PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET TO PERFORM AT JACOB'S PILLOW DANCE FESTIVAL
Artistic Director Peter Boal brings Pacific Northwest Ballet to Jacob's Pillow Dance
Festival for PNB's first East Coast tour under his direction
August 16 - 20, Ted Shawn Theatre
"This is an ensemble rich in talent." - John Rockwell, The New York Times (June 13,
SEATTLE - Pacific Northwest Ballet makes its debut at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival
this summer. The August 16-20 performances in Becket, Massachusetts, also mark PNB's
first East Coast tour under the artistic direction of Peter Boal.
"We are proud to bring Pacific Northwest Ballet to Jacob's Pillow," said Mr. Boal.
"Our talented artists and innovative repertoire are seldom seen outside of Seattle.
Performing at the Pillow allows us to show the excitement of the past year, my first
as Artistic Director."
Pacific Northwest Ballet is one of ten companies performing in the 620-seat Ted
Shawn Theatre during the 74th season of Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. The Company's
program will feature George Balanchine's Duo Concertant and three contemporary
works: Val Caniparoli's Lambarena, Paul Gibson's The Piano Dance, and Sonia Dawkins'
Ripple Mechanics. Program subject to change.
Mr. Boal will give a free talk prior to PNB's first performance at Jacob's Pillow.
On Wednesday, August 16, at 5:00 p.m., Mr. Boal will talk about his life and career
transitions and discuss what is ahead for the Company. A post-show Q&A discussion
with PNB artists will take place following the Thursday, August 17, performance in
the Ted Shawn Theatre.
Performance and Ticket Information for Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival
Ted Shawn Theatre
358 George Carter Road
Becket, MA 01223
Wednesday, August 16, 8:00 p.m. (with a pre-performance discussion with Mr. Boal)
Thursday, August 17, 8:00 p.m. (with a post-performance Q&A session)
Friday, August 18, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 19, 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 19, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 20, 2:00 p.m.
Tickets to PNB's appearance at Jacob's Pillow cost $45-$50 and may be purchased:
* By calling the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival Box Office at 413-243-0745 (open 7
days/week, 12:00 - 5:00 p.m. Eastern and until curtain up on show days)
* In person at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival Box Office at 358 George Carter
Road (open 7 days/week, 12:00 - 5:00 p.m. Eastern and until curtain up on show days)
* Online at www.jacobspillow.org
George Balanchine's Duo Concertant
Balanchine had long admired Igor Stravinsky's Duo Concertant and choreographed the
score as a pas de deux for New York City Ballet's historic 1972 Stravinsky Festival.
Presented by Balanchine on the occasion of Stravinsky's ninetieth birthday, the
week-long celebration of the music of Balanchine's longtime friend and collaborator
featured thirty-six scores and thirty-one ballets. NYCB principal dancers Kay Mazzo
and Peter Martins were the original cast of Duo Concertant.
Pacific Northwest Ballet's premiere production of Duo Concertant this past September
was staged by PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal. Following the premiere, R.M.
Campbell, dance critic for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, wrote: "Louise Nadeau, a
PNB principal dancer who was a classmate with Boal at the School of American Ballet
in New York [is] joined by Olivier Wevers ... All the attributes one has admired in
this superb dancer were clearly in evidence -- her musicality, her beautifully
finished phrases, her ability to couple warmth and lightness. Wevers, one of the
most talented and diverse dancers in the company, did his part with aplomb." Dean
Speer, in his review for Ballet-Dance Magazine also praised Nadeau: "Nadeau is
dancing better than ever. Her technique sets a high tone and her intelligent dancing
is always moving, always mercurial."
Mr. Boal has again selected Principal dancers Louise Nadeau and Olivier Wevers for
the opening night cast of Balanchine's Duo Concertant. Ms. Nadeau alternates the
role with Principal dancer Noelani Pantastico. The dancers will be accompanied by
PNB Company Pianist Dianne Chilgren and violinist Marjorie Kransberg-Talvi,
Concertmaster of Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra.
Val Caniparoli's Lambarena
Val Caniparoli's powerful and innovative Lambarena, choreographed for thirteen
dancers was inspired by a score of the same name that blends traditional African
rhythms and melodies with extended passages from Johann Sebastian Bach. In response
to this exciting and unusual piece of music, and seeking to make a "joyous
celebration of dancing," Caniparoli created an emotion-filled work in eight
movements that boldly merges the vocabularies of classical ballet and African dance.
