Director’s Notebook: Rep 6

As a stream of earth-toned silk slices through space, a dancer vanishes before our eyes. It is a fleeting, yet memorable moment. So piercing and sudden, we question if our eyes deceived us. This is not the smooth hand of a magician, or the clever edit of a skilled cinematographer, it is choreographer Edwaard Liang’s exquisite design and concept for The Veil Between Worlds. It is also a fitting reminder of the truly ephemeral nature of dance. We imagine the collective gasp uttered by the audience, as we witness this moment en masse, in a cavernous hall amidst a hushed crowd of thousands.

But wait. That was then. PNB’s taken the magic moment and added 100 hours. That’s the duration of the release of each rep in your digital season package. You can watch Dylan vanish again, and again, and then rewind and savor his solo one more time. Revisit Mark Zappone’s multi-hued costume designs and Reed Nakayama’s atmospheric light. No experience matches live theater, but let’s face it, this is pretty close, and reliving the thrill and the beauty of it all is, well…..thrilling.

That’s why we’re keeping this digital season and offering it to you again next year, even though we are also returning to the unmatched experience of live performance. Buy a full season subscription and get the digital season for free. Those of you who can’t make it to McCaw Hall can still join us. You may have heard our digital season attracted subscribers in a whopping 50 states and 36 countries. No, we will not turn our back on you Vermonters, North Dakotans, and Dubliners. We’re coming back to your flatscreen. And for the locals in Leschi who caught the show live at McCaw Hall, you can savor another serving of Cerrudo with the morning latte. 

Digital performances have been a lifesaver for PNB as it has been for many arts organizations, but even when we are back in our plush teal seats waving to our socially distanced friends, and hearing the transporting sound of the PNB Orchestra, we know you will welcome the chance to see it all again. Maybe you missed Ballet Talk or Meet the Artist? Now you can take it all in at your leisure. Our digital content pulls the curtain back even farther and lets you in, providing access we’ve never been able to offer before. And the format allows for more people to enjoy PNB at greatly reduced prices.

A word of gratitude to choreographers Edwaard Liang, Christopher Wheeldon, and Alejandro Cerrudo and thirteen other choreographers who created new work this season. Each dance-maker incorporated necessary protocols and restrictions, and still found a path to creativity. Credit extends to costume designers, dancers, dressers, technical staff, and our talented and tireless videographers. Our gratitude extends to you as well, as we conclude the most challenging of seasons. You have kept us afloat, empowered and inspired us. We believe in what we do, and in the power of art, dance, and humanity. We know you do too. PNB is here to stay – on stage, on screen and in our hearts. Thank you for a great season and see you at the next one.  

Peter Boal

Featured photo: Angelica Generosa in Edwaard Liang’s The Veil Between Worlds, photo © Lindsay Thomas.

Photo: PNB Dancers in Edwaard Liang’s The Veil Between Worlds, photo © Lindsay Thomas.

3 thoughts on “Director’s Notebook: Rep 6

  1. Bravo! Exemplary performances! I can’t get over how perfect each dancer was, and the music was spectacular – also a perfect match to the choreography ! What a thrilling evening!
    Thank you Pacific Northwest Ballet!


  2. I truly enjoyed the pieces that were accompanied by the sung word. It was a refreshing addition to a wonderful program. Thanks so much for hanging in there and producing more beautiful ballet!


  3. Thank you so much for such a year. So much learned, tried, grown. I loved the outdoor and pieces; a lovely respite and reminder of how art and place can interact and maybe shouldn’t always. ( the next time the stage is full of 2-D trees, I’ll think of those cold grassy fields) I loved the use of floors/tabletops (Noelani’s mirror) to expand the definition of a stage. I appreciated seeing the cinematography improve. This last piece was a triumph of progress, extraordinary dansing, sensational costumes and staging, and absolutely breathtaking, mindblowing choreography. I oohed and aahed and chuckled so much that I was glad I was at home.
    But most of all, I am in despair. Dylan Wald and Ellie Macy have redefined duet. Where does touch stop or end? How can any other dance couple achieve such a perfect union? How can any choreographer hope to choreograph a duet without them? They make other male\female pairs look like Minecraft creations. They are fluidity solidified, elegance magnetized. Altho they were working with 21st C pieces that equalized them, I think this pandemic promoted alchemy. Forget all those grand matrimonial entrances of pompous Princes with demure exswans or Giselles or whatever. The Wald-Macy duets paint for me a thoroughly modern.. relationship. I don’t care if they throw dishes at home. Thank you for the fantasies in which I rarely indulge and the beautiful moments of human achievement that we all got to behold.


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