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BWW Review: PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET SEASON ENCORE 2020-2021 Filmed at McCaw Hall and Elsewhere


A fond farewell to dancers who are moving on

BWW Review: PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET SEASON ENCORE 2020-2021 Filmed at McCaw Hall and Elsewhere

From June 18th to June 22nd, PNB's final digital performance of the 2020-2021 season bids a bittersweet good-bye to seven dancers who are leaving to begin new chapters of their lives. I found myself on the verge of tears watching the exquisite performances of these superb artists dancing one last time as members of the company that I've grown to love and admire during the year and a half since I relocated to Washington State from NYC.

I was moved as well by the entire current virtual offering, a vast improvement over the first digital rendition back in October of 2020 when I noted that viewers were advised that Rep 1 featured recorded applause that we were advised was by "viewers like you". The apologetic comment has fortunately since been dropped. Obviously, if there's no live audience, the applause is canned! Also of note, PNB became adept over the course of the digital season in using many locales including some outdoors. I am delighted to know that although PNB will be back on stage at McCaw Hall in Seattle in September of 2021, a companion digital season is planned as well to accommodate the huge number of viewers from around the world who have joined PNB's audience during the pandemic. That's a silver lining if there ever were one!

The seven dancers who will be moving on are corps de ballet dancers Nancy Casciano and Angeli Kiana Mamon-Urrea, soloists Leah Merchant and Steven Loch, and principal dancers Laura Tisserand, Jerome Tisserand, and William Lin-Yee. During the "Encore" performance, various artists talked with charm and sincere fondness about the time they've spent with those who are leaving. Even Francia Russell, who was PNB's Artistic Director with husband Kent Stowell for 27 years before Peter Boal came on board in 2005, gave a send-off to the Tisserands - and to their two young daughters. That cameo alone makes watching all of this worthwhile!

The program included a seamless mix of archival video clips and newer works, including an inventive World Premiere with both choreography and videography by Christopher D'Ariano. Here's the link to get your tickets to watch "Encore":

You'll be glad you did!

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