Friday, November 14, 2014

1: Pacific Northwest Ballet: Director's Choice

One down.
54 to go.

Director's Choice featured the premier
of Justin Peck's work Debonair.

I never danced, but in 1953 my Dad built a dance studio next to our home in Seahurst. Mom taught ballet in that studio for 50 years. She made sure her three boys saw every ballet that came to Seattle, and we were drafted every year as stagehands for the annual "story ballets".

After our own girls were grown, my wife Chris and I starting going back to the ballet. I re-discovered dance and found that ballet appreciation was instilled long ago somewhere deep in the recesses of my brain. Thanks, Mom.

At the Seattle Chamber luncheon last summer Satya Nadella responded to a question about living in the Northwest: "Every time I go to the ballet I am thankful I am here." I couldn't agree more. PNB was the natural place for me to start this campaign.

Director's Choice lived up to the artistry and excitement we have learned to expect from PNB. My favorite moments were the partnering in both A Million Kisses to my Skin and Debonair. Also loved the way the dancers walked to their places in A Million Kisses and found myself looking for and finding reflections of that movement in the otherwise (to my untrained eye) generally classical technique. In Rassemblement, the varied and intelligent program challenged the audience with the experience of slavery in Haiti. 

Finally, it was fun to watch our daughter and her girlfriend check out all the old Nutcracker programs in the lobby, finding those from the years they attended as little girls.

A PNB School student collecting donations for
Second Stage, PNB's career transition program for dancers.

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