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Editor's Expedition - Ballet

  • Written by Kristen Hamilton

During the holiday week just after Christmas, my daughter was visiting and had made the request to see the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker.  Since I hadn’t yet seen the NW Ballet perform, and frankly I loved the story of the Nutcracker when I had seen it in the past, we made a date of it!

balletPacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Laura Tisserand in Kent Stowell’s Swan Lake, running February 2 – 11, 2018. Photo © Angela Sterling.The show did sell out that final week, but luckily for us I was able to secure a couple seats before that happened.  The performance was at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall just off Mercer Street by the Space Needle.  Although a civic center/auditorium stood in that location in the past with a storied history, the new facility was opened in 2003 and is beautiful.  Every seat in the house has a great view of the stage, and the acoustics were amazing ---- very important when you are listening to Tchaikovsky!  McCaw Hall is the primary home of the Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) and the Seattle Opera. 

As expected, the performance was spectacular.  The talented dancers were really a treat to watch, and the costumes were gorgeous.  I would also be remiss if I did not mention how beautifully the PNB Orchestra sounded in the pit.  Overall, this wonderful performance helped us to carry forward the spirit of Christmas another evening for me and my daughter.

The Pacific Northwest Ballet features a company of 50 dancers, and they present over 100 performances annually in Seattle and on tour.  The troupe was founded in 1972 and is one of the largest and most highly regarded ballet companies in the United States.  Our community is really lucky to have the PNB here!

While the Nutcracker performances have come to an end with the passing of the holidays, you can still enjoy the talented PNB in the upcoming performance of Swan Lake.   The show has a fantastical plot filled with romance, sorcery, and betrayal.  Swan Lake is considered by many to be the greatest classical ballet of all time. Sumptuous scenery by Ming Cho Lee, costumes designed by Paul Tazewell (Hamilton), lighting by Randal G. Chiarelli, and an achingly beautiful Tchaikovsky score performed by the PNB Orchestra, set the stage for the ethereal corps de ballet and the ultimate challenge for ballerinas all over the world—the dual role of Odette, trapped in the body of a white swan until the oath of her true love sets her free; and Odile, the “Black Swan” temptress.

Swan Lake runs for nine performances only, February 2 through 11, at McCaw Hall. Running time is approximately three hours.

Visit www.pnb.org for tickets or more information on upcoming shows.

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