What PNB Fans Are Saying

ALL WHEELDON, September 23–October 2, 2011


"How often does one attend a performance and at the end of a piece, such as After the Rain pas de deux, hear the entire audience let out a sound that was somewhere between a sigh and a gasp at the sheer beauty of movement danced by Maria Chapman and Karel Cruz?  Then the applause began. Christopher Wheeldon and the PNB gave us an incredible evening of dance on Saturday, Oct.1, thank you." —Leslie

"Nothing less than amazing, and so very satisfying! The Pas De Deux (sorry about the misspelling), was captivating. My daughter said her muscles ached because she would tense with every movement. I was enthralled and amazed that the ballerina (sorry with my lack of name) punctuated perfectly some of her movements to the tinkle of a triangle or some other instrument. The other pieces were also thoroughly well done, and the pairing was very well done. We are looking to our next ballet! Thank you for this opportunity" —Gay

"I Just miss the traditional costuming... That beauty is one of the reasons to watch ballet." —Susan

"I have seen individual works of Wheeldon's before, but the depth and diversity of his genius was only fully apparent to me when I saw an entire evening of his works.  Folks have been asking since Balanchine died in 1983......."what now?"  I now have my answer: Christopher Wheeldon.  Thank you PNB for opening my eyes." —Sandy

"The one thing I most noticed in his choreography was that he uses a lot of lifts that are so spectacular. I loved the staging and choreography of the carousel. It was a very pleasurable evening." —Carolyn

"Stunning...a breath of fresh air. Bravo to the dancers for their strength and beauty." —Judith

"Many adjectives come to mind when I think about the wonderful Sunday afternoon but I shall settle for three: Subtle, powerful, beautiful (overwhelmingly so). Carried home the feeling of the happiness derived from ferris wheels in "Carousel", the poignant beauty of "After the Rain pas de deux", chaos & order in  "Polyphonia" & topped with the ballet within the ballet. Bravo!" —Archana

"Wow! It was mesmerizing and touching, especially [After the Rain pas de deux]. What a unique and varied choreographer Wheeldon is!" —Lynne

"After the Rain pas de deux brought me to tears.  It was exquisite." —Steffanie

"You requested a comment. Delightful! A refreshing change from strictly classical ballet (which I love!), performed with energy, humor, joie de vivre. Original without being 'over the top'." —Eva

"The whole family thoroughly enjoyed All Wheeldon.  Our daughter is eleven and our son is fifteen and they both have family season tickets to PNB.  I especially enjoy the Varity that PNB offers and although my wife prefers the classics I think she was really taken in by Wheeldon." —Jim

"I loved Carousel, but After the Rain pas de deux was even better. Terrific dancing!!!  Actually all four programs were excellent." —Dale

"Cheers for All Wheeldon!  It was one of the cleanest, most polished productions I have seen from PNB.  Seth Orza was fabulous in Carousel and we definitely want to see more of him in lead roles.  We very much enjoyed Variations.  The entire show was great.  Everyone was strong and clear in their dancing.  Thank you!" —Jennie

"My sister -in-law and I saw All Wheeldon on 9/30 and thought WOW!! It was breathtaking. We agreed it was a terrific start to the season!" —Eileen

"The name Wheeldon and the word wonderful go together very well.  My husband and I absolutely loved All Things Wheeldon.  The spartan sets and classy, yet simple costumes and masterful music were a perfect backdrop to absolutely amazing choreography and an outstanding performance by our beloved PNB dancers.  We attended on Friday September 30 and everything  All Things Wheeldon were All Thing Wonderful.

"The only disappointment was the size of the audience.  There were many empty seats in tiers two and three.  I put it on my Facebook page after the rehearsal.  I told several people about it.  We need to come up with some additional ideas for  getting people into the seats.  Art like this should have a full house for every performance.

