fandancingtastic: who are you loving this october?

Some dancers get an awful lot of attention, some not so much. But here’s a truth: every dancer has a fan. So, who is one of your favorite dancers at the moment? Why? Help us understand what makes this dancer so awesome. Let us know in the comments section below.
(Fine Print: No self-nominations : ) No dissing other Seattle dancers to make your point. No dupes; if we get a second entry for the same dancer, I’ll just choose one.)

This post started last spring… So far, folks have commented on Ricard-Orza & Rausch & Moore & Sandstrom…


  1. This year, it’s Sarah Ricard Orza/PNB. I became a fan when I saw her in Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort, dancing with her husband, Seth Orza. Scorching! She sealed the deal in Serenade and The Four Temperaments. I saw her up close in a studio rehearsal and her traditional, jewelery box ballerina body initially attracted me. Her incredible lines, poise and technical precision are impossible to ignore. But there’s something under that surface that compels me to her. It’s not the playful vibrancy of Carla Korbes, Koari Nakamura or Chalnessa Eames. It’s more about her inner heat and confidence, which I also feel from Rachel Foster, that makes me want to see more from her. I suspect she’ll explode at some point and become a favorite of many. Right now the relationship is like two people circling around one another, checking each other out, deciding if they’re going to be friends. Ultimately an action occurs that draws the two people together (a big role that she completely inhabits), the tension melts and you’re best friends for life.

  2. I have so many “favorite” dancers . For example, like britt above, Sarah Ricard Orza is greatly appealing for me ever since I noticed her beautiful lyrical style a couple of years ago in “Emeralds” (the 1st segment of Balanchine’s “Jewels”).

    But if I had to pick just one of the non principal dancers at PNB it would be Leslie Rausch. I’ve been a big fan of hers for maybe 5 years now (ever since she first blew me away in Gibson’s “The Piano Dances”, and then she cemented my fan-dom in Dove’s “Red Angels”). In fact, quite outrageously, I describe myself as Leslie’s “number one fan”.

    There is so much to love about Leslie’s dancing. She is so totally graceful which, of course, comes out in spades in any sort of lyrical part. But she can also be arresting in neo-classical angular roles such in “Agon” or recently in the “4 Temperments”. IMO, her greatest strength is her musicality — which is likely why she can dance so precisely to the music of the likes of Stravinsky or Hindemith. OTOH, she can let it all go in a sexy role such as in Stroman’s “Take Five” or Robbin’s “Fancy Free”. Like Carrie Imler, Leslie can do it all. She also has the beautifully held arms and shoulders that you are ever likely to see.

  3. James Moore of PNB….solo or partnered, he’s searing. He and Rachel Foster together are intense, gorgeous, expressive, right on the razor’s edge. And lordy, those thigh muscles!

  4. I’ve seen many Seattle dancers give heart-stopping, jaw-dropping performances over the last several months: Bianca Cabrera, Lindsi Dec, Lauren Ehnebuske, Rachel Foster, Monica Gilliam, Beth Graczyk, Carla Körbes, Jill Leversee, Ricki Mason, Tory Peil, Rachel Randall, and Zoe Scofield come quickly to mind. All display outstanding technique, nuanced emotional expression, and open-hearted vulnerability. But I want to praise yet another dancer, one who will be performing six times over the next two weekends: Ellie Sandstrom, who dances with Amy O’Neal’s Locust (May 14–15 at Velocity) and Scott/Powell Performance (May 20–23 at the Erickson).

    In November 2007, I wrote of Sandstrom’s performance in “Geography” by Scott/Powell: “I think of Sandstrom as the spiritual heart of the company and the dancer who often seems to express Scott’s personal voice. Sandstrom’s body does things you wouldn’t think a body could do, but there’s never any flashiness or apparent effort, so all the complicated emotions come through strong and clear.” Those qualities are equally evident when Sandstrom performs O’Neal’s choreography, an energetic blend of modern ballet and hip-hop-inspired funk. She combines technical precision and isolations that seem almost superhuman with a chill attitude that conveys complete openness: “Here I am; this is what you get.” It’s scary how talented and dedicated she is. Sandstrom is also an emerging choreographer and a skillful and generous teacher who understands that dance is as much a spiritual discipline as a physical one. Go see her now, at the height of her powers.

  5. I am with Anonymous 1/5/10. Rachel Foster is expressive, impressive, and spectacularly good. I saw her as Swanilda, in a couple of Dove pieces (including Vespers), and Kylián’s Petite Mort, and every occasion was a feast.

    And James Moore? Yum. (And he is very, very, good, too!)

  6. I belong to The Church of Kelly Ann Barton. Powerful, committed, flawless, fierce, funny, versatile, wicked and unapologetic.

Comments are closed.