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pnb: 3 by dove—and don’t forget quijada


3 by Dove
March 18–28, 2010
Ariana Lallone in Red Angels (photo by Angela Sterling)
$10 tix offer • a luscious review by marcie sillman • links to other reviews • casting • photos • “how rare is a Dove rep?” • press release •


I just got an e-mail from PNB last night and they said it’s okay to share with SeattleDances folks. Here it is, verbatim. Note that it’s only for Friday…something that isn’t listed in this portion of the e-mail. – Rosie
“There’s never been a better time to be at PNB! Thanks to a generous PNB donor, we’re able to offer you an opportunity to see

THREE BY DOVE for just $10!

To purchase tickets, simply call the PNB Box Office at

206.441.2424 and mention code BSP10.

(Box Office Hours: Mon – Fri, 9:00am – 6:00pm;

Sat, 10:00am – 5:00pm)

Tickets will be available at Will Call on the day of your performance.

Limited ticket quantities available. Please limit to four tickets per person. Offer not transferable [i.e., only for Friday] and not valid on

previously purchased tickets. Thank you!

REVIEW: Friday March 19, 2010

by Marcie Sillman

Jordan Pacitti and James Moore in Serious Pleasures 
(Angela Sterling photo)

If George Balanchine’s choreography is like fine champagne, then Ulysses Dove’s dances are a lusty Italian Barolo. They’re thick, meaty, a little rough around the edges. I love Barolo. That’s why Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 3 by Dove (+ 1 by Quijada) was so satisfying for me.

The program brings together three dances PNB audiences have seen: Dove’s 1986 work, Vespers; his Red Angels, created in 1994; and Victor Quijada’s 2006 PNB commission, Suspension of Disbelief. The evening ended with the PNB premiere of Dove’s 1992 work Serious Pleasures, recreated from archival video, notation, and the memory of stager Parrish Maynard.

Ulysses Dove’s dances are fierce. And they are dramatic. In Vespers, the first work on the bill, six women in black dresses and bare feet move to a hypnotic, percussive score by Mikel Rouse. According to the program notes, Vespers is an homage to Dove’s churchgoing grandmother and her friends. And there is something holy in the dance’s first image: Lesley Rausch, perched on the edge of a wooden chair, lit from above by a narrow white spotlight. Rausch leaps up onto the chair seat, stretching her arm up as if reaching for the holy spirit. But she, and her fellow dancers, are earthy women. Each leap toward Heaven is balanced by grounded movements on the floor. The women drop, spread their knees wide, as if preparing to give birth. Together they back across the stage to a row of six chairs. Sinking to their seats, the dancers bow forward from their waists, one by one, then lift up their torsos. Bow and rise, bow and rise, one by one. It is a wave of prayer and power.

Red Angels is no less powerful, although far less spiritual. Two couples in red leotards strut out, to the accompaniment of violinist Mary Rowell. Carla Körbes and Batkhurel Bold, then Kaori Nakamura and Jonathan Porretta, dance together, around one another, alone. From their deep leg bends, on pointe with upper thighs parallel to the floor, they rise, turn, and leap. Jonathan Porretta stands on one leg, both arms straight overhead. He swims his arms back behind his body, then knifes one arm forward, creating a straight, pure line of his body. Carla Körbes’ lines are also steely sharp. But from time to time we see her release her fingers, ever so slightly. It’s a heady glimpse of Körbes’ mix of strength and tenderness. All four dancers stride in synch to the rear of the stage, which is bathed in red light. They toss us a knowing, over-the-shoulder glance, then raise their arms, poised for flight. In Ulysses Dove’s world, it seems, angels are tough, a little sexy, and full of attitude.

Jonathan Porretta in Suspension of Disbelief
(Angela Sterling photo)
After the first two dances from Ulysses Dove, PNB offers a little palate cleanser in the form of Victor Quijada’s Suspension of Disbelief. Quijada got his start as a dancer in the Los Angeles hip-hop scene. He asks the classically trained dancers to break their ballet habits, to lower their centers of gravity, round their spines, shake their booties. None of the 11 PNB dancers really got down and funky, but in general the men were more successful than the women, more in touch with the earthiness Quijada asked of them. Even if he wouldn’t win a hip-hop takedown, Jonathan Porretta showed us, once again, that he’s the master of his body, and born to dance.  Suspension of Disbelief is a slowed down, smoothed-out ballet version of poppin’ and hoppin’ we see the b-boys and girls execute. Beautiful, yes, but a little distant.

Like Suspension of Disbelief, Ulysses Dove’s Serious Pleasures wasn’t an unqualified success. But where Quijada’s dance was a cool incarnation of street culture, Serious Pleasures was a hot dose of lust, sex, and love. The lights come up on Lucien Postlewaite’s beautiful, black-clad body, curved around two rods, suspended above the floor. As he uncoils, stretches out his limbs, and descends to the stage, we meet our ringmaster, the satyr who will guide us through this dance. Postlewaite’s tensile solos introduce us to each section of the piece, to each of the eight dancers we meet.