"Thanks to all the PNB staff and dancers and to Mr Wheeldon for raising the ballet barre." —Judy

"I meant to drop the ballet a note saying I thought that was one great program.  I'd seen Mr. Wheeldon's work before and liked it but couldn't really understand why he was getting so much press.  Seeing all 4 of those works together showed me the spectrum and breadth of his work.  It was fabulous.  Not many choreographers can sustain that much interest for a whole program.  The company looks really good." —John

"We have enjoyed the PNB for over 2 decades and the energy and freshness Peter Boal has brought has renewed our enjoyment of the performances he has brought to Seattle. The Wheeldon program was yet another example of the engaging and most enjoyable ballet performances we've been treated to since Peter's arrival. The choreography was spellbinding and refreshing. Thank you for bringing Christopher Wheeldon to Seattle." —Ron

"All Wheeldon was one of the best, if not the best PNB performance I have ever seen.  I was captivated by every moment and thought the use of music and sets as well as the choreography was amazing.  Variations Serieuses made me laugh and After the Rain made me cry.  The performances touched me in ways different before.  Christopher Wheeldon IS a Genius and PNB did a FANTASTIC job!" —Jennifer

"We attended the Friday nite 9/30 performance and really enjoyed it.  I think my personal favorite was After The Rain with the spectacular
Carla Korbes (really look foreward to seeing more of Carla this year!).  Seth Orza is also one to watch! Can't wait for the Love Stories performance in November.  Here's
to a great upcoming season." —The Krona Family

"I can't remember when I've just plain enjoyed ballet so much.  This was pure entertainment, all the way through the evening, not to mention exquisite dancing (and acting).  I especially enjoyed Carla Korbes and Batkhurel Bold in "After the Rain pas de deux" and Maria Chapman and Karel Cruz were simply wonderful in Polyphonia.  Who knew that Carrie Imler was a comedienne?  It was just wonderful to see a ballet with a set!  All the dancers were delightful, and the music (so varied) a treat.  I'm kicking myself that I didn't bring my granddaughter.  (And, yes, I've seen these pieces before, but not together, which was a special treat.)" —Dotty

"All Wheeldon was: Stunning, magic, beauty, joy, grace. I was transfixed.  THANKS" —Katherine

"we had to skip the performance to pick up relatives, but fortunately our daughter took the tickets with a friend.  her reaction to the performance? one word. AWESOME!  ariel (our daughter) has a dance background, and watching this performance has prompted her to return to it after years in New York (she didn't have tickets to the City Ballet, but I did thirty years ago....) .  Congrats!  she especially liked the Carousel set, perhaps because of her familiarity as a performer in musical theatre." —BRS

"My wife and I absolutely loved this performance.  The choreography was superb and the cast did it justice.  We do, indeed, spread the word." —Charlie

"Peter Boal and the entire PNB company are to be congratulated for the wonderful "All Wheeldon" production. I could hardly sleep that night thinking about it!" —John

"It was great.  A wonderful night of ballet!!" —Robin

"I am not sure why but I was completely engaged in all four ballets.  The maturity of the dancers, the succinctness of design, the breadth of the choreography, and the sheer fun of glimpsing into the varied visions of one choreographer.  Thanks for a wonderful enthralling evening." —Greg

"My daughter and I attended on Thursday, Sept. 29. We loved the program.  Please continue to do programming like this. The dances were all exciting to watch.  Sometimes in a couple dance, we become bored as it seems like the same movements are repeated multiple times but Wheeldon has an amazing repertoire of fresh exciting movements that he uses. We both hope you will continue to offer more programs like this amazing choreographer and much less of Balanchine that frankly bores us. As a point of reference for age interest groups, my daughter is 37 and I am 67 and we both loved the program." —Betty

"All Wheeldon:  Outstanding!  PNB gets better every year.  Just when I think it couldn't get any better, it does. All Wheeldon was wonderful, every number.  What a genius he is to create such diverse numbers, all with depth and heart.  The physical and emotional interpretations by the dancers brought Wheeldon's works to life." —Dysa

"If you want a comment from an average audience member: I found the Wheeldon choreography amazing and a distinct building on that of Balanchine. It's inspiring to realize Wheeldon is so young and will be a creative force for many year to come." —Gloria

"We did enjoy the All Wheeldon concert. I must discipline myself when attending a concert where all of the works are of one choreographer or one composer. There tends to be a certain "sameness". That is, folks who create have some aspect of their creation which they tend to repeat. Some might call it a "signature" phrase or move.  It requires me to remind myself to not dwell on it - just move on to the next phrase or combination. It was necessary to do that Saturday evening. Notwithstanding, I yet enjoyed the entire concert." — AJ

"This was perhaps one of the best ballets I’ve had the pleasure of attending, absolutely an outstanding performance by all the dancers. Thank you PNB for a wonderful artistic evening of dance!" —Pam

"I lack the words to describe properly the extraordinary experience of the four Wheeldon ballets." —Mary