Of the process, Caniparoli has said: "It would have been obvious to do classical
steps with the Bach and ethnic movement with the African. But the score is a
marriage of these two kinds of music, and I wanted to show that you can do either
kind of movement to both kinds of music." Caniparoli enlisted the distinguished
African dancers, teachers, and choreographers Zakariya Sao Diouf and Naomi Geo
Johnson-Washington as advisors to ensure the authenticity of the African influence.
Originally created for San Francisco Ballet in 1995 with a score by Pierre
Akendengué and Hughes de Courson, Lambarena received its PNB premiere in 1997 and
was last performed in Seattle in February 2005.
Sandra Kurtz, dance critic for Seattle Weekly, wrote, "Val Caniparoli's Lambarena is
a different kind of task, combining the mobile spine and swinging hips of African
dance with classical ballet. The company has performed this several times in the
past, and its ability to blend those elements has deepened with each repetition. The
stage is full of excellent dancing..."
Performing in Lambarena's leading roles are Principal dancers Ariana Lallone,
Noelani Pantastico, Christophe Maraval, Olivier Wevers, Batkhurel Bold, and corps de
ballet dancer Lesley Rausch. Completing the cast is soloist Carla Körbes and corps
de ballet dancers Chalnessa Eames, Kiyon Gaines, James Moore, Jordan Pacitti, Lucien
Postlewaite and Josh Spell. Ms. Lallone will perform the leading role which was
originated by Evelyn Cisneros, former prima ballerina at San Francisco Ballet. Ms.
Cisneros staged Pacific Northwest Ballet's performance of the work in 2005.
Paul Gibson's The Piano Dance
PNB Ballet Master and former Principal dancer Paul Gibson premiered his third
creation for PNB with The Piano Dance in 2005, a set of contrasting dances for four
couples accompanied by ten works for solo piano by Frederic Chopin, John Cage,
Gyorgy Ligeti, Bela Bartok, and Alberto Ginastera. Although the composers' careers
spanned more than a hundred years, Gibson sees in their works a common respect for
the expression of melody. He has devised a series of solos, duets, and pas de trois
for his dancers, set to music chosen for variety and for affinity to the dance
impulse. The Piano Dance offers a sharp contrast to Gibson's earlier works for PNB,
in which he favored large-scale orchestral scores and required big ensembles. This
new creation demonstrates his wish to convey the clarity of ballet performance in a
setting of intimate and brilliant miniatures.
Gigi Berardi of Dance Magazine offered the following praise: "Paul Gibson's The
Piano Dance was the evening's showstopper. [...] The piece opens with the dancers
silhouetted against the cyc, which changes its vivid colors and shape with each
movement. Each of 10 musical pieces presents a different mood. The synergy is
delightful. The dancers displayed musicality and ease with the demanding partnering
and pointe work."
The four couples Mr. Boal has selected for the Jacob's Pillow performances of The
Piano Dance include Principal dancers Louise Nadeau and Christophe Maraval,
Principal dancer Noelani Pantastico and corps de ballet dancer Lucien Postlewaite,
Principal dancer Kaori Nakamura and corps de ballet dancer Kiyon Gaines, and corps
de ballet dancers Chalnessa Eames and Josh Spell. PNB Company Pianist Dianne
Chilgren will accompany the dancers.
Sonia Dawkins' Ripple Mechanics
Sonia Dawkins choreographed Ripple Mechanics for Pacific Northwest Ballet's
Choreographers' Showcase in March 2005. The work is set to an eclectic compilation
of music by Nina Simone, Jacqueline Fuentes, and Matthew Segal, whose music and
lyrics tell of the importance of living for the moment and enjoying life's wonder,
but also offer a mournful interpretation of love. Likewise, the four dancers express
the forces of attraction and aversion within relationships.
Dean Speer of Ballet-Dance Magazine wrote, "Ripple Mechanics by Sonia Dawkins [...]
uses a modern dance aesthetic to explore her idea of how neutrons and electrons
interact. She uses the dancers very effectively, particularly [PNB Principal dancer]
Batkhurel Bold who is his own laser beam of dancing energy."
For Jacob's Pillow, Mr. Boal selected Batkhurel Bold to reprise his energetic
performance in Ripple Mechanics. Bold will be joined onstage by soloist Carla Körbes
and corps de ballet dancers James Moore and Kiyon Gaines.
