Over the past month, Pacific Northwest Ballet has announced two promotions, a new hire, and an upcoming retirement.
Named one of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine in 2013, Leta Biasucci showed up on the cover of Pointe this month, looking ethereal en pointe naturally. The critics, and the company’s regular audience, look forward to each new featured role by this strong young dancer. Her hard work and beautiful dancing moved her from the corps to soloist this season at PNB, a promotion announced during the opening of “Jewels” last week at McCaw Hall.
“Leta Biasucci has been turning heads since her arrival in our company three years ago,” said artistic director Peter Boal on Sept. 26. “She offers a potent combination of technique, musicality, and presence that seems to defy her pint-sized proportions. With a stunning debut as Aurora (in “Sleeping Beauty”) last February, I knew we had a ballerina in the making or perhaps just a ballerina in need of a promotion.”
Along with Biasucci’s promotion, Boal also announced the promotion of soloist Jerome Tisserand to principal dancer.
“Last spring, dancing opposite Kaori Nakamura on opening night of “Giselle,” he gave us a portrayal of Albrecht that was not only technically thrilling but also dramatically nuanced and on that night, he became an unofficial principal dancer,” said Boal. “He is every bit the Prince with an equal command of the contemporary.”
Originally from Lyons, France, Tisserand trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School, with Pascale Courdioux in Lyon, and at the School of American Ballet. He joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2007 and was promoted to soloist in 2012.
Look for both Biasucci and Tisserand in the final performance of “Jewels” tomorrow (Oct. 5, 1:00 pm).
Wald hired in September
PNB’s newest apprentice, Dylan Wald, studied at Minnesota Dance Theatre & the Dance Institute, where he became an apprentice in 2012, and at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. He attended summer courses at PNB School, the School of American Ballet, The Juilliard School, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Seattle audiences have seen him as a student performer in several large ballets last season and taking a leading role in Kyle Davis’ “Sylvia” for PNB School’s Annual School Performance, and a leading role in Bruce Wells’ “Pinocchio.” He also originated roles in ballets by Angelica Generosa and Jahna Frantziskonis, Price Suddarth, and Ezra Thomson for PNB’s annual NEXT STEP choreographers’ showcase.
Korbes sets her retirement date
Earlier in September, principal dancer Carla Körbes announced that this will be her last season at PNB. She came to the company in 2005 as a soloist and promoted to principal in 2006. Her work has been consistently lauded nationally. In a 2012 review of her performance at the Vail International Dance Festival, The New York Times’ Alastair Macaulay said, “There’s no question that she is one of the finest ballerinas appearing in America today; some think her the finest, and last weekend I felt in no mood to contradict them.”
In Seattle, she danced many leading roles, including the premieres of Paul Gibson’s “Sense of Doubt,” Benjamin Millepied’s “3 Movements,” Christopher Wheeldon’s “Tide Harmonic,” and Twyla Tharp’s “Opus 111.”
Körbes will continue to have a full schedule this season, including a return to audience favorites “Nutcracker,” “Don Quixote,” and “Swan Lake.” She also is scheduled to dance in the preview performances of Justin Peck’s “Debonair”at The Joyce Theater in New York City on October 8 through 12, and in the work’s premiere here in November.
“I have had unforgettable moments with Pacific Northwest Ballet,” said Körbes in the official announcement of her decision. “I am thankful and honored to have shared the stage with all the dancers at PNB and have had the opportunity to work with such a generous staff. At this moment I am ready to start a new phase in my life. My body is ready to move on, so I need to respect that. Ballet has been my life, so I hope to continue to explore the art form in new ways and try new artistic endeavors.”
The company’s “Season Encore Performance” in June 2015 will feature a tribute to Körbes.
The complete schedule of PNB’s 2014/15 season can be found at their website.