Executive Director’s Notes: The Window, Wartime Elegy, Love and Loss

Dear Friends,

Welcome to PNB’s November program and the place in our season we often mark by presenting new and contemporary work – a very PNB counterpoint to The Nutcracker immersion already taking place in our studios. This program is also an excellent expression of the interconnectedness of the dance world. Each of these three dancemakers has a notable circle of influence well beyond PNB and Seattle. Alexei Ratmansky is the new artist in residence at New York City Ballet, has been a prolific creator internationally, and over the past year and a half has dedicated himself to speaking out in a deeply compelling way about the war in Ukraine. Donald Byrd is the artistic director at Spectrum Dance Theater, celebrated for his work in elevating the social and civic relevancy of contemporary dance. Dani Rowe is the new artistic director of Oregon Ballet Theatre and a must-watch choreographer/filmmaker, landing in the Pacific Northwest by way of Australia. This is our first collaboration with her, and one we’ve been looking forward to for a long time. With this program we see so clearly how dance organizations like ours grow when we create an expansive space with room for many points of view. We believe presenting a diversity of thought and experience onstage makes for a more satisfying audience experience, and we know for certain that PNB artists love to dive into programs like this one. In this way, PNB is emblematic of the approach to work taken by creative, inclusive organizations everywhere.

The arts and culture community in Seattle has also long been committed to collaboration and cooperation ahead of competition. We want you to catch a show at Spectrum Dance Theater and Oregon Ballet Theatre! We also recognize that a healthy arts ecosystem includes companies of all sizes and disciplines, is dedicated to addressing issues faced by artists and arts workers, and will act for the good of the arts and culture community at consequential times. That was certainly true when the pandemic fundamentally altered our business models and it’s true now. For many years we’ve been working with our statewide advocacy organization, Inspire Washington, to elevate the social and economic impact of our sector to elected officials and influencers. Inspire Washington has worked tirelessly on our behalf, and is now poised to complete a vitally important initiative for the sustainability of arts, culture, science, and heritage organizations across King County. Please go to doorsopenkingcounty.org to read about the far-reaching positive repercussions of this initiative, and, if you’re so inclined, see how you can lend your voice to the effort. Time is of the essence, and all arts advocates are welcome and appreciated!

With gratitude,

Photo credits: Featured photo – PNB Company dancers in Alexei Ratmansky’s Wartime Elegy, photo © Angela Sterling. Alexei Ratmansky in rehearsal, photo © Lindsay Thomas. Donald Byrd in rehearsal, photo © Lindsay Thomas. Dani Rowe in rehearsal, photo © Noel Pederson.