About the Contemporary Choreographers
Val Caniparoli was born in Renton, Washington, and trained at San Francisco Ballet
School. Although he is most closely associated with San Francisco Ballet, his
artistic home for over 30 years, Caniparoli has contributed to the repertoires of
more than 35 companies nationally and internationally. He has also choreographed for
the Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, and Metropolitan Opera. Two of Mr.
Caniparoli's works were performed at Jacob's Pillow in prior seasons. In 1990,
Jacob's Pillow commissioned Johan Renvall and Stars of American Ballet's performance
of Ritual, set to the music of Alfred Schnittke. In 2004, Boston Ballet performed
the pas de deux from Lady of the Camellias at Jacob's Pillow. Mr. Caniparoli's
longtime association with Pacific Northwest Ballet began in 1980, when he created
Street Songs for the Company's Summer Inventions series, and followed 11 years later
with a work called Gran Partita. In 1997, Mr. Caniparoli choreographed The Bridge
for PNB's Silver Anniversary Season. In 2001, he created Torque for PNB. Torque is
one of the featured works scheduled for the final week of PNB's three-week-long
Celebrate Seattle Festival, which will take place April 5-22, 2007. One of the most
popular ballets in PNB's repertory is Caniparoli's Lambarena.
Originally from Altoona, Pennsylvania, Paul Gibson danced for San Francisco Ballet
and Pacific Northwest Ballet, where he became a principal dancer. Immediately upon
his retirement in June 2004, he was named Assistant Ballet Master. In July 2005, he
was promoted to Ballet Master. Mr. Gibson's work has included three world premieres
for PNB (The Piano Dance, 2005; Rush, 2002; Diversions, 1998). Gibson's E.R.A.R.,
created at The New York Choreographic Institute, received its Seattle premiere at
PNB's Choreographers' Showcase in April 2003. A new work by Mr. Gibson will receive
its world premiere April 20-22, 2007, during the final week of PNB's Celebrate
Seattle Festival. Gibson has also choreographed works for San Francisco Ballet
School, the San Francisco Ballet Choreographic Workshop, and the Allegheny Ballet
Sonia Dawkins is the founder and artistic director of the Seattle-based Sonia
Dawkins/Prism Dance Theatre and artist-in-residence at the Duke Ellington School of
the Arts in Washington, D.C. She has taught at Hudson Repertory in Jersey City, New
Jersey; Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia; and University City Arts League in
Philadelphia. Ms. Dawkins has danced with the National Dance Company of Jamaica and
with independent choreographers in New York and Philadelphia. She has served as a
guest artist at many universities, including Cornish College of the Arts and the
University of Oklahoma. Ms. Dawkins is a faculty member of Pacific Northwest Ballet
School. Her teaching and choreography are based on Jamaican folk dancing, Graham,
Horton, classical ballet, and tap dance and address the artistic, social, religious,
and political dimensions of the human experience. Ms. Dawkins' choreography has been
presented by Pacific Northwest Ballet, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Arc Dance, Sonia
Dawkins/Prism Dance Theatre, and Youth American Grand Prix.
About Pacific Northwest Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet, one of the largest and most highly regarded ballet
companies in the United States, was founded in 1972. On July 1, 2005, Peter Boal
assumed the role of Artistic Director, succeeding Kent Stowell and Francia Russell,
Co-Artistic Directors of PNB since 1977. The Company of forty-three dancers presents
over 100 performances each year of full-length and mixed repertory ballets at Marion
Oliver McCaw Hall and on tour. The Company has toured to Europe, Australia, Taiwan,
Hong Kong, Canada, and throughout the United States, with celebrated appearances in
Washington D.C. and New York City.
Founded in 1974, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, under the direction of Francia
Russell from 1977 to 2005, and now under the direction of Peter Boal, is nationally
recognized as setting the standard for ballet training, offering a complete
professional curriculum to over 950 students. The School and Company also provide
comprehensive dance education to the greater Seattle area reaching over 10,000
adults and children each year through DanceChance, Discover Dance, and other
outreach programs and activities.
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Judy Kitzman, Media Relations Manager
Pacific Northwest Ballet
301 Mercer Street, Seattle, WA 98109
direct 206-441-2426 / firstname.lastname@example.org
fax 206-441-2440 / front desk 206-441-9411