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PETER BOAL LEADS PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET IN THE GROUP'S FIRST EAST COAST
APPEARANCE IN TEN YEARS
Becket, MA-Peter Boal, who won audiences' hearts for 22 years as a principal
dancer with the New York City Ballet, now directs the Pacific Northwest
Ballet, which performs for the first time on the East Coast since 1996 at
Jacob's Pillow August 16-20. The program in the Ted Shawn Theatre includes
the Balanchine masterwork Duo Concertant, and three contemporary ballets.
The critically lauded 2004 appearance in the Ted Shawn Theatre of his own
ensemble Peter Boal & Company showed that this extraordinary performer is
also an outstanding artistic director, and Boal was shortly appointed to the
leadership of the much larger 34-year old Seattle-based company. Says Boal,
"We are proud to bring Pacific Northwest Ballet to Jacob's Pillow. 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 has
been called "a company of rare abilities" by Clement Crisp in London's
Financial Times. In a related free event on Wednesday, August 16 at 5pm,
Peter Boal discusses his career and where his new directorship is taking the
company. For a glimpse of Pacific Northwest Ballet, watch the 2006 season
overview video at www.jacobspillow.org
Performance and Ticket Information for Pacific Northwest Ballet: Evening
performances are Wednesday, August 16 through Saturday, August 19 at 8pm,
with matinées on Saturday, August 19 and Sunday, August 20 at 2pm. Tickets
are $50 each, with a 10% discount available for seniors, students, and youth
age 13 and under. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Box Office at
413.243.0745, faxing orders to 413.243.0749, or ordering online at
. Jacob's Pillow is located on George Carter Road in
Becket, MA, 10 minutes east on Route 20 from Mass Pike Exit 2.
Pacific Northwest Ballet's program includes the George Balanchine
masterpiece Duo Concertant, The Piano Dance by PNB Ballet Master Paul
Gibson, Ripple Mechanics by Sonia Dawkins, and the unabashedly uplifting
Lambarena by Val Caniparoli. Leading off the program is company Ballet
Master Paul Gibson's The Piano Dance. Featuring live accompaniment,
Gibson's third work for the company dates from 2005 and sets contemporary
ballet movement on four couples dancing to diverse piano works by Frédéric
Chopin, John Cage, Gyorgy Ligeti, Béla Bartók, and Alberto Ginastera.
composers' careers span more than a hundred years, Gibson has said that he
sees in their works a common respect for the expression of melody. In Dance
magazine, Gigi Berardi wrote that the work was "the evening's showstopper."
With its fleet impulse and thrilling changes of direction, Gibson's work is
an ideal one for a company whose heritage owes so much to Balanchine.
Originally from Altoona, Pennsylvania, Paul Gibson danced with San Francisco
Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet, where he became a principal dancer.
Gibson has also choreographed works for San Francisco Ballet School, the San
Francisco Ballet Choreographic Workshop, and the Allegheny Ballet Company.
In July 2005, a year after his retirement from performing with the company,
Gibson was promoted to Ballet Master.
Choreographed to Stravinsky's score of the same name, Balanchine's Duo
Concertant was first seen as part of New York City Ballet's historic 1972
Stravinsky Festival, with Kay Mazzo and Peter Martins originating the roles.
Following Pacific Northwest Ballet's premiere of the work in 2005, R.M.
Campbell wrote in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "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." These two dancers will be seen in Duo
Concertant at the Pillow for a number of performances, including opening
Made for Pacific Northwest Ballet's Choreographers' Showcase in 2005, Sonia
Dawkins' Ripple Mechanics is a dynamic interpretation of the unpredictable
forces at work in romantic relationships. Set to an eclectic mix of songs by
Nina Simone, Jacqueline Fuentes, and Matthew Segal, Dawkins' four dancers
charge through "a modern dance aesthetic to explore her idea of how neutrons
and electrons interact. She uses the dancers very effectively, particularly
Batkhurel Bold who is his own laser beam of dancing energy" (Dean Speer,
Ballet-Dance Magazine). The founder and artistic director of the
Seattle-based Sonia Dawkins/Prism Dance Theatre, Dawkins is the
artist-in-residence at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C.
She is currently on the faculty of Pacific Northwest Ballet School and is a
2000 alumna of The School at Jacob's Pillow.
One of the most popular works in Pacific Northwest Ballet's entire
repertory, Lambarena is for thirteen dancers whose joyousness is equal only
to the intricacy of their steps. Inspired by a score of the same name that
blends traditional African rhythms and melodies with extended passages from
works by J.S. Bach, choreographer Caniparoli has said that the work aims to
be a "joyous celebration of dancing," and that "Lambarena smiles out at the
audience." In keeping with the score's merging of the vocabularies of
classical and African forms, Caniparoli enlisted as advisors Zakariya Sao
Diouf and Naomi Geo Johnson-Washington, two dancers, teachers, and
choreographers of African dance. Originally created for San Francisco
Ballet in 1995, Lambarena received its Pacific Northwest Ballet premiere two
years later. 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 thirty years, Caniparoli
has contributed to the repertories of more than 35 companies nationally and
internationally. He has also choreographed for the Chicago Lyric Opera, San
Francisco Opera, and Metropolitan Opera. Two Caniparoli works have
previously been seen at the Pillow: in 1990, Jacob's Pillow commissioned
Ritual for Johan Renvall and the Stars of American Ballet, and in 2004,
Boston Ballet performed the pas de deux from Lady of the Camellias, also in
the Ted Shawn Theatre.
Founded in 1972, Pacific Northwest Ballet is one of the largest ballet
companies in the United States. In the summer of 2005, Peter Boal assumed
the role of Artistic Director, succeeding Kent Stowell and Francia Russell,
also former dancers with New York City Ballet and Co-Artistic Directors of
PNB since 1977. Now numbering forty-three dancers, the company in the past
has toured to Europe, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada, and throughout
the United States, with previous critically lauded appearances in Washington
D.C. and New York City. The company's affiliated school was founded in
Free Events at the Pillow This Week
PillowTalks in Blake's Barn: On Wednesday, August 16 at 5pm, Peter Boal, the
Artistic Director of Pacific Northwest Ballet, discusses his career and
where his new directorship is taking the company. Saturday, August 19 at
4pm, two performers from different traditions and cultures, Liz Lea and
Livia Vanaver, discuss the pioneering influence of Ruth St. Denis, who made
her New York debut exactly 100 years ago.
Inside/Out performances at 6:30pm: Wednesday, August 16, the group
Choreftes, from Athens, makes its first performances in the United States,
in a Doris Duke Studio Theatre preview. Thursday, August 17, the New York
choreographer Colleen Thomas shows her atmospheric and physically demanding
dances. Friday, August 18, Liz Lea, renowned for her interpretations of the
repertory of Ruth St. Denis, returns from England with her spiritual dances.
Saturday, August 19, in The School's final performance on Inside/Out for the
season, dancers in the Jazz program show work from a range of Broadway
Ongoing Free Events include: Ted Shawn First, the first overview exhibition
ever mounted at the Pillow on the Festival's influential founder, in Blake's
Barn; Philip Trager: A Pillow Retrospective, featuring insightful images
from this master of portraiture, in the Ted Shawn Theatre lobby; Basil
Childers, with work from a
rising star of the international dance photography scene, in the Doris Duke
Studio Theatre lobby; Picturing Shawn, a survey of two-dimensional
depictions of the man by diverse artists, in the Reading Room at Blake's
Barn; and the latest Highlights of the Collection, on view in the venerable
Bakalar Studio whenever rehearsals and classes are not in session.
Jacob's Pillow is located in the town of Becket in the Berkshire Hills of
Western Massachusetts. The Pillow was originally the Carter family farm in
the 1700s, and in the 1800s served as a station on the Underground Railroad.
Its pioneering spirit was furthered in 1933, when legendary dancer, teacher,
and choreographer Ted Shawn founded the Festival as a showcase for his
company of Men Dancers and as a home for dance in the U.S.
Jacob's Pillow now encompasses an acclaimed international Festival (the
first and longest-running dance festival in the U.S.), a professional
School, rare and extensive Archives open to the public free of charge, an
Intern Program, year-round Community Programs, and a Creative Development
Residency program. The historic site includes 161 acres, 31 buildings,
three unique stages (including the first theater in the U.S. built
specifically for dance), three dance studios, exhibition spaces,
restaurants, the Pillow Store, residential housing, administrative offices,
a health center, gardens, trails, and woodlands.
The Pillow presents dance from all over the world in all forms, styles, and
traditions, plus approximately 200 free events each season, including
performances, lectures, tours, film showings, exhibits, and talks with
artists from all over the world, which attract approximately 80,000 visitors
Pillow Founder Ted Shawn was instrumental in beginning the careers of Martha
Graham and Jack Cole, and the Pillow has continued this mentoring role by
providing early opportunities to artists such as Alvin Ailey, José Limón,
and Mark Morris. Companies such as Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Parsons
Dance Company have been seen at the Pillow for the first time anywhere, and
international groups such as The Royal Danish Ballet and Nederlands Dans
Theater have made their U.S. debuts here. World premieres have been
commissioned from masters such as Merce Cunningham and Paul Taylor, and
legendary artists such as Margot Fonteyn and Mikhail Baryshnikov have been
showcased in new works.
In 2003, Jacob's Pillow was declared a National Historic Landmark by the
federal government as "an exceptional cultural venue that holds value for
all Americans." It is the first and only dance entity in the U.S. to
achieve this honor. The Pillow looks forward to celebrating its 75th
anniversary in 2007, and has launched its first endowment campaign, The Fund
for Jacob's Pillow, to help ensure its eminence and longevity for others to
enjoy in years to come.
Major support for Jacob's Pillow, as of April 2006, has been provided by:
The Dana Foundation; The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation; Francis Alexander
Family Fund; The Harkness Foundation for Dance; The William and Flora
Hewlett Foundation; The Leir Charitable Trusts in memory of Henry J. Leir;
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Mertz Gilmore Foundation; Evelyn Stefansson
Nef Foundation; The William J. and Dorothy K. O'Neill Foundation; The
Prospect Hill Foundation; The Ira M. Resnick Foundation; The Ridgefield
Foundation; The Shubert Foundation, Inc.; The Starr Foundation;
Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency; National Endowment for the
Arts; U.S. Department of Education; ALEX®; Altria Group, Inc.; American
Express Philanthropic Program, Ameriprise Financial, Inc.; Berkshire Bank
Foundation; Canon, U.S.A., Inc.; TD Banknorth Charitable Foundation; The
Pillow Business Alliance; and Jacob's Pillow Members.
Jacob's Pillow is funded in part by the National Dance Project of the New
England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from Doris Duke
Charitable Foundation. Additional funding provided by The Ford Foundation
and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Major endowment support is provided by The Barrington Foundation, Inc.; The
William Randolph Hearst Foundation; Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state
agency; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Onota Foundation; The Prospect Hill
Foundation; and the Talented Students in the Arts Initiative, a
collaboration of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Surdna
Foundation; and Jacob's Pillow Members.