dance

Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancers Carla Korbes and Batkhurel Bold in George Balanchine's "Diamonds."
PNB/Angela Sterling

When Seattle ballerina Carla Korbes dons a white tutu in the classic ballet, “Swan Lake,” she can make you believe she’s a swan.

That uncanny ability has made Korbes a darling in the ballet world – so beloved that New York Times chief dance critic Alastair Macaulay regularly flies out to see her perform. He calls her one of the world’s greatest ballerinas today because of how she feels the music and embodies the characters.

PNB soloist Kiyon Gaines in Twyla Tharp's "Waiting at the Station."
Courtesy PNB/Angela Sterling

Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist Kiyon Gaines says he didn’t find ballet -- ballet found him.

The Baltimore native didn’t start dancing until he was 10. He studied tap and jazz. Somebody told him that ballet lessons would help him with how he carried his arms. So his mother enrolled him in a local class.

Krubel Amare shows off a head spin in the KUOW studio.
KUOW Photo / Sanda Htyte

When I’m break dancing, I feel free. That is the best feeling, when you don’t care what others think. You don’t care what you even think at that moment in time.

Spectrum Dance Theater unveils a new "Carmina Burana" dance performance this month by its artistic director Donald Byrd.
Courtesy Spectrum Dance Theater

You may not know it by name, but you've likely heard Carl Orff's 1937 cantata, "Carmina Burana."

Chorale groups present it, commercials and films use it in soundtracks, and choreographers make dances to it. 

This spring, two Seattle dance companies will present works set to "Carmina Burana."

Reinier Valdes, owner of the dance studio La Clave Cubana.
Courtesy of Reinier Valdes

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Reinier Valdes, owner of the dance studio La Clave Cubana, about his effort to bring Cuban dance to Seattle.

Edna Daigre, center, teaches a class for older dancers in Seattle's Central Area.
KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman

Doris Tunney doesn’t even pretend to be offended when you ask how old she is.

“I’m 86,” she says proudly. “I’ll be 87 on March 26.”

Tunney is petite, with cinnamon brown skin, short, curly white hair and perfect posture. Dressed in denim capris and a long-sleeved cotton shirt, this octogenarian is ready to dance.

photo by Teri Pieper

When you think about a dance performance, you may envision something grand and expansive, like “Nutcracker.” Or maybe a sparkly ballroom competition comes to mind, something akin to “Dancing With the Stars.”

Whatever the dance style, these performances are about bodies moving in space. In this case, big spaces.

photo courtesy Pacific Northwest Ballet

When Kent Stowell and his wife, Francia Russell, took over artistic leadership at Pacific Northwest Ballet more than 30 years ago they wanted to build the tiny regional dance company into a national ballet powerhouse. To help them reach that goal, they decided to create a signature holiday production at PNB, a ballet that would distinguish them from all the other American ballet companies.

The logical choice was a new adaptation of "Nutcracker," the story of a young girl who's given a nutcracker doll that magically comes to life. Different versions of this Christmas story are performed across the country.

Courtesy On the Boards

Amy O’Neal is a formally trained white dancer who feels more at home with hip-hop culture and movement than with she does with Western European contemporary art.

Flickr Photo/Balletstar011 (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with former New York City ballerina Jenifer Ringer about her new book, "Dancing Through It: My Journey In The Ballet."

Velocity Dance Center/Jacob Rosen

When you ask Seattle dance insiders which young artists they've got their eyes on, 24-year-old Kate Wallich's name almost always rises to the top of the list.

Courtesy of Bamberg Fine Art

Olivier Wevers remembers the first time he took a dance class; It ended badly. Wevers' mother found her very young son crying at the side of the dance studio.

"They gave me tights to wear," Wevers said. "I wanted a tutu."

Seattle Times Photo/Erika Schultz

It's a sunny Sunday afternoon, the kind of late autumn day made for raking leaves, or watching the Seahawks annihilate yet another challenger.

Pacific Northwest Ballet Photo/Lindsay Thomas

Pacific Northwest Ballet's Studio C is a big rehearsal hall, with the same dimensions as the stage at nearby McCaw Hall where PNB performs. Despite its size, on this afternoon the room feels packed to the gills.

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