LOVE & LOSS Choreographer Fun Facts

The second repertory of PNB’s 2023/24 season is a true mixed triple bill. We’re more than excited to showcase works by three choreographers with distinct styles. Read on for a few fun facts to get to know returning choreographers Donald Byrd and Alexei Ratmansky, and new-to-PNB-audiences Dani Rowe.

Donald Byrd

1. Donald Byrd has frequently been referred to as a ‘citizen artist’ in alignment with his use of “dance as an art form and as a social/civic instrument.”

2. Byrd began his undergraduate degree at Yale, majoring in Philosophy.

3. Byrd has worked in dance, theater, opera, and film creating over 100 performance artworks and one museum exhibition, Donald Byrd: The America That is to Be, for the Frye Art Museum.

4. Byrd is currently working on a redesigned production of The Harlem Nutcracker, which originally premiered in 1996, featuring big-band versions of Tchaikovsky’s classic score.

Alexei Ratmansky

1. A dancer for the Ukrainian National Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and the Royal Danish Ballet before he became a choreographer, Alexei Ratmasnky choreographed his first dance work in 1997.

2. If you can name a classical ballet, Ratmansky has reconstructed it. His versions of Romeo and Juliet, Paquita, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, and La Bayadere are in the repertoires of ballet companies around the world.

3. Ratmansky’s Wartime Elegy is the fourth work of his to become a part of PNB’s repertory, and it’s the first Ratmansky piece to be created for PNB.

Dani Rowe

1. Dani Rowe was named in Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch in 2012 when she was dancing with Houston Ballet as a principal dancer. (PNB’s own Price Suddarth was also featured that year!)

2. The themes of Rowe’s works walk the line between humorous and rooted in pop culture and centered on the big feelings of the human experience; her work about a clown having a personal crisis, MADCAP, shows both.

3. Like many of us, Rowe made covid-lockdown-fueled videos with her friends. In 2020, Rowe made videos reimagining classic ballets with The Australian Ballet. I am Spartacus imagined a reality show competition for the lead role of Spartacus, and Wilis in Corps-en-tine features the Wilis of Giselle on a Zoom call.

4. Rowe choreographed a rock ballet inspired by Mad Max: Fury Road. The interdisciplinary and immersive Mad-Max-inspired Fury featured choreography by Rowe, dancers from Alonzo King Lines Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, and music by indie-pop band Yassou, presented in the round, of course.

Dani Rowe smiles and demonstrates a step to two dancers in rehearsal.

LOVE & LOSS will be performed November 3rd – 12th, 2023. You don’t want to miss these terrific choreographers’ works performed by the PNB Company dancers. Purchase your tickets here!

Photo credits: Featured image – Alexei Ratmansky, Donald Byrd, and Dani Rowe in rehearsal, photos © Lindsay Thomas. Donald Byrd in rehearsal with Leah Terada, photo © Lindsay Thomas. Alexei Ratmansky in rehearsal with PNB Company dancers, photo © Lindsay Thomas. Dani Rowe in rehearsal with James Kirby Rogers and Elizabeth Murphy, photo © Noel Pederson.