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 Post subject: Pacific Northwest Ballet Opening Gala: September 17, 2005
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 1:37 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Pacific Northwest Ballet's Opening Gala performance will be held on Saturday, September 17, 2005. This will be a rare opportunity to see Artistic Director Peter Boal partner Louise Nadeau in Balanchine's "Duo Concertant." General Admission tickets are available to the performance for $60. There are also a variety of other packages available, including a post-performance supper and dancing. Here is a link to the information on PNB's website:

PNB 2005 Gala


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:46 am 
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In the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, R. M. Campbell interviews Principal Dancer Louise Nadeau about learning and rehearsing Balanchine's "Duo Concertant" with new Artistic Director Peter Boal:

Louise Nadeau interview


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 6:44 pm 
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Some quick impressions of the gala: the company in general did not look as tight as I last saw them in June, but I guess that's to be expected after a summer lay off. Diamonds pas de deux was really weird-looking and awkward, and I'm glad they have until June to work on it. Part of the reason may have been the miscasting of the partners with the huge Stanko Milov making the normally long-limbed Patricia Barker look like a small version of herself.

I didn't enjoy Red Angels except for Lesley Rausch's energetic performance. The attacks were too soft-edged and the movement unphrased so it seemed unmusical. The only other time I'd seen this work was on the last NYCB broadcast of their Diamond Project choreography.

The show started hitting its stride after intermission. Olivier Wevers and especially Louise Nadeau gave nice performances and had good chemistry between them. Peter Boal was originally slated to dance this with Nadeau but a last-minute injury took him out of it except for a "cameo" appearance in the last movement. I wish he hadn't done the cameo because Wevers came out poorer in the comparison, as Boal's dancing made me wish for seeing him dance instead of Wevers.

Symphony in 3 movements was a showpiece for the corps, which acquited itself well, but could still tighten up their ensemble work a bit more. I enjoyed the soloists' work as they (especially Kaori Nakamura and Jonathan Porretta) were more energetic, and had the necessary attack to match the music.

Speaking of the music, the musicians did their usual splendid job. There were a couple of clams from the horns in Diamonds, but they improved throughout the night and ended with a knockout performance of Symphony in 3 movements.

--Andre


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2005 9:38 am 
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R. M. Campbell reviews the Gala in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Seattle P-I


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 6:35 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA. USA
Thanking Our Lucky Stars
Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Opening Gala – “Soirée”
Saturday, September 17, 2005

by Dean Speer

There are galas and then there are Galas. PNB’s latest edition was one of the latter. An elegant and fun evening among ballet friends and supporters, it showcased three complete ballets and one excerpt from this coming season’s reportoire.

Displaying Balanchine’s 1967 choreography of the “Diamonds” pas de deux from his full-length abstract ballet, “Jewels,” Patricia Barker and Stanko Milov were glittering gems themselves in this homage to Petipa and Tchaikovsky. Exhibiting tensile strength yet languid in the many unique partnering shapes that Balanchine created, Barker looked completely in command of her considerable technique, star presence and rich stage experience. Milov has continued to grow in stature as an artist with PNB and it’s nice to see him given the challenge of this pas. The two were unfolding the choreography for us and I cannot wait to see them and additional casts when the complete ballet graces the boards next June.

Staged by Peter Boal, “Red Angels” by Ulysses Dove is also one of PNB’s latest acquisitions. Dancing with fierce intensity and focus were two principal dancers and two corps members: Ariana Lallone, Olivier Wevers, Lesley Rausch, and Jordan Pacitti. I liked Dove’s exploration of finding new motifs – a hip thrust out there, the ribs in isolation here. Truly his was a modern dance aesthetic which he fused with the ballet idiom. Violinist Mary Rowell gave an impassioned reading of Richard Einhorn’s score for electric violin which is titled “Maxwell’s Demon.” Perhaps this was the genesis for Dove’s thinking about what and who the red angels were.

Balanchine’s morceau of a ballet, “Duo Concertant” was a joy to see with not four but five cast members: The two musicians and two dancers – Louise Nadeau and Mr. Wevers with Peter Boal making a cameo appearance in the second and spotlighted section of its dramatic and unexpected ending. Originally slated to appear in this ballet all the way through with Ms. Nadeau – one of this classmates from SAB – Boal sustained an injury in Company Class the day before that prevented him from doing so. He was heartily cheered as he stepped in, replacing Wevers for this last bit.

As Margot Fonteyn once said about “Swan Lake,” “Everything about it is big.” The same can easily be said for Balanchine’s 1972 work to a score by his colleague and friend Stravinksy – “Symphony in Three Movements.” Also a welcome new addition to PNB, it is replete with big gestures and movement. From start to finish, we are treated to a sharp images and tableaux that really push and test the limits of the stage space. Each of the dancers looked great and especially notable were the principals, paired in three couples: Carrie Imeler with Jonathan Porretta; Kaori Nakamura with Jeffrey Stanton; and Noelani Pantastico with Batkhurel Bold. It’s an exciting ballet to an equally exciting score. Visually, it’s a modern painting come to ballet life.

Following the onstage concert, there was an elegant dinner onstage for patrons where guests got to mingle with the dancers and staff of PNB.

A well-planned and fun evening for everyone and a great way to launch PNB’s 2005-06 season and of Mr. Boal’s first as its artistic head.

_________________
Dean Speer
ballet@u.washington.edu


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 Post subject: PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 6:51 pm 
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Location: Irvine, CA
I am a long time fan of NYCB, spending maybe a month out of every year in NY, during their Winter and Spring seasons (traveling from my Southern California home). So I am well acquainted with Peter Boal not only as a dancer, but also from interviews, commentary, etc, from various sources, have some appreciation of his stature generally in the dance world. I have to say that PNB made a great choice in selecting Mr Boal as their new Artistic Director. As a dancer, Mr. Boal's permormances were memorable. I can still see him in my mind's eye, in Dances at a Gathering (brown), Apollo (especially his farewell performance), Duo Concertante (with Yvonne Bouree), Agon, and many others. I know he will be very successful transmitiing his artistic vision to the PNB company.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:16 pm 
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I took a personal break from watching, performing, or being involved in dance for most of the summer to get rejuvenated, so it was a treat to be able to open my dance-fast, so to speak, with a gala by a high calibre company with a tight orchestra and a theater designed for ballet and music!

I second Andre's comments however that the performances on opening night were not at PNB's typically consistent high level of quality. And just like Andre, the one performance that sticks out in my mind is that of corps member Lesley Rausch in "Red Angels."

The champagne was nice too.


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