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Tag Archives: Lindsi Dec

  • Pacific Northwest Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty Returns Better Than Ever

    Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Kaori Nakamura as Princess Aurora in Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty. Nakamura is one of four dancers performing the lead role in PNB’s presentation of the classic story ballet, running January 31 – February 9, 2014. Photo © Angela Sterling.

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    Lavish storybook sets, decadent costumes and gorgeous dancing provide the stunning backdrop to Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of ‘The Sleeping Beauty’.

    Kaori Nakamura and Seth Orza brought the house to its feet in a standing ovation during Friday’s opening as Princess Aurora and her beloved Prince Florimund. Their technique was amazing, and the way they looked at each other? Hello! Talk about your fairytale romances! I loved how the two of them can take a character, even one as well known as Aurora and Florimund, and make them their own. Orza is just one of those dancers you love to watch…over ‘n over again. I’ve yet to see an “off” performance from him or one where I wasn’t fully enraptured with his character. He *IS* the Prince…every time, all the time.

    I was also highly impressed by how quickly Nakamura went from bubby teenage Princess in Act I, to delicately composed bride in Act III. While this electrifying ballerina recently announced her plans to retire at the end of the season, her performance proved that she still has what it takes to rock the ballet world for many years to come.

    Jonathan Poretta provided a breath of comedy (as well as a serious hint of creepy!) as the wicked fairy, Carabosse. I loved how he’d peek out from under his “hag hoodie” and how the strobe lights would “flash” whenever he (she?) flew through the air. (Mmmwwa ha ha haaa!) In fact, I was almost sad when he died at Florimund’s hand (just before that glorious kiss), but as we all know, good always triumphs over evil especially in fairy tales.

    Laura Tisserand’s Lilac Fairy was one of the best I’ve ever seen. The depth of her storytelling ability seems every bit as endless and beautiful as her extension (which is really saying something, folks!). Everything she does is just incredible.

    The king and queen (Otto Neubert and Maria Chapman) plead with the wicked fairy Carabosse (Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Jonathan Porretta) in Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty. Photo © Angela Sterling.

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    And speaking of incredible, Act III’s Gold and Silver Pas de Trois (featuring Lindsi Dec, Andrew Bartee and Jerome Tisserand) was nothing short of jaw-dropping. Bartee has really come into his own as an artist (can’t wait to see more from him!), while Tisserand almost oozes with delicious charisma. Dec’s thousand-watt smile and clean technique shined brighter than any diamond, easily re-solidifying her place as an audience favorite.

    Just before the show, Artistic Director Peter Boal announced five (!!) well deserved company promotions: Elizabeth Murphy, Margaret Mullin and William Lin-Yee were officially recognized as soloists, while Lindsi Dec and Laura Tisserand were bestowed the title of Principal. Talk about putting a big, luscious cherry on top of a fantastic opening night!

    The Sleeping Beauty runs through February 9th. Tickets available at PNB.org.

  • Pacific Northwest Ballet's Love Stories - A Delicious Romantic Treat

    Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancers Lucien Postlewaite and Carrie Imler in the Black Swan pas de deux from Kent Stowell’s Swan Lake. Presented as part of LOVE STORIES, November 4-13, 2011. Photo © Angela Sterling

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    Pacific Northwest Ballet's Love Stories serves up a luscious 5-course feast of romance, seduction and passion!

    Opening Night's performance of Divertimento from Le Baiser de la Fée featured the talents of principal dancers, Kaori Nakamura and Jonathan Poretta in the headlining pas de deux. Nakamura is such an amazing dancer - delicate yet oh-so-strong; she looked like she was fully enjoying herself up there. Poretta of course, is just pure magic. (Seriously, if I could have my own life-size Poretta doll to wind up and watch him dance during random moments of levity, I would. Oh, and a Lucien Postlewaite replica, too. But I'm getting ahead of myself...) I was equally impressed by corps de ballet members, Jessika Anspach and Brittany Reid.  Their performance provided the soul to Nakamura and Poretta's "heart" and brought a sense of balance to this beautiful, lively piece.

    Next up was the Black Swan pas de deux from Swan Lake. For this the stage was stripped down to a bare  bones backdrop featuring a full silvery moon against a blue-black sky. Now, I have to be honest and admit that I felt a tad cheated by the lack of splendor associated with this scene - at first. But then, once principal dancers, Lucien Postlewaite and Carrie Imler entered the stage the message was clear: Who needs props and scenery when you've got these two dancing in front of you? And oh my goodness gracious, what a performance it was!!

