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Monthly Archives: September 2010

  • To Japan, With Love - The Australian Ballet's International Tour

    Danielle Rowe; Photo courtesy:


    Thanks our friends at (Australian Ballet's fabulous blog!), we've learned that The Australian Ballet is preparing "to embark on its 31st international tour to perform Graeme Murphy’s smash-hits Nutcracker – The Story of Clara and Swan Lake in Tokyo and Nagoya, Japan." The company leaves home on October 4th and will perform seven shows across the ocean--six in Tokyo, one in Nagoya. Click here to check out their fun interview featuring principal dancer, Danielle Rowe to learn all about it!

  • Cynthia Gregory-Nevada Ballet Theatre's Newest Adviser

    Cynthia Gregory as Odette and Ted Kivitt as Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake. Photo by Martha Swope


    Okay, how many of you dancers out there grew up absolutely adoring Cynthia Gregory? {I know I certainly did!} Well check this out: she's just been named Nevada Ballet Theatre's newest Artistic Adviser.  “I hope to inspire the young students in the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre and enhance the already great work the company is doing under the direction of (artistic director) James Canfield,” Gregory said in the release. “It will be wonderful to have a beautiful facility that I can call home, where I can continue to coach dancers, stage ballets and teach master classes.” ~ Cynthia Gregory, Las Vegas Review-Journal.  You can soak up the rest of this newsy tidbit here.

  • 8th Against the Grain/Men in Dance Festival

    Dioscuri photo by Colleen Dishy, dancers Danny Boulet, Sylvain Boulet, choreographer Donald Byrd.


    Attention Seattle dance fans! There's still time to purchase tickets to the oh-so-fabulous Men In Dance Festival! The biennial treat opens this weekend and is shaping up to be its best year yet! Check out the press release below for more details. {PS: We'll be there on opening night...will you?}




     (Seattle, WA) The 8th biennial Men In Dance (MID) Festival will be held at Broadway Performance Hall on the Seattle Central Community College Campus (1625 Broadway Seattle, WA 98122, (206)325-3113).  The festival will run October 8th & 9th at 8PM, 10th at 2PM and 15th & 16th at 8PM, 17th at 2PM.  Ticket price ranges from $12 to $20.  Tickets can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006.  Credit card purchases through Brown Paper Tickets.  Cash and check sales only at the door. 


    As the longest running dance festival in Seattle, MID brings together a broad cross-section of dance. From the genres of classical ballet, modern and tap, to the most current contemporary techniques including, spoken word and site specific work it’s all encompassing.  This powerful showcase will present new upcoming choreographic talent from Pacific Northwest Ballet, Cornish College of the Arts, and The University of Washington as well as some of our strongest choreographers from past festivals.  For the first time MID will expanded it’s reach past the Seattle area to bring in dancers from the Portland, OR based company Northwest Dance Project (Artistic Director Sarah Slipper) to perform a work created by one of our favorite past choreographers Gérard Théorêt.     


    Returning choreographers of note:  Donald Byrd, Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater, known for his thought provoking work will be premiering a new piece choreographed for Peter Boal, Artistic Director of Pacific Northwest Ballet.  Noted in 2008’s festival for his duet "Dioscuri" (inspired by the Greek myth of twin brothers Castor and Pollux) Michael Upchurch at the Seattle Times said the piece was a “sense of being immersed in a world at once rivalrous, tender and hermetic”.  Also returning to the festival will be Olivier Wevers, Pacific Northwest Ballet Principal Dancer and Director/Founder of the contemporary dance company Whim W'Him.  Fresh from his company’s premier last year, Wevers brings a new era of collaboration and artistry with his choreography that is sure to set the bar for the festival.  One of the founding female choreographers, Deborah Wolf, Professor of Dance at Cornish College of the Arts, will be returning to premier a new piece.  Wolf has received acclaim for her 2008 festival submission “The Hip Deep Family” inspired by the gothic humor of illustrator Edward Gorey, by being picked as one of the finalists at On The Boards A.W.A.R.D. Show!, produced by the Joyce Theater Foundation. 


