PNB Tour: Balanchine Program

PNB’s opening night was magical! There had been a few rough rehearsals with tired bodies and swift musical tempos, but once that curtain went up Wednesday evening, we just danced!

My favorite moment of opening night performance was the curtain rising on George Balanchine’s Square Dance. As a 5′ 10″ tall dancer, I thought I could only dream about performing this ballet. Premiered in 1957 on the City Center stage, Square Dance is meant for petite dancers with speedy and accurate footwork.

Nancy Casciano (f), Emma Love Suddarth and Cecilia Iliesiu (b). Photo by Lindsay Thomas.
Nancy Casciano (f), Emma Love Suddarth and Cecilia Iliesiu (b). Photo by Lindsay Thomas.

At five minutes to curtain, the seven couples (including the principal couple) marked a few steps, stretched and chatted. Our stage manager Sandy, called “places” — six couples took their spots on stage and whispers of ” merde” (good luck in the dance world) went around. My heart started to race, not because of nerves, but excitement that I was actually performing Square Dance. Not only was I dancing on the stage that it was originally premiered, but I was dancing in New York City as a member of PNB. Dreams really do come true!

Leta Biasucci and Benjamin Griffiths in Balanchine's "Square Dance." Photo by Lindsay Thomas.
Leta Biasucci and Benjamin Griffiths in Balanchine’s “Square Dance.” Photo by Lindsay Thomas.
Benjamin Griffiths in Balanchine's "Square Dance." Photo by Lindsay Thomas.
Benjamin Griffiths in Balanchine’s “Square Dance.” Photo by Lindsay Thomas.

 

Next, was Balanchine’s Prodigal Son. PNB brought along our makeup artists to help with looks for Prodigal Son and Emergence.

Matthew Renko and Steven Loch preparing for Goons. Photo by Lindsay Thomas.
Matthew Renko and Steven Loch preparing for Goons. Photo by Lindsay Thomas.
Jonathan Porretta as the Prodigal Son. Photo by Lindsay Thomas.
Jonathan Porretta as the Prodigal Son. Photo by Lindsay Thomas.
Lesley Rausch as the Siren in Balanchine's "Prodigal Son." Photo by Lindsay Thomas.
Lesley Rausch as the Siren in Balanchine’s “Prodigal Son.” Photo by Lindsay Thomas.
Lesley Rausch as the Siren in Balanchine's "Prodigal Son." Photo by Lindsay Thomas.
Lesley Rausch as the Siren in Balanchine’s “Prodigal Son.” Photo by Lindsay Thomas.

 

Finally, Balanchine’s Stravinsky Violin Concerto.

Noelani Pantastico (arabesque) in Balanchine's "Stravinsky Violin Concerto." Photo by Lindsay Thomas.
Noelani Pantastico (arabesque) in Balanchine’s “Stravinsky Violin Concerto.” Photo by Lindsay Thomas.
Jerome Tisserand (jump), Dylan Wald, Guillaume Basso, Miles Pertl and Steven Loch (l-r) in Balanchine's "Stravinsky Violin Concerto." Photo by Lindsay Thomas.
Jerome Tisserand (jump), Dylan Wald, Guillaume Basso, Miles Pertl and Steven Loch (l-r) in Balanchine’s “Stravinsky Violin Concerto.” Photo by Lindsay Thomas.
Noelani Pantastico and Seth Orza in Balanchine's "Stravinsky Violin Concerto." Photo by Lindsay Thomas.
Noelani Pantastico and Seth Orza in Balanchine’s “Stravinsky Violin Concerto.” Photo by Lindsay Thomas.

Rehearsals for the Contemporary program this afternoon, but I can’t wait for the second Balanchine performance tonight!