    Imler was cunning, sexy, fiery and captivating - the perfect evil temptress, Odile. (Dazzling fouette turns and fluttery swan arms? To die for!) Postlewaite leaped and turned with the agility and grace of a gazelle - light, powerful and commanding all at once. And his expressions - are you kidding me? Schoolboy sweet and head over heels for Imler's charms - his Siegfried was brilliant!

    I couldn't tear my eyes away from their coy exchange and was eager to see how it would end, while hoping at the same time that perhaps - just perhaps - it wouldn't...Ah! Such delicious torture!  And as that final note echoed from the orchestra pit, the entire theatre exploded with a very boisterous, very appreciative standing ovation. Bravo and bellissima!

    Pacific Northwest Ballet corps de ballet dancers Jerome Tisserand and Kylee Kitchens in Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun. Presented as part of LOVE STORIES, November 4-13, 2011. Photo © Angela Sterling

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    Afternoon of a Faun offered a rare treat in the form of corps de ballet members, Kylee Kitchens and Jerome Tisserand. Sensually riveting (and sans shirt), Tisserand's performance gave the female audience members something to smile about. I was especially impressed with the way he carried, swooped and scooped Kitchens across the stage (gorgeous!), while Kitchens managed to channel the likes of Darci Kistler, creating a character that not only had great hair, but an almost ethereal quality to her as well.

    It was tough following Swan Lake, that's for sure! But they managed to pull it off with superior aplomb.

    During the balcony scene from Romeo et Juliette we saw the return of Lucien Postlewaite and Kaori Nakamura. Again these two gifted dancers brought the house down with their depiction of rapturous, all-consuming young love. Playful yet bold, teasing yet shy, Postlewaite's "Mr. Touchy-Feely" is equally matched by Nakamura's "Look But Don't Touch - Okay, Perhaps Just a Little" Juliette. They gave an incredible performance, one that - again - I did not want to end.

    The crowning moment of the evening, complete with resplendent sets, props and plenty of sparkle was Aurora's Wedding from The Sleeping Beauty. In the spotlight were principal dancers, Lesley Rausch and Batkhurel Bold as Princess Aurora and Prince Florimund.

    Rausch's portrayal of the sixteen year old Princess was breathtaking and believable, while Bold's Prince was the definition of debonair and confidence. Their series of fish dives across the stage were beautifully executed. I especially enjoyed marveling at Rausch's sweet expression, incredible extensions and go-for-miles lines! She brings a decidedly fresh layer of charm to the stage that I hadn't realized was lacking before now.

    The Gold & Silver Pas de Trois featured Lindsi Dec, William Lin-Yee and Seth Orza. The men were every bit as superb as you would expect and in fact, I was especially pleased with how well corps de ballet member, Lin-Yee kept up with the likes of principal dancer, Orza who, let's face it, reached god-like status long ago. If he felt any intimidation about dancing alongside Orza, he didn't show it. Orza, of course, looked fantastic and made his variation look like child's play.

    Dec was joyful, delightful and effervescent as always. I love and appreciate how she makes every performance look like it's her happiest moment on earth.

    Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist Lindsi Dec in Aurora’s Wedding from Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty.  Presented as part of LOVE STORIES, November 4-13, 2011. Photo © Angela Sterling

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    Tied for best variation within this section goes to Puss in Boots & White Cat (Ezra Thompson, Sarah Ricard Orza) and The Bluebird and Princess Florine (Jerome Tisserand, Rachel Foster). First up - Puss in Boots & The White Cat. Corps de ballet member, Ezra Thompson and soloist, Sarah Ricard Orza really outdid themselves with this number! These two have more "character" in their little fingers than others have in their entire body. Ricard-Orza's White Cat was all sass, "slapping" Thompson's "Puss" on the hand - er, paw - whenever he got a little too frisky. In the end, no kitty can resist a choice little mouse which Puss happily presented to Her Royal Divaness, the White Cat.

    As the Bluebird, Tisserand once again did not disappoint, while principal dancer, Rachel Foster's Princess Florine was absolutely flawless. She seems to have the Midas Touch when it comes to execution, technique and inner fire; it all turns to gold, baby! Love it...

