Pacific Northwest Ballet

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Pacific Northwest Ballet
General information
NamePacific Northwest Ballet
Previous namesPacific Northwest Dance Association
Year founded1972; 51 years ago (1972)
Principal venueMarion Oliver McCaw Hall
Senior staff
DirectorPeter Boal
Artistic staff
Principal ConductorEmil de Cou
OrchestraPacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra
Official schoolPacific Northwest Ballet School
Corps de Ballet

Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) is a ballet company based in Seattle, Washington, in the United States. It is said to have the highest per capita attendance in the United States,[1] with 11,000 subscribers in 2004.[2] The company consists of 49 dancers;[3] there are more than 100 performances throughout the year.

PNB performs in McCaw Hall at the Seattle Center. It is especially known for its performance of the Stowell/Maurice Sendak Nutcracker, which it had presented from 1983 through 2014,[4] as well as made into a feature film.[5] In 2006, the company was chosen to perform in the Fall for Dance Festival at New York's City Center Theatre and at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.[6]


Pacific Northwest Ballet was founded in 1972, after the two-month residency of First Chamber Dance Company,[7] as part of the Seattle Opera and named the Pacific Northwest Dance Association.[8] Under the directorship of Kent Stowell and Francia Russell, originally of New York City Ballet,[9] it broke away from the Opera in 1977 and took its current name in 1978.[10] Stowell and Russell left at the end of the 2004–2005 season.[11] A portrait by artist Michele Rushworth was painted of Stowell and Russell and installed in the Phelps Center, Seattle, to commemorate their careers and retirement. Both had studied with and danced for George Balanchine.[12]

In July 2005, Peter Boal succeeded Stowell and Russell as artistic director following their retirement.[11] After dancing with the New York City Ballet for 22 years, he had been a full-time faculty member at The School of American Ballet from 1995-2005.[citation needed]

In 2013, the company and its orchestra toured to New York for the first time in sixteen years. The New York Times dance critic Alastair Macaulay, stated of their presentation that "This is a true company," more "unified in its understanding of Balanchine" than the New York City Ballet.[13]

In 2012, PNB brought in Twyla Tharp as its first artist in residence for a year-long residency.[14]

Pacific Northwest Ballet School[edit]

The Pacific Northwest Ballet School was founded in 1974.[15] Formerly directed by Francia Russell, and now directed by Peter Boal, it has been considered to be "one of the leading, if not the definitive, professional training school in the country."[16] The teaching is structured on that of the School of American Ballet.[17] Pacific Northwest Ballet holds an annual summer course in the month of July and is considered one of the leading summer dance education facilities in the country.


Pacific Northwest Ballet is noted for choosing dancers that have physique, expressivity and a variety of body shapes.[18]


Name Nationality Training Joined PNB Promoted to Principal Other companies
(incl. guest performances)
Jonathan Batista  Brazil English National Ballet 2021 2022 Boston Ballet
Cincinnati Ballet
Oklahoma City Ballet
Leta Biasucci  United States Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet
San Francisco Ballet School
2011 2018 Oregon Ballet Theater
Kyle Davis Makaroff School of Ballet
Rock School for Dance Education
North Carolina School of the Arts
Pacific Northwest Ballet School
2009 2020
Angelica Generosa School of American Ballet
Princeton Ballet
2012 2020
Cecilia Iliesiu School of American Ballet
Studio Maestro
2015 2022 Carolina Ballet
Elle Macy Orange County Dance Center
Pacific Northwest Ballet School
2013 2021
James Yoichi Moore San Francisco Ballet School
School of American Ballet
2004 2013 Pittsburgh Ballet Theater
Elizabeth Murphy Academy of Ballet Arts
Rock School for Dance Education
2011 2015 Pennsylvania Ballet
Ballet West II
Ballet West
Lucien Postlewaite School of American Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet School
2004 2008, 2017 Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo
James Kirby Rogers North Carolina School of the Arts 2021 2022 Houston Ballet II
Kansas City Ballet
Dylan Wald Minnesota Dance Theatre
The Dance Institute
Pacific Northwest Ballet School
2015 2020