"We were blown away by the Wheeldon program. There was so much variety in mood, so many unexpected moves in all the pieces! He's entirely original and classical at the same time. What a treat--definitely worth the trip from Bellingham." —Nola & Bob

"The Wheeldon choreography was a pleasant surprise. I especially liked Carousel. Then I saw a headline in the arts section of The New York Times, and one of the NYC ballet companies (I think the NYC Ballet) was presenting a program of Balanchine and Wheeldon. So he's catching on everywhere. It was GREAT!" —Barbara

"My husband and I enjoyed the extra excitement of last Friday's performance, with it being both the opening night of All Wheeldon, as well as opening night for the new ballet season.  I'll offer my brief impressions of the pieces.

"The spare but perfect set design, colors, and lighting of Carousel (A Dance) created a lushly romantic mood and wonderful environment for a young man and woman to express that thrilling, all-consuming passion of first love.  The emotions of the movements matched the emotions and fullness of the Richard Rogers score.  

"After the Rain pas de deux was one of those pieces where you feel like you can't breathe again until after the last strains of the music die away.  It is is achingly beautiful and pure, with nothing superfluous. (It's like a Bach cello solo, as opposed to a Ravel symphony.)  A piano, a violin, a woman, a man work together in slow, fluid movement to create what can only be called Beauty, with a capital B.

"Polyphonia was crisp and precise and reminded me of Balanchine, in the way that dancers almost becomes music notes.  The music was challenging.  I especially liked the slower piano pieces, with the mysterious mood they created.  The taupes, purples, and mocha colors were beautiful.  Besides the dancers, who were wonderful, the pianist playing the Ligeti pieces was a real star!  Her fingers flew as quickly and as precisely as the pointe shoes!

"Variations Sérieuses was anything but serious (or almost).  It was ballet buffa and fun to watch.  The ingenious set design reminded me of some Post-Impressionist paintings, I believe by Toulouse-Lautrec, with unusual angles of theatrical images, juxtaposing the fullness of the world on stage with the fullness of the world of the audience.  The viewer --whether of the paintings or of Wheeldon's ballet -- is in yet a third world, spying on the other two from the comfort of a plush seat in darkened McCaw Hall.

"It was a wonderfully full, satisfying, and energizing evening at the ballet, where I walked away into the night with more energy than when I arrived.  I am proud to live in a city that has a ballet company with the talent, strength, and depth of character to be able to interpret the creativity and variety that Christopher Wheeldon offers.  Bravo, PNB!" —Katherine

"We loved Carousel and 'Variations.'" —Gail & Berva

"The 'After the Rain' pas de deux was absolutely breathtaking. Literally. I don’t think I took a single breath during the whole dance! Thank you for another beautiful rep." —Cindy

"All Wheeldon is all wonderful. Carousel is joyful, beautiful and familiar.After the Rain is mesmerizing in it’s beauty and intensity. I could feel the trust between James Moore and Rachel Foster as each movement was so precise and inter-connected. It was beautiful. Polyphonia shows Christopher Wheeldon’s range as a choreographer and Variations Serieuses shows his talent as a story teller. All Wheeldon is a program not to be missed!" —Mimi

"This was an amazing performance of artistic variety and beauty. After the Rain and Polyphonia were particularly stunning.  They took my breath away.  what a magnificent collection, Boal, Wheeldon and the remarkable ensemble of PNB dancers!  Encore!" —Barbara

"Unbelievable power, emotion and totally enthralling. An extraordinary talent." —Dan

"We saw the pre-concert event so knew what expect.  Plus these are not new works for PNB. But it all felt fresh and new!  It was a marvelous evening from start to finish.  But After the Rain was both luminous and sensual with dance in every pore!" —Jane

"I attended the Saturday evening performance (Sept 24).  It was superb:  4 works illustrating the diversity of Wheeldon's choreographic genius & creativity, the dancers in fine form, & the music expertly performed by orchestra & solo musicians.   Beautiful costumes, staging & lighting-- it was a delightful evening from which I retained many lovely images. A program not to be missed!" —Angela

After watching many hours of studio rehearsals for this program, a lecture/demonstration with Mr. Wheeldon, the Dress Rehearsal and three performances, I am still thrilled by the intricacy and detail of such an imaginative choreographer. My learning curve soared as I watched Mr. Wheeldon demonstrate the smallest moves of a hand, a foot, an arm or the head so that he would get exactly the right effect. His approach reminded me of petit-point, in that you see him do the individual stitches then you step back and look at the completed picture. It is an amazing and highly satisfying experience. I look forward to more Wheeldon works in PNB's future. AND PLEASE BRING BACK his stunning CAROUSEL ASAP!" — David