    Love Stories runs through November 13th with excellent tickets still available! To learn more, please visit PNB.org.

    Reviewed by Denise Opper



  • Behind the Scenes with Lindsi Dec (Pointe Magazine Photo Shoot)

    pointe_lindsi_decHere's a fun "behind the scenes" look at Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist, Lindsi Dec's photo shoot video with Pointe Magazine!

    In the shoot, Lindsi is wearing two ensembles; the first is Class Act Tutu’s V Neck Tutu Bodice (in wine) and Classical Tutu skirt in Wine/Black

    The other one (as featured on p 10 of Pointe) is Vala Dancewear’s “Siren” in one of the new fabrics/colors we are testing (consider this a sneak peek!!!), along with Class Act Tutu’s Layered Romantic Tutu in our 5-Layer “Bird of Paradise” palette.

    If you want to own one of these georgeous tutus worn by Lindsi in the Pointe Photo shoot, they are in our Sample Sale!

    Not your size?  No problem!  Just contact us.

  • PNB's Lindsi Dec - Seizing Her Moment

    Photo by Nathan Sayers

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    "Lindsi Dec steps out from the “Rubies” corps, lowering her arms slowly, a flash in her eyes. And then she bursts into action, her 5' 9" worth of angular beauty unfurling into head-high extensions. Darting and slinking through Balanchine’s hip-jutting steps, the Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist is having the time of her life. And so is the audience." - Pointe Magazine

    A huge "congratulations!" to Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist (and Vala Dancewear model), Lindsi Dec, the featured artist in the October/November issue of Pointe Magazine! Read all about Lindsi's rise to fame here.

    {PS: On page 10, Lindsi is modeling one of Class Act Tutu's Layered Romantic Tutus. Don't miss it!}


  • Review: Pacific Northwest Ballet's All Wheeldon

    Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancers Carla Körbes and Seth Orza in Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance), presented as part of PNB’s season-opener, ALL WHEELDON, September 23 – October 2, 2011.  Photo © Angela Sterling

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    Pacific Northwest Ballet opened its 2011-12 season with an outstanding production featuring four works from highly acclaimed dancer/choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon.

    I admit, I had high expectations for this production; first -  because I adore Wheeldon's work and second - I get a huge kick out of his accent. (Yes, I'm that superficial.) As always, the PNB dancers didn't let me down.

    The first piece of the night was Carousel (A Dance). Principal dancers, Seth Orza and Carla Korbes performed the lead pas de deux with stunning emotional intensity. Though not "in your face" passionate, their tender connection was undoubtedly arresting and satisfying.

    Not to be outdone, I also found soloist Benjamin Griffiths and corps de ballet members Kiyon Gaines and Ezra Thomson performances to be strong stand outs as well. Griffiths has such a beautiful quality to him (while his smile just lights up the stage);  Gaines' is big, powerful and yet moves with the grace of a sylph, and Thomson seems to be growing by leaps and bounds in terms of confidence, "voice" and artistic depth.

    After The Rain pas de deux featured soloist, James Moore with newly appointed principal, Rachel Foster, and is one of those pieces that you have to see to understand. It is beauty in its purest form. The fluidity, flexibility and extreme control executed by these two gorgeous dancers was just spectacular.

    While I've seen Moore perform numerous times, I was taken aback by just how "lovely" he is. His port de bras were amazing and the way he partnered the tiny Foster felt so protective, passionate and downright yummy. Foster was absolutely spellbinding as always. She's just one of those dancers I never tire of watching.

    Pacific Northwest Ballet soloists Rachel Foster and James Moore in Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain pas de deux, presented as part of PNB’s season-opener, ALL WHEELDON, September 23 – October 2, 2011.  Photo © Angela Sterling

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    The third piece of the night was Polyphonia which, I must admit, was the most difficult to enjoy. Not because of the dancers - oh no! - but rather because of some of the musical interludes, which were an assault to one's sense of order and balance.  Yet in spite of all this, Wheeldon (who must be part time super hero or something), managed to wrap this chaotic dervish in glittering paper and top it off with a shiny bow.