Name Nationality Training Joined PNB Promoted to Soloist
Madison Rayn Abeo  United States Cornish Preparatory Dance Program
Pacific Northwest Ballet School
2017 2022
Dammiel Cruz-Garrido School of American Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet
2016 2022
Christopher D'Ariano School of American Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet School
2017 2022
Amanda Morgan Dance Theatre Northwest
Pacific Northwest Ballet School
2017 2022
Miles Pertl Pacific Northwest Ballet School
International Ballet Academy
John Cranko Schule
2015 2021
Christian Poppe Pacific Northwest Ballet School
Cornish College of the Arts Preparatory Dance
Dance School in Everett
Johnson and Peter's Tap Dance
Ballet Bellevue
Betty Spooner's Creative Arts Foundation
2014 2022
Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan Rock School for Dance Education
Metropolitan Ballet Academy
School of Pennsylvania Ballet
2017 2021
Price Suddarth Central Indiana Dance Ensemble
School of American Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet School
2011 2018
Leah Terada Dallas Metropolitan Ballet
School of American Ballet
2015 2022
Ezra Thomson Riverside Ballet Arts
Orlando Ballet School
Pacific Northwest Ballet School
2010 2017

Corps de ballet[edit]

  • Malena Ani
  • Ryan Cardea
  • Mark Cuddihee
  • Abby Jayne DeAngelo
  • Luther DeMyer
  • Ashton Edwards
  • Melisa Guilliams
  • Connor Horton
  • Zsilas Michael Hughes
  • Clara Ruf Maldonado
  • Audrey Malek
  • Noah Martzall
  • Joh Morrill
  • Ginabel Peterson
  • Juliet Prine
  • Kuu Sakuragi
  • Yuki Takahashi
  • Genevieve Waldorf
  • Lily Wills

Notable former dancers[edit]


  1. ^ Flatow, Sheryl (July 1, 1995). "Full Length Ballets". Dance Magazine. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
  2. ^ Macdonald, Moira (February 12, 2004). "Ballet's artistic directors to retire". The Seattle Times. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
  3. ^ "The Artists" (Press release). Pacific Northwest Ballet. 2018. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  4. ^ Burbank, Megan (December 13, 2017). "Balanchine's Nutcracker Will Never Be The Nutcracker Of My Childhood". Portland Mercury. Portland, OR, United States. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  5. ^ "Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker". Archived from the original on May 22, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
  6. ^ Kurtz, Sandra (December 27, 2006). "New Kid in Town". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
  7. ^ Campbell, R.M. (January 2, 2003). "Dance professional Bennett raised standard in Seattle". Seattle PI. Seattle, United States. Retrieved January 10, 2012. Campbell cites the residency as occurring in 1971.
  8. ^ Campbell refers to the organization as the Pacific Northwest Ballet Association.
  9. ^ Kisselgoff, Anna (March 28, 1984). "The New York Debut of Pacific Northwest". New York Times. New York City, United States. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
  10. ^ "PNB History and Fact Sheet" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on November 12, 2007. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
  11. ^ a b "PNB Vision and Mission". Archived from the original on February 28, 2008. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
  12. ^ Macaulay, Alastair (September 27, 2007). "An Idiomatic Balanchine, Walking the Walk in Seattle". The New York Times.
  13. ^ Macaulay, Alastair (February 17, 2013). "Performers From the West Coast Serve Up Balanchine". New York Times. New York, United States. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  14. ^ Kaderlan, Alice (September 23, 2013). "Pacific Northwest Ballet debuts its talented new status symbol". Crosscut. Seattle, United States: Crosscut Public Media. Retrieved October 4, 2013.
  15. ^ "PNB School – School Philosophy". Retrieved April 23, 2008.
  16. ^ Horosko, Marian (February 1, 1996). "Pacific Northwest Ballet School: doing it right". Dance Magazine.
  17. ^ Campbell, R.M. (June 16, 2008). "Pacific Northwest Ballet school's annual spring performances brim with talent". Seattle PI. Seattle, United States. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
  18. ^ Datz, Melody (March 20, 2013). "Approaching Heaven". The Stranger. Seattle, United States. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  19. ^ a b c Macaulay, Alastair (June 9, 2015). "Carla Körbes Grandly Bows Out of Pacific Northwest Ballet". New York Times. New York, United States. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  20. ^ Datz, Melody (May 28, 2014). "Bowing Out: When and Why Ballet Dancers Retire". The Stranger. Seattle, United States.


External links[edit]