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 Post subject: Pacific Northwest Ballet: 2008-09 Season
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:46 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Pacific Northwest Ballet has announced its 2008-09 season. R. M. Campbell reports in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Seattle P-I


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:33 am 
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The "Romeo et Juliette" program insert urging early subscription renewal indicates that Jerome Robbins' "Dances at a Gathering" will be given its PNB premiere. No specific program date was mentioned. Definitely one of the programming highlights of the announced lineup.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:01 pm 
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PNB makes an appearance at the Bumbershoot Festival on Labor Day (Monday, September 1, 2008), 5:30 p.m. at the Bagley Wright Theatre (Seattle Repertory Theatre) on the Seattle Center campus. Bumbershoot admission fee required. The program includes new works by company members Kiyon Gaines and Jonathan Porretta, plus Twyla Tharp's "Nine Sinatra Songs." R. M. Campbell interviews soloist Lucien Postlewaite in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Seattle P-I


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:13 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA. USA
Bumbershoot Boosts Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet at Seattle’s Bumbershoot Arts Festival, 1 September 2008
Seattle Repertory Theatre

by Dean Speer

With only one chance to show its mettle, Pacific Northwest Ballet put together a one-hour program that fitted well within Bumbershoot’s mantra of variety and drive-through presentation of the arts.

Programming for any bill is part science, part art, and part voodoo. Are the presenter’s wishes being fulfilled? How do the pieces play off each other? Is everyone who needs to dance given at least one slot? Ditto casting. Notwithstanding, what do you want to say to the audience yourself, and when you do, how does that inform or shape their views of your art and of your profession in general?

The matrix of these considerations falls directly into the lap of a presenting organization’s artistic director. Even with sage and experienced advise from colleagues and staff, it ultimately boils down to one person making sound decisions that may affect many.

Such was the case with Peter Boal’s selection of the three works that represented PNB this year at Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival: “Nine Sinatra Songs” by Twyla Tharp – who was in residence at PNB, creating two new ballets; and two works by company members Jonathan Porretta, his “Lacrymosa” and “Interrupted Pri’Sh’Zh’En” by Kiyon Gaines.

The performances of each were among PNB’s best. The dancers looked fresh, refreshed, strong, together, and fully ready to tackle the assignments of this year’s quickly upcoming season that would begin in a few, short weeks.

“Nine Sinatra Songs” was the ‘biggest’ of the works, with seven couples. “Lacrymosa” is a brief pas de deux and Gaines’ work is for five men.

Each of the seven couples were well-cast and completely “on.” These included Kari Brunson and Karel Cruz; Ariana Lallone and Batkhurel Bold; Maria Chapman and James Moore; Carrie Imler and Jonthan Porretta; Carla Körbes and Jeffrey Stanton; Jodie Thomas and Josh Spell; and Kaori Nakamura and Olivier Wevers.

In “Lacrymosa,” Chalnessa Eames and Karel Cruz’s duet was one of remembrance. I liked how it began with her clutching his back and the two of them rocking back and forth, building into a walking pattern. Ultimately, he leaves and she is left alone with her life and thoughts.

In Kiyon Gaines’ work, anytime you put five superb male technicians and artists into the same room, let along the same piece, you’re going to enough energy and excitement to light up and power a small city. Even more so with crafted choreography and the likes of dancers Batkhurel Bold, Lucien Postlewaite, Benjamin Griffiths, James Moore, and Jordan Pacitti. I note, if I’m not mistaken, that with the exception of Bold, each is a former student of Boal at School of American Ballet.

Gaines knows how to use a motif effectively; in this case, a big step, almost a small leap and a thrust of the back leg into a sharp attitude. He also incorporates elements of popular Hip-Hop – arms at right angles that switch and invert. He fills the sections with many quick steps, concluding with one that allows each guy to “strut his stuff” with a short solo and then finishing with an ensemble finale but with each in their own special spotlight – a neat trick of honoring the individual but recognizing the whole at the same time.

The phrases, particularly the last half of the work, parcel out in fours. I mentally turned off and tuned out the sound score and tried counting what I was seeing visually, and it was phrasing in four. [Move, two, three , four, now new thing/phrase, two, three, four.] I believe he’d find it to be stronger to change phrases on the previous beat or “and,” rather than on one. Continuing to have movement phrases of four is fine, but shift where they begin in relation to the music, which would also “counter” the music.

My other observation is that I would have liked to have seen stage patterns that used more depth, particularly circles.

Gaines is a fresh choreographic voice and one that I hope continues to find and build strength.

Annually pushing through the teeming crowds of Bumbershoot to enjoy the oasis of PNB is definitely worth while and signals its adoring audience of the good things to come.

_________________
Dean Speer
ballet@u.washington.edu


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:07 pm 
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Principal Dancer Louise Nadeau will retire at the conclusion of the 2008-09 season. Marcie Sillman interviews Louise Nadeau on KUOW Radio -- here is an interview transcript:

KUOW


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:16 pm 
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A copy of the press release announcing Louise Nadeau's retirement:

Louise Nadeau Celebration

A Celebration of Louise Nadeau will be held on Sunday, June 7, 2009 at 6:30 p.m. in McCaw Hall.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:14 am 
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R. M. Campbell interviews Louise Nadeau regarding her retirement announcement in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Seattle P-I

A shorter piece by Moira Macdonald in the Seattle Times:

Seattle Times


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:41 am 
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Thanks once again, Francis, for your postings.

For all of us who were never fortunate enough to see Louise Nadeau perform live, she has been beautifully filmed on the Balanchine "Midsummer Night's Dream" video (Act II, Divertissement Pas de Deux).

Please take a look at my comments on her video performance, if you like, to see how 'Enchanted' I, for one, am with her dancing.

Ballet in The Americas...."A Midsummer Night's Dream"--"The Dream"
http://www.ballet-dance.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=32849


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:03 pm 
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On the first page of the Seattle Times' Sunday arts section for January 25, 2009, Moira Macdonald interviews Louise Nadeau:

Seattle Times


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:45 am 
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Thanks, Francis. I particularly like this part of the article.

"Nadeau mentions that she's now making photo notecards that are available in the PNB gift shop; what she doesn't say (but Boal does) is that she insisted that all proceeds go to PNB's Second Stage fund, not to her personally.

"That's evidence of the generous nature that pours from Nadeau onstage. She's the rare dancer that reaches out to an audience and embraces it, letting us be part of the beauty she's creating. "That's been so important to me, for my entire career: my connection with the audience," she said. "It's my favorite time, out there [on stage]. It makes me happy that whatever it is that I'm trying to express, I can share it with an audience; in some way, change their lives for that couple of hours that they're in a theater." "


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