    Taking center stage again was soloist, Benjamin Griffiths along with principal dancer, Lucien Postlewaite in a dazzling pas de deux which smacked of male competitiveness with a hit of "coquettish" thrown in for spice, and soloist Sarah Ricard Orza and corps de ballet member, Jerome Tisserand in their own breathtaking pas de deux. These two have such a "quietly dynamic" sense of artistry that can, unfortunately, be overshadowed by their more dramatic peers. Therefore, it was great to see them paired together like that. Bravo!

    The final piece of the evening was Variations Serieuses, which is a laugh out loud parody of the dance world. The characters - prima (diva) ballerina, premiere danseur, pianist, stage manager, ballet master, conductor - are all played to the exaggerated, comedic hilt. Carrie Imler shined like a brilliant diamond as the spoiled, entirely-too-full-of-herself prima ballerina who is soon ousted out of the spotlight (due to injury) by the lovely ingénu, Sarah Ricard Orza, waiting sweetly in the wings.

    Pacific Northwest Ballet company dancers in Christopher Wheeldon’s Variations Sérieuses, presented as part of PNB’s season-opener, ALL WHEELDON, September 23 – October 2, 2011. Photo © Angela Sterling

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    This piece was the perfect follow up to the previous more intense acts. Again, the PNB dancers surpassed all expectations and bestowed a fantastic treat upon the entire audience. Kiyon Gaines' performance as the Ballet Master was freaking hysterical as was soloist, Lindsi Dec's butt-scratching, soda (beer?) swigging Stage Manager.

    To sum things up - All Wheeldon is all class and sass! It's a must-see and a glorious beginning to what looks to be an extraordinary new season.

    This is the final weekend to catch All Wheeldon. For tickets, please visit PNB.org.

  • PNB - Blowing the Dust Off "Giselle" and Audiences Away

    Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of centuries past, Pacific Northwest Ballet's world premiere staging of "Giselle" raises the bar on classical ballet storytelling. This fantastical production - the likes of which I have not seen since Romeo et Juliette - brought the audience to its feet in standing ovation during Saturday night's performance.

    Extreme Makeover - Peter Boal Edition

    Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancers Lucien Postlewaite as Albrecht, and Kaori Nakamura as Giselle, in PNB's world premiere staging of Giselle. Photo © Angela Sterling

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    While today's ballets are often filled with flashy showmanship (which I love, don't get me wrong), PNB's Giselle hones in on the story itself. Every detail, every gesture is of utmost importance. One slip and the spell is broken.

    The PNB dancers tackled this challenge head on and created what can only be described as a masterpiece.

    Kaori Nakamura's Giselle is every inch the sweet, naive girl next door. In a cruel twist of fate, her character's love for dance is impaired by a most delicate physical constitution. Giselle refuses to listen to her mother (played by the ever-popular Chalnessa Eames) when she tells her, "Honey, that boy is no good for you!" Not only should she not dance but she apparently shouldn't date, either. (Enter teenage rebellion in 3...2...1...)

    Nakamura is light, "springy" and just a wee bit sassy - that is, until she goes mad. Then she's a wild, flailing disastrously distraught young woman suffering from her first - and only - heartbreak. (Oh if only she had listened to her mama...*Sigh*) Nakamura captured Giselle's devastation and rode that crazy train all the way through to the last stop. Bravo!

    Resident "lady killer" Duke Albrecht was performed by the incomparable Lucien Postlewaite. This charming seducer is dangerously handsome, arrogant, headstrong and ever so slightly intoxicated by his own charm. He knows darn well that his feelings for Giselle are inappropriate, but the thrill of the hunt is far too enticing to pass up. Later when Giselle breathes her last, Albrecht discovers just how dangerous a woman's emotions can be. (Run, boy! Run!)

    Postlewaite's interpretation applies a fresh streak of color to a beloved canvas. For the first time in my life, I actually felt sorry for Albrecht. (And coming from a major Wili fan...that's huge!)

    Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Kaori Nakamura as Giselle, with company dancers in PNB's world premiere staging of Giselle. Photo © Angela Sterling

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    Hilarion, the third point on this ill-fated love triangle, beautifully performed by Jeffrey Stanton. His interpretation was mature, protective, determined - and later, deeply wounded.  (A  sharp contrast to Postlewaite's "headstrong teenager" Albrecht!) His love for Giselle is evident but like most "good girls", she craves the forbidden love of the "bad boy". (Poor Hilarion.) Not that Hilarion's an angel...I personally enjoyed witnessing Stanton give full vent to Hilarion's anger at the close of Act I. His facial expressions and accusing finger - along with all that vicious brutality directed toward Albrecht - were absolutely yummy!

