SEATTLE, WA–Pacific Northwest Ballet Artistic Director Peter Boal and soloist Kylee Kitchens have announced that Ms. Kitchens will retire at the end of PNB’s 2015-2016 season. Ms. Kitchens has been with Pacific Northwest Ballet since her first Pacific Northwest Ballet School Summer Course in 1995. She joined the company as an apprentice in 1999, was promoted to the corps de ballet in 2000 and to soloist in 2012.
“I dreamt of joining PNB ever since I was 11 years old, when I went to see the company perform Cinderella near my hometown in California,” said Ms. Kitchens, when announcing her retirement. “That dream was realized when Kent Stowell and Francia Russell hired me from the professional division at PNB School and I have had the honor of dancing with this incredible company for the past 16 years. I have come to a point in my life where I feel it is time to end this career which I have been so fortunate to have. I will carry with me so many unforgettable moments on stage and in the studios. I have had the privilege of dancing and working with this extraordinary group of people, and I have been and will continue to be inspired by so many of these wonderful artists. While I’ll be stepping off of the stage I’ll be stepping into a new adventure with my son Simon and husband Steve. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart to everyone who has supported me and this beloved company of mine.”
“Kylee has brought true elegance and quiet power to our stage for over 16 years,” continued Mr. Boal. “She arrived in our Professional Division in 1998 and quickly caught the eye of Francia Russell. I was proud to promote Kylee to soloist in 2012. Though she might be pegged for more lyrical roles, Kylee has never shied away from a challenge evidenced in her fearless attack in Ulysses Dove’s Vespers and her mastery of the fluid contusions of Jiri Kylian’s Petit Mort. She proved herself a true comedienne in Jerome Robbins’ The Concert and Kylian’s Sechs Tanze, and I will not forget her Jardí Tancat or her seductress in Afternoon of a Faun. Kylee was a mainstay of the corps for many years, but watching the inner artist bloom over the past few years has yielded true rewards for all of us. She will be missed, but not by son Simon, who now gets to see quite a bit more of his leading lady.”
Kylee Kitchens is from Laguna Hills, California. She trained at Westside Ballet Academy, where she studied with Yvonne Mounsey and Rosemary Valaire, and on scholarship at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2000 and was promoted to soloist in 2012.
Ms. Kitchens danced in the BBC’s 1999 film version of PNB’s production of George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, filmed at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London. In 2005, she performed Marius Petipa’s Paquita as a guest artist with Los Angeles Ballet.
George Balanchine’s Agon, Apollo, Coppélia (Prayer), Divertimento No. 15, Emeralds, The Four Temperaments, A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream (Titania, Helena), George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker (Sugar Plum Fairy, Arabian, Dewdrop), and Serenade; Peter Boal’s Giselle (Moyna); Val Caniparoli’s The Seasons; Merce Cunningham’s Inlets 2; David Dawson’s A Million Kisses to My Skin; Ulysses Dove’s Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven, Serious Pleasures and Vespers; Nacho Duato’s Jardí Tancat; William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated; Kiyon Gaines’ Sum Stravinsky; Paul Gibson’s Sense of Doubt and The Piano Dance; Jiri Kylian’s Forgotten Land, Petite Mort, and Sechs Tänze (Six Dances); Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette (Rosaline); Mark Morris’ A Garden, Kammermusik No. 3, and Pacific; Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Cylindrical Shadows; Crystal Pite’s Emergence; Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun, The Concert, and Fancy Free; Kent Stowell’s Cinderella (Fairy Godmother), Firebird, Nutcracker (Clara, Flora, Peacock), Quaternary, Silver Lining, and Swan Lake (Pas de trois, Persian Dance); Twyla Tharp’s Brief Fling, In the Upper Room, and Opus 111; and Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain pas de deux and Polyphonia. In 2003, Lynne Taylor-Corbett re-choreographed the second movement of Mercury for Ms. Kitchens.
Margaret Mullin’s Lost in Light.
George Balanchine’s Apollo, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Diamonds, and La Valse; Trisha Brown’s Spanish Dance; William Forsythe’s Artifact II; Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty (White Cat); Peter Martins’Fearful Symmetries; Marius Petipa’s Paquita; Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana, Cinderella, and The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet; and Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance).
Featured photo: Kylee Kitchens in Kiyon Ross’ Sum Stravinsky, photo © Angela Sterling.