"Amazing performance! I truly enjoyed it! Thank you!" —Angela

"Christopher Wheeldon's choreography was captivating - innovative and thoroughly engaging - and the company was dazzling. Peter Boal's comments in the program rang true - a genius Wheeldon is, and a thoroughly enjoyable evening we had. All the best to Mr. Boal and the company for another magnificent season. We are so lucky to have PNB in Seattle." —William

"We saw the Saturday 9/24 evening performance of this program.  I loved the entire program from start to finish.  Carousel was sweet and engaging, Polyphonia totally riveting, After the Rain Pas de Deux a beautiful and emotional marvel, and Variations Sérieuses the most fun I think you're allowed to have at a ballet!  I was totally amazed by the choreography and staging of all the pieces, and have never seen more creative staging and sets than the artistry displayed in Variations.  In a typical repertory program there is usually at least one piece that isn't as powerful or interesting to me as the others - this program didn't lose my attention for a second!  Thank you to Christopher Wheeldon for creating these wonderful works and to Peter Boal for bringing them to us." —Kaye

"My wife and I  attended both the overview lecture that you conducted with Christopher Wheeldon  on Weds. and the regular season performance on Saturday.  We enjoyed both tremendously and congratulate both Christopher and yourself for 2 delightful evenings. We had previously seen several of the Wheeldon works both at PNB and a few times at NYC Ballet.  But this PNB Program fully displayed the broad spectrum of Christopher’s  creativity, which isn’t always so readily understood when viewing his works separately during different seasons.   But here,  all together,  the Wheeldon versatility - - from the  stunning “Carousel” scenes and dance to the slow “After the Rain”  to the comedic “Variations”  to the  ear-challenging  “Polyphonia” - - couldn’t be missed, even by  the less expert  such as ourselves. It also showed the versatility and skill of the PNB dancers.  So Peter, a big congratulations to you for putting this all on display for us. As you probably intended, it was an expanding experience for us in the audience.  Having been PNB subscribers for 20+ years, our tastes  tend to be more compatible  with the classic ballets and music - - but I think last week we learned that even us older dogs can learn a new trick or two.  We look forward to being a little more open to the newer offerings (but please don’t skimp on the classics). All involved should be proud and happy with  their splendid accomplishments. We certainly had a great time. By the way, we want to tell you how much we always enjoy the pre-performance lectures by Doug Fullington. His fluent and knowledgeable explanations of the various works greatly expand upon our understanding and enjoyment of the ballets." —Mr. & Mrs. S.

"After the Rain is a treasure." —Andrea

"The all Wheeldon program was fantastic! The combination of romantic and edgy was perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed all four pieces." —Kathy

"We attended on opening night. Carousel was fantastic! Carla Korbes and Seth Orza not only danced well, they embodied the characters of Julie Jordan and Billy Bigelow more than I have ever seen dancers do in a performance. Julie’s self-deprecation, Billy’s overconfidence and determination to win her, their love for each other and their reticence in showing it, it was all there on display without a single word of dialog. I wanted them to “act out” the rest of the story onstage! Of course, that would have taken the whole evening. In this and the other Wheeldon pieces, there were some awkward positions, as there usually are in contemporary dance, but I would say there were fewer elements that might get under the skin of traditionalists than usual in new works. The dancing was graceful and lovely. There were a few instances where the dancers didn’t move together. That would have annoyed some of my ballet purist friends in Miami, but it didn’t bother me. After all, it was opening night, and there was so much to enjoy. Thanks for a splendid performance." —Teresa

"My Daughter and I enjoyed the program very much.  It was beautiful and very enjoyable!" —Betty Lou

"What a magnificent performance!! The PNB dancers are stretching in challenging new ways as they work with fascinating, innovative choreography. We loved every minute, and send cheers to the dancers and choreographer!" —Dee

"The whole program is outstanding.  The pas de deux took my breath away and my husband said it brought tears to his eyes.  The final number is brilliantly done as we watched the drama of the dancers as if we were backstage." —Nancy