    You Gave Me the Wilis - and I Love You For It!

    Act II is all about those gorgeously vengeful Wilis! (My favorite!) Maria Chapman - aka Mytha, Queen of the Wilis - was just...just...oh my goodness, I can't even come up with an appropriate word for it. She was that darn good! All those itsy bitsy bourrées transformed her from mere mortal to a delicate wisp of moonlight floating across the stage! (Just watching her made me involuntarily flex my toes in sympathy.)

    Chapman, along with her faithful companions - Moyna (Lindsi Dec) and Zulme (Lesley Rausch) - and the rest of the Wilis - convey an air of sadness that enshrouds (pun intended) their every movement. "Dying before your wedding day?" you gasp. "How dreadful!"

    Not to worry. These diabolical apparitions take out their frustrations every chance they get.  As a matter of fact, this is where the real action begins! (Mmmwaa ha ha ha!)

    Pacific Northwest Ballet company dancers as the ghostly Wilis in PNB's world premiere staging of Giselle. Photo © Angela Sterling

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    The Wilis hold nothing back as they force Hilarion and Albrecht to dance, dance, dance. The poor men are tossed to and fro, their faces drenched with sweat. Gasping for air, they plead for their lives but the Wilis will hear nothing of it. "Sorry, boys!" Chapman, Dec and Rausch seem to say through bitter glares. "There's no ice water in hell!" Ahhh...ruthless, cold and sinister. Perfect! ;)

    Last but by no means least - kudos to the corps de ballet for their outstanding work! All those tight synchronized formations and hopping arabesques - I'd bust a Snoopy dance for joy if it didn't feel somewhat  inappropriate to do so.

    Review by: Denise Opper, Media Relations - Class Act Tutu

    Giselle runs through June 12th. Don't miss your chance to view this extraordinary work of art! To purchase tickets to Pacific Northwest Ballet's Giselle visit PNB.org.

  • Review: Pacific Northwest Ballet's Coppelia

    Pacific Northwest Ballet's Coppélia  All photos © Angela Sterling

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    Pacific Northwest Ballet pulled out all the stops with their latest production of George Balanchine's, Coppelia.  This fantastic production features all new lavishly designed (read: gorgeous!) sets, to die for costumes, and of course the high-caliber artistry that PNB is world-famous for.

    Swanilda/Coppélia

    Saturday's matinee featured Lesley Rausch as Swanilda/Coppelia, Jerome Tisserand as Franz, and Olivier Wevers as Dr. Coppelius.  Right off the bat, I have to give serious applause to Rausch for her outstanding interpretation. She not only delighted everyone in the audience with her arrogance and saucy attitude, but she transported us into the heart of her character. Sure, Swanilda isn't the nicest of young ladies, but her love for Franz is evident, even when faced with the sting of rejection.
     

    Franz

    Jerome Tisserand's Franz was perfectly executed. Like Rausch, he had a way drawing me in, making me feel almost as fed up with Swanilda's antics as he was. His attitude was a perfect blend of inflated ego meets young playboy looking for love.  After discovering that his love interest is only a doll, one would expect Franz to act a bit more sheepish over his foolish behavior. (I mean, seriously!) However, Tisserand remains true to character and Franz casually glosses over that "minor faux pas" with a sudden profession of love for Swanilda, which of course, she accepts.

    Dr. Coppelius

     
    Olivier Wevers deserved the standing ovation he received for his performance as the highly eccentric, slightly creepy, Dr. Coppelius. How it is Wevers can pull such multi-faceted characters out of his back pocket is beyond me! His Dr. Coppelius was a thrilling "yin and yang"; an absent-minded and lonely old man, whose walking stick doubles as a handy weapon against "the wild hooligans" of the town. But underneath that "grumpy old man" veneer lurks a borderline-fiendish soul.