Lindsi Dec in Serious Pleasures
(Angela Sterling photo)
Four couples emerge through a series of black doorways. The women: Lindsi Dec, Carla Körbes, Ariana Lallone, and Lesley Rausch are untamed animals, penned in go-go dancer booths. The doors swing open to release them, and they saunter out, whipping arms and legs, and their wild manes of hair. Dec and her offstage husband, Karel Cruz, are perfectly paired in their long, lean legginess. Cruz is a marvel as he unleashes a whirlwind of pirouettes. I lost count after the seventh turn. And Dec has achieved a new level of confidence this season, not just executing the movements, but embodying them.

The big, lusty choreography drags a bit midway through the dance. Haven’t we seen that sly dip of the hip before? That come-hither hair fling? Just as the attention starts to wander, Carla Körbes emerges, a lit votive on each upturned palm. Batkhurel Bold waits behind her, his silhouette back-lit. As he watches Körbes, Bold bends his knees and slinks his body down, hips swishing in echo of the women who danced in those doorways before him. It’s a moment that says everything about love and attraction, and the chemistry these two dancers share.

3 by Dove shows audiences what the Pacific Northwest Ballet company members are capable of. And it gives us a heady whiff of the choreography we have yet to see them perform. Peter Boal has opened and served the meaty bottles of Dove Barolo, the Balanchine vintage champagne, the Jerome Robbins chardonnay. We toss down glass after glass, then head out into the night, a little giddy but craving more. What’s next on the menu? I can hardly wait.

The reviews are starting to come in. Here’s what I’ve seen so far:

Mary Murfin Bayley’s in City Arts Magazine blog
Moira Macdonald’s in The Seattle Times
Rosie Gaynor’s in the Financial Times
Spider Kedelsky’s on
Jean Lenihan’s on Breathlesspace

The first week’s cast list is up. Click here.


Alfred Dove (brother of Ulysses…and a choreographer in his own right) gave me the following info about how often these Dove works are performed. We’re pretty lucky to be seeing them. I’ve even heard folks call Serious Pleasures a “lost ballet.”
The ballet Red Angels is performed by the following 3 companies:
1.    New York City Ballet,
2.    Pacific Northwest Ballet
3.    Ballet West, Salt Lake City, Utah
The ballet Vespers is performed by the following 4 companies:
1.    Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Dayton, Ohio
2.    Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, NYC
3.    Pacific Northwest Ballet
4.    Verb Ballet, Cleveland, Ohio
Serious Pleasures was originally performed in1992, by American Ballet Theatre. This is the second company to perform Serious Pleasures. 
[SeattleDances]: Is it rare to see an evening with three U. Dove works. (Alvin Ailey did three in 2006.)
[A. Dove]: Yes, it is rare to see an evening with three of Ulysses Dove’s works. To date, only Pacific Northwest Ballet and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, have more than two ballets by U. Dove in their rep.  


(And 1 by Quijada)
March 18 28, 2010
Marion Oliver McCaw Hall
321 Mercer Street at Seattle Center
Seattle, WA 98109
March 18 20 at 7:30 pm
April 20 at 2:00 pm
March 25 27 at 7:30 pm
March 28 at 1:00 pm
SEATTLE, WA—Pacific Northwest Ballet’s March mixed-repertory program features three works by the late Ulysses Dove (1947–1996): Vespers, Red Angels, and the PNB premiere of Serious Pleasures. The program also features the return of Suspension of Disbelief by contemporary dance-fusion choreographer Victor Quijada who credits Dove among those who have inspired his work.  3 by DOVE (and 1 by Quijada) run from March 18 to March 28 at Seattle Center’s Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Tickets may be purchased by calling the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424, online at, or in person at the PNB Box Office at 301 Mercer Street.
The program’s lineup will include:
Red Angels
Music: Richard Einhorn (Maxwell’s Demon, 1988-1990)
Choreography: Ulysses Dove
Dressed in scarlet leotards and bathed in white- and red-hot light, Red Angels’ four dancers perform with powerful athleticism to a riveting score for electric violin. The dancers confront the audience with a series of scorching solos and duets and then walk away into a fiery landscape, arms raised like wings.
Music: Mikel Rouse (Quorum, 1984)
Choreography: Ulysses Dove

Vespers was inspired by memories of Dove‘s grandmother, her energy and the small wooden building where she met with other women to worship. Set to a driving percussion score, six women in black dresses assemble and reassemble themselves in and around wooden chairs, united in their strength, their harmony, and their determined struggle to reach the light.

PNB Premiere
Serious Pleasures – The merciless battle between spirit and flesh
Music: Robert Ruggieri (1992)
Choreography: Ulysses Dove

In Serious Pleasures, Dove uses light to create doorways and pathways to the social turmoil of the 1980’s. Dove’s fusion of ballet and modern dance portray urban social issues of human isolation, alienation, and intersection with stunning clarity and signature athleticism. Serious Pleasures is Pacific Northwest Ballet’s fourth Dove acquisition.

