Choice Time at Pacific Northwest Ballet

In kindergarten, almost every kid has the same favorite subject in school – Choice Time. Choice time usually disappears in third grade, but when it does appear in later life, it’s usually still a favorite. For me, that means the annual Director’s Choice program at Pacific Northwest Ballet. Of course, it’s the director’s job to pick the programs, so in a sense every program is the director’s choice. But the idea behind Director’s Choice is that for this one program, the director picks ballets he likes best without consideration for budgets and ticket sales. I doubt that the director is ever free from those considerations, but it’s a nice idea and it is true that Director’s Choice includes more premieres and bolder works than other programs throughout the season. Which is why I always end up liking it best.

This year was even more special to me, because for once, I only brought my kids to the introduction of the blog post, but was free to attend and enjoy the actual ballet for myself, without consideration for what kind of value it may have for kids or how to help kids understand and enjoy it. Even better, my companion for the evening is a dancer herself, so I could share her insights that I would never get on my own. Continue reading


Elsewhere on the Web

January was a bit of a slow month, since I spent most of December visiting family and entertaining kids over the holiday vacation instead of pitching new stories. But I wrote a few things that showed up on the internet, and if you’re interested, here they are.  Continue reading

The Vertiginous Thrill of Forsythe

Photo by Angela Sterling for Pacific Northwest Ballet

Photo by Angela Sterling for Pacific Northwest Ballet

Before I saw Pacific Northwest Ballet’s all Forsythe repertory The Vertiginous Thrill of Forsythe, I never realized that in some ways, the avant-garde contemporary ballet that thrills me has more in common with the straight-laced classical ballet that puts me to sleep than it does with anything that came between. Continue reading

A Childish Review of Director’s Choice at Pacific Northwest Ballet

DirChoice14BookletThe Director’s Choice repertory is always one of my favorite ballet performances of the year; I look forward to Peter Boal’s selection of modern, intriguing, challenging pieces all year. So when I found myself running a temperature of 102 F a day before I was supposed to go, I hated the thought of missing it. Fortunately, as a season subscriber, I was able to call the box office and change my dates without any fees. Unfortunately, on the day of the final performance, I was still completely out of commission, so I ended up sending my husband and daughter. My daughter has been attending the ballet for half of her life. That’s only five years of ballet, so her opinions are not necessarily the same as mine. But her opinions (lightly edited) are the ones you’re getting today.

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Holding Back

DaveB_Bshoot13Last week festival season transitioned to fall arts, and as usual I wanted to see it all. On Wednesday I attended the opening of Seattle’s Decibel Festival (not to be confused with the also-excellent touring metal festival of the same name) and on Saturday I brought my daughter to the first Pacific Northwest Ballet repertory of the season, Jewels. I really wanted to see the Erased Tapes showcase at Decibel on Sunday, and I was sad to have missed the Jewels preview at Seattle Public Library earlier in the week. I didn’t even try to make it to Your Feast Has Ended before it closed, despite how significant the exhibition at the Frye seems to have been. I love the arts; I love the numerous ways they enrich my life. I had a major epiphany at Bumbershoot last year. It reinforced my enthusiasm for the arts, but it’s also the reason that I missed more events than I attended last week. Continue reading

Ballerina Steals Jewels


Jewels Stolen from Pacific Northwest Ballet Stage

Audiences report that the gemstones were swiped right off the stage in the middle of performances over the weekend. Ballerina Angelica Generosa is considered the prima suspect.


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The Bookslut Travel-writes Dangerously

I apologize. Once again, I ask you to work for a reblog. But I think this one is worth it. It’s a short piece, but manages to cover a lot of ground without feeling dense. If you like any of the things I usually write about here, you’ll probably find something to like in this post on the Bookslut Blog.

In it, Jessa Crispin, aka the Bookslut, writes about ballet and travel – two things I love. She touches on male dancers, trust, and applause, and includes a gorgeous image that evokes all of these things while drawing on deep myth and (my) childhood memories of C.S. Lewis. I profoundly disagree with her preference for other dance forms over ballet while heartily agreeing with her observations about the nature of ballet. But mostly I share this piece because of the wisdom in her opening sentences.

Did you find anything interesting? Which part?