Pacific Northwest Ballet

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.

Pacific Northwest Ballet Photo/Lindsay Thomas

Pacific Northwest Ballet Principal Dancer Kaori Nakamura remembers the day she got her first pointe shoes.

Pacific Northwest Ballet/Jerry Davis

When Pacific Northwest Ballet artistic director Peter Boal arrived in Seattle in 2005, he was ready to lead Seattle's premier dance company into the 21st century. It was a challenge that excited him, but becoming the head of his own company meant that Boal had to leave behind his own long and celebrated career with New York City Ballet.

Courtesy of Pacific Northwest Ballet/Copyright Lindsay Thomas

Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite might actually be better known in Europe than here on the North American continent. The Vancouver Island native trained in ballet and danced with Ballet British Columbia before moving to Europe to perform with legendary American choreographer William Forsythe.

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.

Flickr Photo/Kryziz Bonny

Washington State Vaccination Rates
During the 2008-2009 school year, Washington state kindergarteners were the least vaccinated in the United States. The opt-out rate of at least once vaccine was 7.6 percent. According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control, the opt-out rate has decreased to 4.6 percent. It’s a marked improvement for sure, but Washington state still has the seventh highest vaccination opt-out rate in the country. How have public health officials tackled this issue? Why is Washington state such a likely to place for parents to opt their kids out of vaccinations?

Art Of Our City
Religious leaders often talk about the role of devotion in their work, but what about artists? Or just regular people? Seattle writer Rebecca Brown has invited a range of Seattle-area folks to contemplate devotion. The result is an exhibition at the Hedreen Gallery at Seattle University. What does devotion mean in your life?

Pacific Northwest Ballet Artistic Director Peter Boal
Eight years ago the leadership changed hands at Pacific Northwest Ballet. Peter Boal came to Seattle to assume the role of PNB’s artistic director. The former New York City Ballet principal dancer was committed to PNB’s focus on the work of choreographer George Balanchine. But Boal has expanded PNB’s repertoire, bringing in much more new work and focusing on such choreographers as Twyla Tharp and Christopher Wheeldon, hot shots of contemporary dance making.

Pinball: History You Play!  
Everyone has played pinball, but do you remember that it was once banned? Producer Katy Sewall visits the Seattle Pinball Museum to find the stories behind the fun. Why was the “tilt” invented? What recurring themes show up year after year? How has the sound of pinball changed through the decades?

A Conversation With Al Gore

Feb 14, 2013
Al Gore
AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Al Gore has been delving into the future. The former vice president and media mogul (he just sold his Current TV network to Al-Jazeera English) says we are at the dawn of a new era.

In his new book, “The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change,” he takes an in-depth look at major shifts occurring in the world: globalization linked to automation and digital connections that are shaping a world where fewer workers are needed; population growth coinciding with a widening gulf between the haves and have-nots; new biological breakthroughs that are bringing humans into control of evolution.

courtesy Pacific Northwest Ballet

If you ask American ballet dancers to name the person with the biggest impact on their artform, chances are they'll answer: George Balanchine.

"George Balanchine changed the way we look at dance," enthuses Seattle arts writer Sandi Kurtz. "In the same way Picasso changed the way we look at visual art, the same way Mozart changed what we heard in the concert hall."

Same-Sex Marriage Arrives In Washington State

Dec 6, 2012
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Washington state began handing out same-sex marriage licenses last night; the weddings will start on Sunday. We talk with some of the couples who showed up in downtown Seattle at midnight to be among the first to get a marriage license.