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General Interest

  • Coppelia - A Young Girl's Dream Come True

    Photo Credit: Denise Opper


    Back in May 2010, Dean and I took Abby to see PNB's production of Coppelia. She was so excited that day and took special care to wear her best dress (white, mid-calf length, lots of sequins and a small sparkly tiara in her hair), and kept biting her nails in anticipation.

    As we watched the ballet, she would smile, laugh and gasp with delight every few moments. She was in her element! Then as the curtain rose on Act 3 and a beautiful row of girlies dressed in glittering pink and gold tutus appeared, my girl was speechless. Breathless even! ;)

    After a moment she leaned over in the dark and whispered with her eyes as big as saucers, "Mommy! How did those girls get to do that?" "They're from the PNB school, honey." I whispered back.

    Abby continued to watch, spellbound. Then at the end of the performance she asked, "Okay. So, how do I get in the school?" At that time, she was still dancing at her local ballet school, but already things were starting to look sketchy for the new year. I explained how she would have to audition, which she immediately asked, "When can I audition??" I told her we'd talk about it later. (Ahem)

    Later during the performance's Post Show Q&A, Abby walked right up and sat in the front row of chairs. (For the record, I never opt to sit in the front row...) After listening to a few adults ask their questions, she asked Olivier Wevers what he liked about playing the role of Dr. Coppelius (her other favorite part). He was very gracious and said he liked "playing with a character" and that was what made it fun for him. Then she asked the Artistic Director, Peter Boal how old the girls in Act 3 were. His response was, "Levels 3 and 4, maybe some 5's. So anywhere from about 10 to 13 or 14." Abby was 10 at the time and so you can imagine how much this pleased her.

    As we left McCaw Hall that day, I noticed Abby looked deep in thought. When questioned, she simply said, "I'm thinking about how happy I am that I wore my best dress today." And why's that? "So that when I come back and audition for PNB, Mr. Boal will know who I am!" {#itdoesntworkthatway}

    Fast forward to September 18th, 2010. She gets in to the school.

    She was placed in Level 3 but sadly, Coppelia was not scheduled to be performed again. At least not yet. So Abby continued to work hard and hoped (and prayed a whole lot) that one day soon, Coppelia would be done again and that she'd get a part.

    Last summer, it was announced that Coppelia would once again grace the stage during the company's 2011/12 Season.

    There was a lot of speculation as to who would be chosen, how tall or how short you had to be, etc. With every passing rumor, Abby grew more impatient waiting for the Cast letters to go out. Then two friends received a letter. Then three friends. And at long last, so did she....

    I'm pleased to announce that Abby received a letter in the mail announcing that she had been chosen to perform in this year's production of Act 3...wearing the very pink and gold costume that ignited her determination to get into the school two years earlier!

    I'm so thankful to God for granting yet another exciting blessing in my daughter's life. To get the chance to perform in the very same production that catapulted her desire to attend the school into the stratosphere is nothing short of awesome! :)

    *Written by Denise Opper; originally published on the author's blog, Got Chai? *

    You can catch Pacific Northwest Ballet's Coppelia June 1st - 10th. Visit for tickets.

  • Ballet Fans Can Feel the Moves

    Art by Chris Nash


    When it comes to watching ballet, some fans may actually feel as though they're right up there dancing, at least according to findings published in the current issue of the journal PLoS One.

    According to research, spectators showed muscle-specific responses in their brain as if they were expert dancers. Read all about it here.

    What do you think? Do you "feel" as though you're dancing from your seat? I have to admit, sometimes it sure seems that way. :)

  • Baryshnikov: Dancer, Actor and...Photographer?

    Baryshnikov PhotographyMikhail Baryshnikov will proudly unveil his photographic work in a solo exhibition scheduled to open tomorrow, February 24th in Miami.

    In "Dance This Way," Baryshnikov turns the camera on ethnic, hip-hop, ballet, modern and popular dances around the world. The show's title, Baryshnikov says, is meant to be both commanding and descriptive. He wants the dancers to move toward his camera, and he wants to show what he sees in their dances. "I'm interested in focusing on body parts, the movements which really one cannot notice in the audience," says Baryshnikov, 64.

    Interesting, wouldn't you say? You can read all it here.

  • Putting a Ring on It

    valentines-day-rosesDancing with the one you love—isn’t that everyone’s dream? What are the pleasures—and the challenges—of sharing your stage life with your partner in marriage?

    Check out this great piece from Dance Magazine featuring beautiful dancing couples, including Seattle's own Olivier Wevers and Lucien Postlewaite.

    Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

  • Dance Awards Bestowed Upon Baryshnikov and Forsythe

    Congratulations to two incredible artists!

    Mikhail Baryshnikov has been awarded the Vilcek Prize for the Arts, an award which honors the contributions of foreign-born artists and scientists in the United States, while choreographer William Forsythe has been awarded the 2012 Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement from The American Dance Festival. Read more here.

  • ABT's Misty Copeland Visits Her Hometown

    20120209__mistylb_500Copeland is only the third black soloist with the prestigious dance company and the first in two decades. Her goal, she says, is to become the first black principal dancer for a major U.S. ballet company.

    It's a heady goal, but Copeland has been wowing observers ever since she wandered into a weekly ballet class at the San Pedro Boys and Girls Club as a teenager.

    Read about Copeland's visit here. Don't forget to check out the awesome photo gallery!

  • NYCB-Inspired Nail Polish: Coming Soon to a Salon Near You!

    The New NYCB-inspired shades from OPI. Photo credit: Glamour Magazine


    This just in!

    OPI has just announced its new SoftShades colors for April 2012, inspired by the New York City Ballet!

    The gorgeous pastel sheers feature fun balletic monikers like: Barre My Soul, Don't Touch My Tutu (our personal favorite!), and My Pointe Exactly.

    Read all about it them here.

  • Can Ballet Help Parkinson's Patients?

    english-national-balletMembers of the English National Ballet are teaming up with scientists to determine whether ballet can help Parkinson's patients. A class of approximately 40 students will work with the famed ballet company over a period of nine weeks, learning various elements of classical ballet, including Nutcracker. Watch the video here.

  • NYCB's Megan Fairchild Blossoms as an Artist

    Photo Credit: Ramsay de Give for The Wall Street Journal


    Her story is one of rapid promotion—and the struggle to live up to it. She joined City Ballet in its corps de ballet in 2002, and was boosted to the rank of soloist by February 2004. Less than a year later, at age 20, she was a principal dancer.

    "It was so overwhelming. It was the worst time in my life," Ms. Fairchild, who is now 27, said recently. "It's not just a happy thing. It's a lot of responsibility." Read the rest of Megan's incredible story here.

  • En Pointe!

    Three ballerinas from Australian Ballet talk about metarsals, metho baths and the meditative nature of sewing in this short film about pointe shoes. Perfect for budding ballerinas wearing their first pair of pointe shoes this year! Check it out!

    EN POINTE! from The Apiary on Vimeo.

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