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Pacific Northwest Ballet

Inaugural Gala, ‘Fanfare of Feathers’:   excerpts from ‘Swan Lake,’ ‘Nutcracker,’ Sleeping Beauty,’ ‘Golden Cockerel,’ and ‘Silver Lining’

by Francis Timlin

September 20, 2003 – Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, Seattle

The program, much like the cuisine, was comprised of hors d'oeuvres designed to tantalize the audience into returning over the course of the season. The "overture" was the opening music of “Swan Lake,” Act III, followed by the waltz of the six princesses. This provided a foretaste of the Paul Tazewell costume designs; in this case, antique gold lace and brocade with gold trim. The set (which remained for the entire evening) was a part of the Ming Cho Lee Act III set -- a border of columns set slightly off center.

A series of pas de deux and solo turns followed, beginning with the “Firebird” Pas de Deux in which Patricia Barker and Jeffrey Stanton displayed their polished partnering skills. This was immediately followed (without curtain) by Louise Nadeau and Christophe Maraval in the White Swan Pas de Deux. It was good to see these two performers back on stage in lead roles following periods of rehabilitation for both.

Ariana Lallone performed one of her signature turns as the Peacock in “Nutcracker,” and the Cygnets were well matched in the ensuing “Swan Lake,” Act II Pas de Quatre.   Jodie Thomas and Le Yin performed admirably in an abbreviated version (first and last sections only -- no variations) of the Blue Bird Pas de Deux from “The Sleeping Beauty.”

The big surprise of the evening, however, was the Black Swan Pas de Deux. I had been puzzling over the listing of two couples, Carrie Imler and Batkhurel Bold and Kaori Nakamura and Olivier Wevers. Were they going to perform it twice? Or, somehow come up with a tag-team version?

I understand that none of the performers knew exactly what to expect until the previous day. What happened was this: Imler and Bold performed the opening waltz sequence, both displaying their remarkable elevation. At the "adagio" point in the score, Nakamura and Wevers entered, Imler and Bold exited. Nakamura and Wevers completed a smoldering adagio. Bold then returned for the male variation and Imler for the female variation. For the coda, it was Nakamura   and Wevers, with Nakamura executing the 32 fouettés with a double on every fourth turn. Imler   and Bold returned for a dual final tableau. Perhaps it "should not" have worked, but in the context of the occasion, it worked very well, indeed.

Rimsky-Korsakov's Overture to “The Golden Cockerel” provided cover for the full company’s   costume change for the evening's finale from “Silver Lining.” It was genuinely thrilling to see the entire company onstage in unison, with feather boas complementing the evening's feather motif.

Casting:

Overture to “The Golden Cockerel” (Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov), PNB Orchestra.

Act III Waltz from “Swan Lake” (Kent Stowell)
Prince: Stanko Milov
Princesses: Maria Chapman, Kylee Kitchens, Stacy Lowenberg, Lesley Rausch, Rachel Foster, Alison Basford

Solo and Pas de Deux from “Firebird” (Kent Stowell)
Firebird: Patricia Barker
Prince: Jeffrey Stanton

Act II White Swan Pas de Deux from “Swan Lake” (Kent Stowell)
Odette: Louise Nadeau
Prince: Christophe Maraval

Act II Peacock (Arabian) Solo from “Nutcracker” (Kent Stowell/Maurice Sendak)
Ariana Lallone

Act II Cygnets Pas de Quatre from “Swan Lake” (Kent Stowell)
Chalnessa Eames, Mara Vinson, Tempe Ostergren, Kara Zimmerman

Act III Bluebird Pas de Deux from “Sleeping Beauty” (Ronald Hynd)
Jodie Thomas and Le Yin

Act III Black Swan Pas de Deux from “Swan Lake” (Kent Stowell)
Odile: Kaori Nakamura/Carrie Imler
Prince: Olivier Wevers/Batkhurel Bold

Finale from “Silver Lining” (Kent Stowell)
Principals:
Patricia Barker and Jeffrey Stanton;
Noelani Pantastico and Christophe Maraval;
Jodie Thomas and Olivier Wevers;
Ariana Lallone and Stanko Milov;
Carrie Imler and Batkhurel Bold;
Louise Nadeau and Paul Gibson;
Alexandra Dickson, Stacy Lowenberg and Kylee Kitchens;
Jonathan Porretta, Mara Vinson and Tempe Ostergren

Solo Couples:
Melanie Skinner and Oleg Gorboulev;
Maria Chapman and Casey Herd

Corps de Ballet:
Lindsi Dec and Nicholas Ade;
Rebecca Johnston and Karel Cruz;
Chalnessa Eames and Kiyon Gaines;
Brittany Reid and Cornell Callender;
Kara Zimmerman and Kevin Kong;
Alison Basford and Jordan Pacitti;
Kari Brunson and Josh Spell;
Rachel Foster and Lucien Postelwaite;
Lesley Rausch and Andrei Vassiliev;
Erin Joseph and Joshua Grant.

For a report on Pacific Northwest Ballet's Panel Discussion: 'Dancing Odette/Odile:   Ballet’s Great Dual Role’ click here.

For a report of Pacific Northwest Ballet's "Swan Lake" Preview Rehearsal, click here.

 

Edited by Jeff.

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