Suspension of Disbelief
Music: Mitchell Akiyama (2006)
Choreography: Victor Quijada

Contemporary dance-fusion choreographer Victor Quijada credits Ulysses Dove among those who have inspired his work. Suspension of Disbelief was greeted with acclaim in its 2006 PNB world premiere.  “The energy was loose and twisty…a sped-up chain of unexpected moments seemed impossibly fluid…The audience roared approval.” (The Seattle Times)


Tickets (from $25 to $160) may be purchased through the PNB Box Office:
* By calling 206.441.2424 (Mon.-Fri. 9am–6pm; Sat. 10am–5pm)
* In person at 301 Mercer Street, Seattle (Mon.-Fri. 10am–6pm; Sat. 10am–5pm)
* Online 24/7 at
* 90 minutes prior to each performance at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street.  Discounted rush tickets for students and senior citizens (with valid ID) may also be purchased 90 minutes prior to showtime, subject to availability.
* Money-saving season subscriptions are still available: Call 206.441.2425 for info.


One ticket for $15 and two for $25 for patrons 25 years and younger!  To purchase tickets, contact the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424 or visit 301 Mercer Street.  This offer is good for March 18, 19, and 26 7:30 performances only. Offer is subject to availability and not valid on previously purchased tickets. Each attendee must present valid I.D. upon ticket retrieval.

PNB is a proud participant of Seattle Center’s Teen Tix program for young people 13 to 19 years old.  Teen Tix members can purchase tickets to PNB performances and other music, dance, theater and arts events for only $5. To join Teen Tix or view a list of participating organizations, visit Seattle Center’s Teen Tix webpage at

Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For group tickets, please call 206.441.2416, email or use PNB’s Online Group Builder at  (PNB’s Online Group Builder is available for audience members to gather friends, family and co-workers to see any performance and save.)

Friday, March 12, 6:00 pm
The Phelps Center, 301 Mercer Street, Seattle
Join PNB for an hour-long dance preview led by Artistic Director Peter Boal and featuring PNB dancers performing excerpts from 3 by Dove.  PNB Friday Previews offer an upbeat and up-close view of the Company preparing to put dance on stage.  Tickets go on sale January 18, and may be purchased by calling the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424, online at or in person at the PNB Box Office at 301 Mercer Street.

Sunday, March 14, 2:00 pm
Elliott Bay Book Company*
PNB’s Sunday afternoon series features an hour-long discussion about 3 by DOVE with soloist Lesley Rausch in the casual atmosphere of the Elliott Bay Book Company reading room.  All Conversations with PNB are FREE of charge.  *NOTE: Check back for confirmation of location closer to this event, as Elliott Bay Book Company completes its move to Capitol Hill.

Tuesday, March 16, 12:00 noon
Central Seattle Public Library, 1000 Fourth Avenue, Seattle
Join PNB for a free lunch-hour preview lecture at the Central Seattle Public Library.  Education Programs Manager Doug Fullington will offer insights about 3 by DOVE, complete with video excerpts. FREE of charge.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Lecture 6:00 6:50 pm, Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall
Dress Rehearsal 7:00 9:30 pm, McCaw Hall
Join choreographer Victor Quijada and artistic director Peter Boal for an engaging conversation during the hour preceding the dress rehearsal.  Attend the lecture only or stay for the dress rehearsal.  Tickets are $12 for the lecture, or $25 for the lecture and dress rehearsal.  Tickets may be purchased by calling the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424, online at or in person at the PNB Box Office at 301 Mercer Street.

Pre-Performance Lectures
Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall
Join Education Programs Manager Doug Fullington for a 30-minute introduction to each performance, including discussions of choreography, music, history, design and the process of bringing ballet to the stage. One hour before performances.  FREE for ticketholders.

Post-Performance Q&A
After the show, skip the traffic and enjoy a post-performance Q&A with Artistic Director Peter Boal and PNB dancers. Immediately following each performance in the Norcliffe Room at McCaw Hall. FREE for ticketholders.

Special thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts, the major sponsor of 3 by DOVE. The presentation of Serious Pleasures has been made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius. The PNB premiere of Ulysses Dove‘s Serious Pleasures and the 2008 Seattle premiere of Ulysses Dove’s Vespers have been generously underwritten by Carl & Renee Behnke and Aya Stark Hamilton. The 2006 world premiere of Victor Quijada’s Suspension of Disbelief was generously underwritten in part by Pacific Northwest Ballet’s New Works Initiative. Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 2009-2010 Season is proudly sponsored by Microsoft Corporation. Additional season support is provided by Artsfund, the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, 4Culture – King County Lodging Tax and Washington State Arts Commission.
Programming subject to change. For further information, please visit: