CriticalDance Forum

Pacific Northwest Ballet 2013-14
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Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Pacific Northwest Ballet 2013-14

Moira Macdonald reports on some possibilities for the 2013-14 season in the Seattle Times.

Seattle Times

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pacific Northwest Ballet 2013-14

Marcie Sillman interviews corps member Andrew Bartee.

Marcie Sillman blog

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pacific Northwest Ballet 2013-14

Principal dancer Kaori Nakamura will retire at the end of the 2013-14 season. Moira Macdonald reports for the Seattle Times.

Seattle Times

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pacific Northwest Ballet 2013-14

In the Peninsula Daily News, Diane Urbani de la Paz reports on the filming of a work by choreographer Andrew Bartee celebrating how it feels to be in the environment at Olympic National Park -- specifically the Marymere Falls trail uphill of Lake Crescent. The work is part of a series, "The Face of America," to be shown on August 27, 2014 at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Virginia.

Peninsula Daily News

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri May 30, 2014 12:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pacific Northwest Ballet 2013-14

Marcie Sillman writes about the impending retirement of principal dancer Kaori Nakamura for KUOW Radio.


Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri May 30, 2014 2:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pacific Northwest Ballet 2013-14

Florangela Davila writes a tribute to Kaori Nakamura for Crosscut.


Author:  Francis Timlin [ Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pacific Northwest Ballet 2013-14

Philippa Kiraly reviews the Sunday, June 8, 2014 performance of the Season Encore program for the Sun Break.

Sun Break

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pacific Northwest Ballet 2013-14

In the Financial Times, Rosie Gaynor reviews Kaori Nakamura's performance in the Season Encore program.

Financial Times

Author:  Dean Speer [ Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pacific Northwest Ballet 2013-14

New Careers and Cheers
Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Season Encore Program
Sunday Evening, 8 June 2014, McCaw Hall, Seattle

by Dean Speer

There are comings and goings, those starting a career, retirements, and then there are a handful that give us pause. One of the latter has been the long-announced retirement of Pacific Northwest Ballet Principal Dancer Kaori Nakamura, following 17 years here and seven years at Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Each of the excerpted ballets that she danced on the Season Encore program was very well chosen and showcased a different aspect of her abilities. The Rose Adagio from “Sleeping Beauty” was a particularly apt conclusion to this brilliant career. It showed off her innate sweetness, good nature, abundant technical resources, thrilling balances, and how this artist can build a phrase.

First seen in Act IV’s bittersweet pas de deux with Seth Orza, this white swan nugget allowed us to enjoy depth of feeling and the tragedy that comprises “Swan Lake,” while the Balcony scene from Maillot’s rendition of “Romeo et Juliette” showed us, with James Moore, youthful playfulness in discovering love for the first time and its conflicting emotions and desires.

The program began with Susan Stroman’s 2008 “TAKE FIVE...More or Less” and I was impressed at how well it’s held up since its premiere during PNB’s Laugh Out Loud Festival, being more than a one-off for the original cast, especially surviving the later departure of Noelani Pantastico.

I was happy to see again last Fall’s “Emergence” by Canadian dance maker Crystal Pite. I found this work to also have held up well upon second viewing and enjoyed its structure – building through several sections [duos, short solos, small groups of alternating men and women and then, one large group “buzzing”] its trajectory of a couple of dancers leaving the hive at the end through a tube – a scenic element used to great effect.

The program included both verbal and video expressions of recognition and thanks – not only for Nakamura but also for retiring executive director D. David Brown and departing dancers Andrew Bartee and Liora Neuville. Nakamura received many single flowers from not only former dancing partners but many female Company members, Kent Stowell and Francia Russell, plus her former husband and longtime dancing partner and probably her number-one fan, Olivier Wevers – who after giving her a big hug, forgot to give her his flower – of which she reminded him. Laughing, he gave it to her. It was all very sweet and a great send-off. I was also charmed by her parents who came on stage and bowed to the audience in the Japanese way and by her young daughter who is far too young to completely comprehend her mom’s retirement and its significance but whose cute factor was way off the charts, much to the delight of the audience.

Accompanying everything but “Emergence,” the mighty PNB Orchestra was led by maestri Emil de Cou, Allan Dameron and Ian Eisendrath.

It’s comforting to know that Nakamura is joining the PNB School faculty – how wonderful that she’ll have opportunities to pass along her considerable knowledge, experience, technical prowess, and artistry. I’m confident she’ll be as devoted to this aspect of her career as she has been to performing.

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