Pacific Northwest Ballet corps: Who I’m watching

  Cecilia Iliesiu. She danced briefly as a soloist with the Carolina Ballet before joining PNB in 2015. Since then, Iliesiu has danced as lead and featured performer in numerous PNB programs—and for good reason: she has a powerful stage presence, in part due to her huge extensions, coupled with reliably impressive balance. This was…

Pacific Northwest Ballet corps: Who I’m watching

Cecilia Iliesiu. She danced briefly as a soloist with the Carolina Ballet before joining PNB in 2015. Since then, Iliesiu has danced as lead and featured performer in numerous PNB programs—and for good reason: she has a powerful stage presence, in part due to her huge extensions, coupled with reliably impressive balance. This was especially…

European Dance Tour—and perfectionism

I saw a fascinating duet in Florence in July, 2020—a project of the First Commissions Australian arts. The choreographer was Jack Riley and on offer was challenging ideas around physical perfection—perfection as evidenced in the work of Michaelangelo and other artists. It was launched in the Accademia—where Michaelangelo’s David is housed (and revered). For more (with images), see here: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8571851-university-of-melbourne-first-commissions/…

A Jonathan Porretta Tribute

Jonathan Porretta’s retirement this past June was significant—there are few principals who were promoted in Kent Stowell and Francia Russell’s time left in the company (actually, only one – Noelani Pantastico, others were hired by Stowell/Russell but promoted to principal by Boal). Porretta was an audience favorite because he was so fearless in each virtuoso…

Emotive and neo-classical styles converge in PNB’s opening program

September 28, 2019-October 6, 2019: Kent Stowell’s rousing Carmina Burana and George Balanchine’s complex Agon were monumental successes (yet again) with Seattle audiences.   (c) PNB, Angela Sterling Dancers Karel Cruz and Leslie Rausch in Agon Agon has quite a different feel. Dancers, in simple leotards and tights, are utterly exposed–there’s nothing and nowhere to hide. The…

gigi’s dance blog: Some Enchanted Evening — Kent Stowell’s Swan Lake at PNB

FEB 2018 It was quite thrilling to attend a full dress rehearsal of Pacific Northwest Ballet performing Kent Stowell’s Swan Lake (https://www.pnb.org/repertorylist/swan-lake/), on Thursday, Feb 1. The venue was the Marion Oliver McCaw Hall (https://www.mccawhall.com/home) in Seattle, the company was Pacific Northwest Ballet (www.pnb.org). The astute, unshakable Gary Tucker, media relations, warned that the dress…

Whim W’him Soars with CONFIGURATE

JAN 2018 Whim W’him delivered its best mixed program yet with its January, 2018 production of Configurate. The program consisted of compelling works by 2014 Princess Grace Awardee Gabrielle Lamb (making a company debut), Sadler’s Wells Global Dance Contest winner Ihsan Rustem, and 2012 Princess Grace awardee and artistic director Olivier Wevers. His 6 Love…

Nutcracker 2017: Never Old

In December 2014, Pacific Northwest Ballet rolled out its new Nutcracker – Balanchine’s version, complete with animated films. This new Nutcracker was four years in planning for PNB, and it boasts the familiar (Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, lots of stellar dancing, lots of small children, Act II variations) and the new (an adult-only Clara, new costumes…

Ballet in Cuba

Alicia Alonso’s Ballet Nacional de Cuba in performance is one of the must-sees in any Havana tour. I attended a conference in Cuba in November, which allowed me to see not only her company at the magnificent Gran Teatro de La Habana, but also that of Roberto Chorens and her daughter Laura’s Ballet “Laura Alonso,”…