Ballet-Lover to Do? Figuring Out PNB’s Busy Spring Season…
Posted March 29,
as you can guess from the picture, is more about the concert
audience than the concert music—appears in PNB’s All Robbins
night. (Seen here, Benjamin Griffiths with Carrie Imler and
Jonathan Porretta. © Angela Sterling)
ballet fans to do anything most of April or early June:
we’re busy. And if your friend likes modern dance, well, you
can count out some of May too. There is too much going on!
Just four days
after the fabulous Alvin Ailey Dance Theater leaves town,
PNB starts up its spring programming. All told, the company
is giving about 20 more performances per year than, say, 10
years ago…and a lot of those extra performances take place
in the spring.
actually one patron who has tickets to each and every one of
PNB’s upcoming 25 or so performances. For the rest of us,
though, a little picking and choosing is probably necessary.
If you’re not sure which show/s to attend, the following
notes might help.
The Full Meal
April 3–13: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
April 17–20: Spring Dance Festival:
Laugh Out Loud
April 9: Choreographers'
May 29–June 8: All Robbins
June 8: 8 Encores
April 2 & May 28: Dress rehearsal plus
April 1 & May 27: Lectures at SPL
May 18: Talk at Elliott Bay
April 5 & 13: Children's Dress-up
April 19: Backstage Bash
Like it Pretty and Pink:
A Midsummer Night’s
is your best bet. This is a charming telling of the tale,
prettier than Shakespeare’s. It’s the most classical of the
remaining shows this season. April 3–13.
Want Some Fun Right Away?
This year’s spring
festival is called Laugh Out Loud. Try for the April 19th
evening program, dubbed “Best of the Fest.”(Best of the Fest
originally had so much crammed into it that earlier this month
PNB dropped one piece. It’s a full night of dancing!) Because of
the post-performance party (see Backstage Bash below)
there’ll likely be a little extra energy in the audience on that
night, which adds to the fun. April 17–20.
Want Some Fun in June?
The All Robbins
rep features the hilarious, character-rich spoof The Concert.
I’d buy a ticket just to see that. However, there’s also the
charming sailors-ashore ballet Fancy Free, which is
pretty much all about having fun. Add to that the beautiful
In the Night, and you’re set for a great evening. May
Want Amazing Dancing?
Then I’d go to the
8 Encores performance. PNB did a similar show two years
ago, revisiting the “best” bits of the season. It was a rush of
excitement…from start to finish…from the back of the stage to
the back of the auditorium. June 8.
Want to Introduce Someone to Ballet?
the Laugh Out Loud festival or, for something just a little
more formal, the All Robbins night. You’ll have a fun
evening and a lot to talk about afterwards.
Want to Introduce Someone to Ballet—Next Year?
Want to See Some World-Class, Current Choreography?
Laugh Out Loud festival. Program A and the Best of the Fest
night both feature two major, current choreographers. One
Stroman, who not too long ago added two more Tony Awards to her
collection for The Producers. The other is the much
raved-about wunderkind Christopher Wheeldon. They shared an
American Choreography Award in 2000 for their
their works will be sharing the stage here this spring. April
17, 18, 19.
Want to See
Some Brand-New Choreography?
Choreographers’ Showcase. PNB dancers try their hand at
choreography. It’s creative, personal, uneven, surprising,
risky…and it makes you think about what makes good dance. I love
it! Some of the pieces go on to have a life after the Showcase.
Last year, they choreographed on students; this year most of the
works have been choreographed on members of the professional
company. It’s mostly hardcore fans and students at this
one-night show, which in itself makes for a fun, noisy evening.
The cheapest tix are only $10…
BalletsTrockadero Last Time They Came to Seattle?
(aka Joshua Grant) brings “her”
attitude and hairy chest to The Dying Swan
in the Laugh Out Loud festival (Program B and the Best of
the Fest night). I’ve only seen the Trocs once, but I remember
that it was fun and funny to see these big men on toe shoes.
Strangely, at times it was also moving.
Big Kids Who
Like to Party?
Backstage Pass is
throwing its annual post-performance Bash on the Best of
the Fest night. I’ve had to skip it two years in a row, only to
hear stories of great fun missed. I’m going this year. If you’re
21 or older, you can come too. April 19, $50 or $100.
Little Kids Who
Like to Party:
There are two
children's dress-up matinees during A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Crafts and adorable mini dance classes. April 5 & 13.
If budget is the
big concern, not to worry. It’s true that the Second Tier seats
that used to be so cheap in the old, old opera house are now
inexplicably expensive, but there are lots of less expensive
options. Check out some of the ones listed below.
Many PNB lectures
and talks are free.
I can’t make the
noontime, Seattle Public Library previews (Doug Fullington and,
I understand, sometimes videos), but hopefully you can. The next
ones are April 1 and May 27.
I’ve been to many
of the Sunday afternoon talks at Elliott Bay Book Company,
however, and enjoyed them. (The next one is May 18). They’re
calm, but I always come away with my perspective widened and a
feeling of gratitude to be living in our arts-rich town, glad to
have shared the afternoon with ballet lovers, and wondering why
there are only about 20 of us there. There’s something to be
said for being five feet away from passionate artists and
getting to hear them talk.
On a Budget and
Able to Plan Ahead:
Your best bet would
be PNB’s $5 Fridays. These one-hour, open-to-the-public,
studio rehearsals are a great chance to see dance up close, or
to see what it’s like without making a huge commitment. They’re
sold out for the season, however. Next season’s $5 Friday
tix go on sale sometime in the summer.=
For $20 you can buy
the cheap seats for any of the upcoming shows. These are Gallery
Floor and Orchestra Front. Unless you get the innermost seats in
Gallery Floor, you’ll only see part of the show. Still, part is
better than none. For Orchestra Front you might want to avail
yourself of the free seat cushions near the coat check, since
the floor dips a little in that section. Call or check the
website for availability, as these cheap seats can sell out
For $20, you can
also go to a dress rehearsal and sit in a much nicer seat. (This
comes packaged with an interesting lecture too.) It really is a
rehearsal, which means you often lose a little intensity and
perfection. But it’s a fair trade off, since you get to see a
some behind-the-scenes action towards the end. April 2 & May
a Budget and 13–18 Years Old:
Rush tickets are
yours, for $5 and a little time spent registering at
http://www.seattlecenter.com/teentix/#SignUpForm. Present your
Teen Tix keychain and ID 90 minutes prior to performance. This
discount is subject to availability, so call the box office in
advance to check on availability.
Young and On a Budget:
For $15, youngsters
25 and under can attend the first Friday performance. Better
yet: if there are 2 of you, it’s only $25. April 4 & May 30.
Student & Seniors On a Budget:
tickets are available to students and seniors (65+) carrying ID,
beginning 90 minutes prior to curtain time at the McCaw Hall Box
Office. This discount is subject to availability, so call the
box office in advance to check on the likelihood that you’ll get
Going With the Gang:
PNB’s group ticket
program now allows you to create an online group...where folks
log in and pay for the tickets themselves. So, you and nine
other people get the savings without the hassle of chasing each
other down for money. For more info, check out
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