As I write this, we are in the homestretch of 37 performances of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®. Without a doubt, this was our most complicated production in many years, with Covid protocols alone requiring multiple PNB teams to implement. And yet, what a joy it has been. Enthralled audiences back in festive holiday attire, gorgeous and exuberant dancing plus thrilling Company debuts, the magnificent return of the full PNB Orchestra, and McCaw Hall all decked out for the season and aglow with light and warmth. A highlight for many of us was PNB’s first-ever sensory-friendly Nutcracker on December 21. Guidance from Dr. Daniela Ferdico at Sensory Access led us to make modifications around light and sound levels, add lobby and sensory amenities, offer sensory packs, and provide guides [or guidance?] to the experience so that any guest with sensory processing needs could join us for The Nutcracker and feel truly at home. This performance is one of the ways PNB is activating the “A” in our commitment to I.D.E.A.: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility – and one of the steps we’re taking to meet our community in new and meaningful ways. If you’re interested in attending our next sensory-friendly performance of Beauty and The Beast this March, check PNB.org for more information.
And now we embark on the second half of our season, and the return of Jean-Christophe Maillot’s unforgettable Roméo et Juliette, followed by Plot Points, our dynamic March mixed repertory program. April brings us Kent Stowell’s magnificent Swan Lake, and an All Twyla Tharp program puts a true exclamation point on this historic season in June. If you have not yet subscribed to PNB, you can still do so — we would love to have you join us in the audience as a member of the PNB subscriber family. Your purchase of a mini-subscription also means that you’ll hear first about our 50th anniversary lineup kicking off in the fall of 2022. Another great engagement opportunity is also happening now at PNB – the Swan Lake Costume Fund campaign: an exciting way to be part of this production’s vibrant legacy you won’t want to miss. Please visit PNB.org/swan for more details. Initiatives like this one and our season subscription program help sustain PNB in a time of continued uncertainty for all performing arts organizations. We truly appreciate your presence here today and envision a bright future alongside you, our fantastic audience of ballet friends and fans.
Featured photo: Noelani Pantastico and James Yoichi Moore in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette, photo © Angela Sterling.
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