  Her overall phrasing, use of upper body, arms, timing of balances, and facial expressions really make it so special.  I'm so glad I bought a ticket earlier today just to see her.  I did that after the website still listed her dancing Florine Friday evening and it was updated to have her Bluebird be Christian Poppe instead of Ben Griffiths (get well soon!).  As a bonus I also get to see Elle Macy debut in the pas de trois and of course Rachel Foster and Kyle Davis in the Wedding pdd.  I think I am only seeing Act III so I don't mean to disrespect any other dancers.

I am so excited to see AG debut as Princess Aurora tomorrow evening!  I have seen her dance the Fairy of Joy three times in the last week and it ends in an arabesque balance which she sticks every time.  It's like a preview for her big debut.  

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Angelica Generosa’s debut Thursday evening was PHENOMENAL!!!  She displayed so many little touches to make her version distinctly her own, on top of dancing all that ridiculously difficult choreography.  If you didn’t know it was her debut in the role, you would have thought she had danced it many times.

Thursdays are usually quieter nights but it was a pretty full house and the audience was wild with appreciation and gave her a standing ovation at the end.

Kudos to all her dukes and her prince Seth Orza.  She didn’t apppear nervous, but I’m sure all these men assisted in calming her nerves and helping her shine.  

I always look forward to Seth’s solos as well, especially his manèges.  His seem the most powerful and have the most momentum.

I am excited to return Saturday evening and take it all in again!

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Generosa was beautiful, and her performance was full of detail and warmth.  

I'm at the theater for the matinee, thanks to a friend who gave me a ticket she couldn't use, in case my flight to Anaheim was canceled, and I'm thrilled to see how many people made it today and are warming up in the lobby, especially the kids who came all dressed up.  (I opted for Michelin Man chic.) 

 

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I wish I could have seen a performance...thank you to all for your descriptions and impressions! I watched several of the online clips and the rehearsal stream, and it strikes me that PNB seems to have quite a wealth of highly talented and very different dancers and that Peter Boal is encouraging a healthy working atmosphere with room for individual development. Personally, I like the different "looks" and the athleticism of the dancers.

 

Edited by kylara7

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I finally was able to expand the geography of my ballet travels and ventured into snowy Pacific Northwest to see four performances of the Sleeping Beauty. It was my fist time seeing PNB live and for sure won’t be the last. The company has many dancers who were trained at SAB and it shows in the quality of its performances. Unlike with ABT, one doesn’t need to worry whether a dancer will be technically adequate for the part so you can just relax and enjoy the performance.

I saw the following casts: Rachel Foster/Kyle Davis (February 8), Leta Biasucci/Lucien Postlewaite (February 9 matinee), Angelica Generosa/Seth Orza (February 9 evening) and Lesley Rausch/ Jerome Tisserand (February 10).

It is so hard to say which one of the three Auroras — Leta, Angelica or Lesley—left the most impression on me. These are very dissimilar ballerinas, with different physics, musicality, energy and style. Leta reminded me of Alina Cojocaru. She radiates similar charm and warmth and her steps have delicate refinement and grace. Angelica was bursting with energy. Always wide eyed and with a bright smile she was so natural at displaying excitement and exuberance of the coming of age princess but I wished she would have toned down her verve in the Vision scene. Being such a technically assured dancer with incredible balances and quick foot work she was not quite comfortable with dreaminess and languor of Act 2 and failed to fill those  beautiful musical passages with cantilena movements. Lesley is a dancer of breathtakingly beautiful lines who will captivate and mesmerize you by simply lifting her arm or turning her head. I don’t think you can look at anyone else when she is on stage. Despite having long limbs and being on a taller side she was a perfect Aurora, expressive and radiant but with a touch of fragility. As a more experienced ballerina, Lesley brought in so many emotional details to the role that I felt transported to another world. It was a transcending experience seeing her dance. 

The men of the company were so also quite impressive. Jerome Tisserand not only had the right look for the Prince but also the commanding stage  presence and quietest jumps. Kyle Davis performed the most formidable manege of leaps while Lucien Postlewaite was the best partner to help his ballerina execute flawless and precisely timed fish dives. 

Special shoutout goes to the two soloists Dylan Wald (Fairy Cavalier, Gold and Silver Pas de Trois) and Steven Loch (Carabosse, Fairy Cavalier, Gold and Silver Pas de Trois).

Being on a smaller size, the company was compelled to have many of its dancers perform multiple roles. Even its two Auroras, Leta Biasucci and Angelica Generosa, appeared as Princess Florine on the nights they weren’t the leads. Pretty much every member of the company had to be on stage every night but it provided me with the opportunity of seeing this wonderful company in its entirety.

Edited by Dreamer

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I appreciate your post-performance thoughts and impressions, Dreamer, especially as you saw such a range of Auroras...I'm envious! Your descriptions of them filled in my impressions of Rausch, Biasucci, and Generosa from what I've been able to glean from PNB's video clips and rehearsal streams. What a wonderful ballet buffet :)

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