    New choreographers to note: Sonia Dawkins Director/Founder of Sonia Dawkins Prism Dance Theatre will have her premier at the festival this year.  Dawkins is known for explosive powerful movement with rhythm, speed and clarity of intention.  She will create a new piece for five male artists that focus on the “Voices of a Male”.  Also new to the festival this year is Barry Kerollis; dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet.  Kerollis has been showcased three times at PNB’s annual Choreographer’s Showcase, and has already been noted for his work being “poignant, thrilling, architectural looking and momentum building”.  Kerollis will create a new piece for the MID festival that is inspired by a Brazilian instrumental group.  David Lorence Schleiffers, graduate of the University of Washington and Artistic Director/Resident Choreographer of Quark Contemporary Dance Theatre, will make his debut with our festival this year.  He will be reworking a former piece that looks at multiple aspects of male interaction including playfulness, friendship and a need for affection. 

    Our complete list of choreographers is as follows: Week 1 - Donald Byrd, Barry Kerolis, Cheryl Johnson, Wade Madsen, Jason Ohlberg, David Lorence Schlieffers, Eva Stone, Alia Swersky, Olivier Wevers, Deborah Wolf.  Week 2: Sonia Dawkins, Louis Gervais, Cheryl Johnson, Geoffrey Johnson, Jason Ohlberg, Christian Swenson, Alia Swersky, Gérard Théorêt, Markeith Wiley, Deborah Wolf. 


    As part of our community outreach, MID will be hosting a cross promotional ticket exchange with other performance venues.  In order to support all the great performances in the Seattle area we will offer discounted ticket prices for audience members that show a ticket stub from a participating performance group during the time of our performances.  Another way we are giving back to our community is by participating in the first Arts Crush.  This new month long festival will connect artists and audience with invigoration new experiences at hundreds of events across our region.  We will also be bringing back our family matinee performances, as we are committed to the idea that, dance is for all ages.  We hope that this festival inspires young people, particularly young men, to pursue their interest in dance.      


    For more information go to our website: or visit our Facebook page at:

  • PNB's Season Opener: Director's Choice

    Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Lucien Postlewaite with soloist Rachel Foster in Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort, presented as part of DIRECTOR’S CHOICE, Sept. 24 – Oct. 3, 2010.  Photo © Angela Sterling


    Under the artistic direction of Peter Boal, the Pacific Northwest Ballet opened its 2010/11 season with an exhilarating ‘Director’s Choice’ program consisting of four remarkable compositions.  The evening began with two spectacular performances of modern/contemporary works from internationally recognized choreographer Jiri Kylian, Petite Mort and Sechs Tänze (Six Dances.) Following was Jardí Tancat, a spellbinding first work from Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato.  The incredible evening concluded with Glass Pieces, a masterpiece designed by world-renowned artist, Jerome Robbins.

    As the lights dimmed, the red curtain rose, the audience silenced and became still.  Six men flawlessly positioned across the stage began to move with fencing foils producing melodic sounds throughout the theatre. Six women stood in the backdrop awaiting their cue. Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort is transcendental as the dancers display powerful lines with a taste of sensuality. Its sleek and sexy combinations of movement suspend the audience in breath-taking partner lifts and angular shapes.  Six couples move with perfect synchronicity creating a surreal sensation while two melancholy movements of Mozart’s piano concertos penetrate the walls of McCaw Hall.  Jiri Kylian described his piece as, “a world where nothing is sacred, where brutality and arbitrariness are commonplace.”  Pacific Northwest Ballet dancers interpreted this effortlessly and with as much passion as the choreographer exemplifies.

    Jiri Kylian witty and extravagant piece Sechs Tänze (Six Dances) brings into play the music of Mozart.  This piece displays the humor in both choreographer and composer, alike.  The performance was mischievous and theatrical.  With a Shakespearian quality, the dancers became players, taking the audience back to 18th century where powdered faces, hair wigs and black exaggerated ball gowns commanded the stage.  Widely favored, PNB’s premiere of Sechs Tänze was entertainingly delicious.

    Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Ariana Lallone in Nacho Duato’s Jardí Tancat, presented as part of DIRECTOR’S CHOICE, Sept. 24 – Oct. 3, 2010.  Photo © Angela Sterling


    Passionate, powerful, and painfully poignant are just a few words to describe Jardí Tancat, a work of genius by Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato.  The soulful voice and composition of musical artist Maria Del Mar Bonet enthralls both audience and dancer to an unmitigated submission.  Three couples move with raw intensity exuding a sorrowful and deeply rooted exclamation of emotion, leaving nothing to secret.  Captivating and unrestricted, Nacho Duato’s choreography expresses the uniqueness and vulnerability of his heritage and personal identity, to which six extraordinary PNB dancers represent in an honest and incredibly commendable performance.