    Honorable Mentions

     
    Act three's splendid cast also deserves special mention. I was most impressed by Carrie Imler's "Dawn" and Sarah Ricard Orza's "Prayer". These dancers gave equally passionate and exquisite performances. Imler was a vision of dazzling sunlight--bright, confident and striking.  Ricard Orza danced "Like a fairy tale princess!" (to quote the little one sitting next to me) with her flowing port de bras and delicate phrasing. The action-packed "Discord and War" featured Batkhurel Bold and Lindsi Dec entering the stage like wild flashes of lightning dressed in silvery armor. As always, the power behind these two striking  dancers takes your breath away. Their amazing turns and leaps were all done whilst holding long spears--none of which whacked anyone else nor made kabobs out of their thighs. (An acrobatic feat of epic proportions, especially when you consider how clumsy the rest of is--read: yours truly!--would be in the same situation.)PNB's Coppelia is filled with good natured humor, an outstanding cast, and delicious imagery. If you haven't yet made your way to McCaw Hall to catch the "Happiest Ballet on Earth!", I would highly suggest that you do so. Like...today!

    Coppelia runs from June 3rd-13th. Tickets are available by visiting PNB.org.

     

    For those of you unable to attend, please enjoy our gallery of  Pacific Northwest Ballet's premiere production of Coppélia: Choreography by Alexandra Danilova and George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust (after Marius Petipa).

    All Photos © Angela Sterling

    For more stunning dance photos, visit  Angela Sterling Photography.


    By Denise Opper

  • Review: Pacific Northwest Ballet's Sleeping Beauty

    What a gorgeous evening! There are simply not enough adjectives to describe the splendor of Pacific Northwest Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty.  This outstanding company of dancers whisks its audience deep into the heart of this beloved fairy tale, thrilling and delighting both young and old alike.
    The scenery and costumes  designed by Peter Docherty are lush, vibrant and visually delicious. Enchanted foliage moves to ensconce the royal castle. Costumes shimmer and sparkle with life of their own. Aurora's bower is delicately ornate and enveloped in a golden beam of light.

    The Christening

    The opening Christening Scene exceeded all expectations. Otto Neubert (King Florimund) and Victoria McFall (the Queen) are poised experts of their craft. Their characterization is well-established and believable.
    The seven enchanted fairies and their cavaliers were dazzlingly  in sync. The Cavaliers, with their impressive turns and jumps, were thrilling to watch. The fairies were perfectly cast, each bringing their own unique style and interpretation to the role. Most memorable solos include Lindsi Dec's (Fairy of Wit) spunky finger pointing and skillful pointe work, and Chalnessa Eames' (Fairy of Generosity) charming, slightly coquettish performance.

    The Lilac Fairy

    Carrie Imler's  interpretation was not only masterful, but exhibited a profound sense of strength under control. I got the distinct impression that Lilac could've really given old Carabosse a swift kick in the skirt, but chose not to because that wouldn't be very ladylike. Their relationship seems tethered by a delicate wisp of a truce; "I will only allow you to go so far," Lilac's penetrating gaze warns.
    Imler's port de bras were gorgeous and fluid; her grace extending all the way through her fingertips. Her expressions were soft but commanding; her movement precise yet poetic. Imler's Lilac seemed to care deeply about all those within her domain, and their allegiance to her was not without cause.

    Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Carla Körbes as the Lilac Fairy with her attendants, puts the kingdom under a sleeping spell in Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty.  Photo © Angela Sterling.

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    Carabosse

    Jonathan Poretta's portrayal of this devilish fairy was dramatic, powerful and just plain fun. Everything from his grand, swooping entrance accompanied by the sound of crashing cymbals and stark flashes of light, to the fiendish ways in which he lashes out over not being invited to the celebration was absolutely superb! Carabosse may be profoundly wicked, but she is still no match for the Lilac Fairy's power. One moment, Carabosse is whirling feverishly about, her cackling laughter almost audible. The next, she is cowering on the floor under Lilac's quietly dominating presence.  I was almost sorry she was stabbed to death by the heroic Prince in the end.

    Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Olivier Wevers as the evil Carabosse, and principal dancer Carla Körbes as the Lilac Fairy in Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty.  Photo © Angela Sterling.

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    Princess Aurora

    With her delicate phrasing and uncanny ability to channel the emotions of a sixteen year old Princess, Mara Vinson has secured her place as a legendary ballerina. During the famous Rose Adagio, Vinson was unfathomably brilliant. Her balance was spot-on as she greeted each of the four Dukes; her supple back hinted of the beautiful woman our heroine is to become, and her developpes unfurled toward the sky. Last but not least, those fantastic poissons (fish dives)with the Dukes and later, the Prince, were nothing short of extraordinary. Indeed, Vinson's performance left many viewers gasping with excitement.

    Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Mara Vinson as Aurora, with company dancers in Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty.  Photo © Angela Sterling.

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    The Prince

    Yet where would our lovely heroine be without her handsome Prince? Seth Orza proved his mettle by meeting the challenges of this highly demanding ballet. Orza starts out as a dashing, slightly aloof young man who quickly becomes enraptured by the girl of his dreams (literally). He begs the Lilac Fairy to show him where she can be found, a request which the benevolent fairy is only too happy to oblige. Orza's characterization is rich and articulate; his strength and power--sheer bliss. When he finally kills the wicked Carabosse then leans in to kiss his beloved Aurora, you have to literally stop yourself from cheering.

    The Wedding

    The third act of this ballet is filled with some of the most well-known and cherished variations. The Gold and Silver Pas de Trois, featuring Lindsi Dec, Andrew Bartee and Lucien Postlewaite was refreshing, effortless and commanding. I was duly impressed with how well Dec's strength and beautiful lines held their own against Bartee's and Postlewaite's esteemed technical prowess and bold execution.
    The Bluebirds (Rachel Foster and Benjamin Griffiths) were absolutely stunning.  Griffiths shined with his jaw-dropping leaps and jumps, while Foster's fluttering movements provided a sense of harmony and balance.
    Red Riding Hood and the Wolf (Abby Relic and Jerome Tisserand) was mildly sinister yet extremely charming. I heard more than a few giggles emanating from the children in attendance.
    However, it was the humorous dance between Puss in Boots (Jordan Pacitti) and the White Cat (Sarah Ricard Orza) that really got the audience's attention.  This talented duo made the most convincing pair of sparring felines imaginable. Pacitti was the ever-determined suitor vying for Ricard Orza's finicky feline affections; Ricard Orza transformed herself into the most feisty little kitty cat, holding Pacitti at arm's--or claw's--length. After multiple strikeouts, Pacitti finally decides to give Ricard Orza the gift no kitty in her right mind can resist; a tasty mouse!

    Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist Seth Orza and principal dancer Mara Vinson as Prince Florimund and Princess Aurora in Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty.  Photo © Angela Sterling

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    Conclusion

    By taking on this technically demanding ballet and performing with aplomb, Pacific Northwest Ballet has once again proven itself worthy of the highest of accolades. The dancers enamored the audience with their incandescent performance and spawned a new generation of wistful Auroras!

    by Denise Opper, Media Relations Class Act Tutu & Vala Dancewear

    All photos © Angela Sterling

    Pacific Northwest Ballet performs Ronal Hynd's The Sleeping Beauty

    February 4 - 14, 2010

  • Interview: Pacific Northwest Ballet Soloist, Lindsi Dec - Part Two

    In Part One of our interview, Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist Lindsi Dec spoke candidly about her recent marriage and how she began her dance training. Now in Part Two, Lindsi shares what a typical day is like for her, as well as the challenges of being a tall dancer…

    Class Act:  Lindsi, the long lines you and your taller peers are able to create are just exquisite!  Would you mind telling us what it’s like to be a tall dancer, and how this fact has enhanced or challenged your career?
    Lindsi:   Hmm. That’s a good question. Well, as a taller dancer I’d have to say it’s actually a bit harder to control my extremities than a dancer of average height. It’s a tough process for us (tall dancers) – in my experience anyway – to make it all come together with beautiful lines. My core wasn’t strong enough, I was very weak—I still am in fact, so I have to do a lot of cross training. But it makes us unique and helps us stand out a bit, which is great.

    Class Act:  I never looked at it that way before. I often assumed--probably like most people--that being taller was more of an advantage in the dance world than not.  Thank you for being so open about that.  Ok, here’s a question I know our readers are dying to have you answer! What does a typical day look like for you?

