As if Wendy Whelan’s imminent retirement wasn’t a hard enough pill to swallow, news that Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Carla Körbes will retire in June 2015 makes this an even sadder year for ballet.
Körbes started her career at New York City Ballet, before being hired as a soloist at PNB in 2005. In 2006 she was promoted to principal. Körbes has been lauded for her dancing in Balanchine ballets, and has originated roles in ballets by Peter Martins, Benjamin Millepied, Christopher Wheeldon and Twyla Tharp among others.
Andrew Bartee, a former Pacific Northwest Ballet company member and current dancer with Ballet BC, will premiere his latest work—Dirty Goods—as part of the Wolf Trap Foundation's "Face of America" series on August 27. The piece was commissioned for Wolf Trap Foundation, and utilizes filmed site specific performance in Olympic National Park, music by the Portland-based band The Chromatics and dancers from Pacific Northwest Ballet.
This morning, it was 23 degrees on Hurricane Ridge in Washington's Olympic National Park. Down on Rialto Beach, the waves poured around huge rock formations and signs warned tourists they must use bear-proof canisters for storing all food. On the Marymere Falls Trail, a mist hung in the old growth forest that shelters a 90-foot waterfall.
Have you gotten your April/May issue of Pointe yet? Click on the photo at right for an exclusive sneak peek. It's an outtake from Jim Lafferty's photo essay, which chronicles Ballet West, Nevada Ballet Theatre and Pacific Northwest Ballet's historic shared production of George Balanchine's Jewels. Lafferty captured the dancers backstage: warming up in company class, soaring in performance. The result is a kind of magical series of intimate images. Keep your eyes peeled for the full feature.
Successful ballet dancers all share one trait: a relentless determination to improve. To close out 2012, Pointe reached out to dancers we covered this past year to find out their resolutions for the next one.
Any ballet fanatic worth her salt has seen dozens of YouTube clips of the Black Swan pas de deux, and probably even knows the music and steps by heart. But do you ever wonder if the choreography has stayed the same since 1895 when Marius Petipa first choreographed it?
Although performance weeks are the highlight of the season, they can be tricky to get through. Opening night is filled with excitement and adrenaline. But as you repeat the performance night after night, it becomes ever more difficult to find that same energy. One secret weapon? Post-show protein. It helps your muscles recover and loads you up with stamina for the next day.
What is it that makes certain performers magnetic?
This past weekend I saw Pacific Northwest Ballet perform at the Joyce here in New York City. I was taken aback by the bevy of beautiful bodies onstage. Almost every female dancer had exquisitely long limbs, ideal ballet proportions, feet to die for and even model-worthy facial features. They were Ballerina Barbie come to life—if Ballerina Barbie had been designed by George Balanchine.