    Pacific Northwest Ballet’s debut of Jerome Robbins’s Glass Pieces made its impressive and unprecedented mark for the season. Set to three musical scores by Phillip Glass, one of the most influential American composers of the 20th century, PNB’s company of dancers take the audience on a journey of poetic intrusion.  The rhythmic and structural pattern of choreography metaphorically translates the disposition of modern times.  From the colorful display of costumes, along with a backdrop of grid lines, the production delivers an electric and innovative presentation.  Eccentric yet penetrating, Glass Pieces captures the true essence of New York appealing to the Seattle stage.

    Once again, Peter Boal demonstrates his brilliant direction embodied through the PNB dancers. From beginning to end, the execution of movement is impeccable, while the choreography is admirable and stunning to watch.  Pacific Northwest Ballet’s ‘Directors Choice’ program highlights some of the finest artistic creations to date.  Opening its season with such compelling performances, it is with great anticipation we embark on this classic yet modern expedition into the world of Ballet.

    Review By: Amanda Calderon

    Class Act Tutu Associate

    For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit Pacific Northwest Ballet.

    PNB's Director's Choice runs September 24-October 3, 2010.

  • Robotic 'Swan Lake' Moves Audiences to Tears

    Photo Credit: Kerstin Gauffin


    I know it sounds like something straight out of a B-rated Sci-fi movie but it's absolutely true! According to, Swedish scientists have built "a robot swan (that) is literally moving people to tears with a four-minute, professionally choreographed routine, dramatically executed to Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.”   The graceful automaton makes its grand debut today at Sweden's Gothenburg book fair. Read the rest of this incredible article here.

  • ABT's Nutcracker T-Shirt Design Contest

    Sketch by Richard Hudson. Copyright 2010 Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.


    Attention young artists! This one's for you! American Ballet Theatre invites young artists, ages 4-17, to design a T-shirt inspired by ABT’s World Premiere production of The Nutcracker, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, performing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, from December. 22 – January 2, 2011.For detailed contest information including submission dates, please click here!


    PS: If you're the lucky winner, be sure to tell us about it! We'd love to give you a special shout-out!

  • ABT's Kevin McKenzie Coaches Orlando's Giselle

    Kevin McKenzie, artistic director of American Ballet Theatre, works with Orlando Ballet dancers Patric Palkens and Katia Garza.


    Seems like everywhere you look, there's another production of Giselle popping up! In this article, "Kevin McKenzie, artistic director of American Ballet Theatre, has been looking in on rehearsals for “Giselle” as he visits the company led by his friend Robert Hill, an alumnus of American Ballet Theatre." (....) Read the article here.

  • NYCB's New "Personal" Ads

    Photo Credit: Henry Leutwyler. Janie Taylor, right, and Sébastien Marcovici appear in a New York City Ballet advertising campaign.


    From the Wall Street Journal, "New York City Ballet's new marketing campaign features a relaxed, casually sexy aesthetic that represents a radical image overhaul for the company, part of its most significant effort yet to appeal to the younger New Yorkers it hopes will become future patrons."

    Impressive, yes? To get a fresh-faced peek at some of your favorite NYCB dancers, click here.

  • 19 New Dancers Join Expanded Boston Ballet

    From left: Adiarys Almeida, Keenan Kampa, Lasha Khozashvili, and Joseph Gatti are among the dancers added to Boston Ballet’s roster this season. (Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff)


    Now here's something to get excited about!

    "Just two years ago, facing a financial crunch, Boston Ballet laid off staff and reduced the main company from 50 to 41. Artistic director Mikko Nissinen said the aim was to operate short-staffed for two years in order to regroup and pay off debt, then build the company back up.

    “We did two to three rounds of trimming on every possible front,’’ Nissinen said recently by phone. “We cleaned out our debt royally, and moved our financial picture to a very good place.’’ This season, working on a budget of $24 million-$25 million, the main company roster is back up to 47, and further additions are planned over the next few years." ~ Quote

    To read the rest of this happy piece of news, click here!

  • ABT Announcement: José Manuel Carreño to Retire

    Photo Credit: Erin Baiano for The New York Times. José Manuel Carreño performing in “Le Corsaire” at the Metropolitan Opera House.


    Yes, I know. 'Tis truly a sad, sad day. American Ballet Theater Principal José Manuel Carreño has announced his plans to retire in August 2011. You can read more about this tragic event here.  {PS: All hope is not lost...he's merely retiring from ABT, not the world of dance as a whole! *Snoopy dance*}

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