    Lindsi:   A typical day for me is full of dancing! I wake up at 8am and get ready for the day, including making a lunch full of snacks that will last me until 7pm.  I like to eat a lot during our breaks to allow my body to refuel for the next rehearsal.
    I leave the house by 9:15 am and am in the studio by 9:50 am.  It is at this time, I tape my toes and warm-up.  We have class from 10:15- 11:45am.  Class is very important because it prepares and warms up the body for the rest of the rehearsal day.  It is also a great opportunity to improve one’s technique.  We have 20 minutes after class to rest up, snack, and see what pointe shoes are going to work for various rehearsals.  Our normal rehearsal schedule is from 12:05 –3pm with 5 minute breaks each hour.

    Lindsi Dec, Soloist, Pacific Northwest Ballet wearing Vala Dancewear's "Bombshell" Leotard

    Lindsi

    We have lunch off from 3-4 pm.  I normally try to work out at that time because cross training for the body is extremely important.  I do strengthening exercises and weights.  On some days, depending on my rehearsal load, I will also do cardio.  From 4:05-7pm, we have our last three hours of the day.
    Each day is different though, we may have 6 hours of rehearsal or one hour.  It depends on the rep we are doing and how much we are dancing.  Then, it’s back home to a nice dinner and relaxing before I go to bed at 10pm. Yes, I know, it’s very early, but my body needs at least ten hours of sleep or else I am not a happy camper the next day!

    ….Check back soon to read the third installment where Lindsi discusses her partnership with Vala Dancewear, her hobbies, and favorite roles!

    by Denise Opper, Media Relations:  Class Act Tutu & Vala Dancewear

  • Interview: Pacific Northwest Ballet Soloist, Lindsi Dec - Part One

    Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) soloist, Lindsi Dec is not only a gifted dancer but is also one of the lovely Vala Dancewear models!  With her graceful lines, powerful stage presence and classic beauty, Lindsi captivates and dazzles her audience, while her passion, determination, and strong work ethic make her an inspiration to today’s young dancers.
    Lindsi recently took some time out of her busy schedule to chat with Class Act Tutu’s Denise Opper both at home in Seattle and in between performances at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Her answers will be chronicled in a series of posts here on the Class Act Tutu blog, and will feature some personal “behind the scenes” photos Lindsi graciously agreed to share with our readers.

    Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist Lindsi Dec (center) and company members dance the Waltz of the Flowers in PNB's Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker.  Photo ©  Angela Sterling.

    Pacific

    About Lindsi Dec

    Class Act: Hello, Lindsi. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today.
    Lindsi:  Oh, it’s my pleasure!
    Class Act: Let’s begin by having you share a little about yourself.
    Lindsi: Well, let’s see. I’m 27 years old and I recently married Karel Cruz, a principal PNB dancer. (Her infectious smile was evident through the phone.)
    Class Act: Wow, congratulations! So does being married to a fellow dancer make life easier in a sense?
    Lindsi: Oh, yes definitely! He understands what my crazy life is like completely. It’s wonderful; I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    In The Beginning

    Class Act: That’s terrific. So now, let’s discuss your dance background for a moment. What age did you begin your training, what schools did you attend, and was ballet something you always felt drawn to?
    Lindsi: Well, my mom enrolled me in dance classes when I was 3 years old—ballet, tap and jazz—I actually hated ballet at first. I was more into tap/jazz at that point.
    Class Act: Oh my goodness, really? I never would’ve guessed. So what made you change your mind?

    The Inspiration

    Lindsi: When I was about 13, my mom took me to the Kennedy Center to see Miami City Ballet perform Rubies and—that was it!  I told my mom I wanted to perform the same role (tall girl).

    Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist Lindsi Dec in George Balanchine’s Rubies.  Choreography © The George Balanchine Trust.  Photo © Angela Sterling.

    Pacific

    When I was 14, I started focusing on ballet but my private school refused to credit my ballet classes toward the athletic graduation requirement.  So, I had to quit dance for awhile because of that and had to play soccer and attend a self-defense class to complete the requirements over two semesters.  Then later, when I returned to ballet, I felt I had to work harder than all the other girls because I was so far behind, but it was worth it.  I then trained at the Washington School of Ballet, which is where I really began to improve.  I attended 3 summer courses at Houston Ballet on scholarship, then after high school I attended PNB’s summer program.  From there, I was in their PD (Professional Division) for 2 years, and then joined the company as an apprentice in 2001.

    ….Be sure to check back soon to read the next installment where Lindsi shares a typical “Day in the Life,” as well as the challenges of being a tall dancer!

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