"I am not a 'balletomane' by any criteria. The only ballet class I ever had was as an awkward 5 year old and again as an awkward 20 year old in college. But PNB never disappoints. There is something so magical about the visual beauty, the stunning physicality of the dancers, and the merging of so many styles of music. All Wheeldon was completely satisfying and uplifting in every way!" —Judy

"I am delighted to share thoughts on the Christopher Wheeldon performances. I was accompanied by my nearly 6 year old daughter. Let me just say how truely stunned I was by After The Rain pas de deux. I was nearly moved to tears by the expression of masculine and feminine dynamics within relationships. The dance demonstrated support for one another whether rigid, distant, empassioned. I have never been so moved. I enjoyed the many moods, drama, romance, intrigued by Poly...nia, and we both LOL with Variations! Thanks to all at PNB!" —Theresa

"ALL WHEELDON was ALL that and more.

"I was moved by Carla’s  dancing  from Roger’s songs of my youth “if I love you” to the most moving pas de deux of After the Rain with Rachel and James ...that has me coming back again next week!. Polyphonia was a mean lean dancing delight with a stellar cast of  dancers making all the moves looks so effortless and to have a glimpse of the behind the scenes real world of ballet in Variations Sérieuses with Carrie was funny, insightful and done with such clever staging.  Each dancer told the story; while we also had a classic ballet with the program.  All with virtuoso musicians accompanying the marvelous work of WHEELDON.

"Everyone new and old to Ballet should come and experience a season in a night!  The “buy” of the Season!!

"I wish I could remember the patience and knowledgeable person in the PNB ticket office who talked me into coming to Wheeldon.  Watching the dollars is so important to me as a small business owner, I was not gong to do the full package and said why would I want to see Wheeldon and he explained Chris’ talent (I feel I can call him Chris) and gave his comparison to Balanchine - so I said “Balanchine?!” ok “this I got to see” and the rest is history and my immense pleasure.

"I come to the lectures, read the reviews and watch the videos on your site and am a wiser, healthier person - for ”Art”  especially dance and music are my great stress reliever.

" Thanks so much Peter for your vision and daring!!   Let’s hear it for the Sponsors!!!" —Regina

"The choreography is fresh and innovative, the program highlights the spectrum of Wheldon’s genius and, as always, the dancing is breath-taking!" —Lynn

"All Wheeldon was fabulous! A must see!! It was mesmerizing and uplifting." —Lynne

"The carousel poles that the girls slowly rise and lower should be wrapped in a spiral ribbon barber pole fashion.  It would be much more effective than the solid color that is used now and in the production 2 years ago." —Anonymous

"Such a lovely afternoon of ballet!  Carousel, with it's familiar tunes and clever merry-go-round was the perfect opener.  The pas de deux, danced to the piano/violin duet by Arvo Part, was so tender.  I look forward to seeing this complete work, the first and second half.  Variations Serieuses demonstrates Wheeldon's genius, in my opinion.  This was my favorite of the four.  Wheeldon, like Mozart, seems to have such command of his medium that he can play with it, poke fun at it, turn it upside down and inside out, and still create beautiful and original choreography that must be as enjoyable to dance as it is to watch.  Thank you Peter Boal, for making good choices and then getting out of the way.  I look forward to the rest of the 2011 season." —June

"I like this program a lot.  My favorite part of the PNB repretoire generally is the Balanchine choreography, and it is terrific te see new neo-classical ballet that extends the Balanchilne legacy.  In addition this program is beautiful, funny, intircate and has great musicality.  It is hard to believe that the same choreographer did all of these ballets that are so fascinating and beautiful in such different ways. With great choreography, you often have a much greater appreciation and insight into music that was already familiar.  Fo me that occurs in this program, especially with "If I loved you" in Carousel." —Gene

"An exciting group of works by Wheeldon. Clever, witty and each work suited the dancers that performed. Well done PNB" —Vic & Ann

"I absolutely loved the concert. The choreography was wonderfully varied and fresh yet masterful. It showcased PNB beautifully. As new subscribers, we look forward to getting to know the dancers better throughout the season!" —Diana

"This was a very beautiful performance. I very much enjoyed how there was so much range in the different pieces. Its incredible how much story and emotion can come across from music and dance. I really look forward to seeing the rest of the season." —Ashleigh

"I was present at Friday nights performance……I liked each of the numbers…they were all different.   I especially liked the second one and the fourth one.   Overall I thought the total length of the program was a little long!   But keep up the good work and keep brining us new ones." —John

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