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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 25, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 39
Illustrious dancer Patricia Barker returns to Seattle with Grand Rapids Ballet
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Illustrious dancer Patricia Barker returns to Seattle with Grand Rapids Ballet

Former Pacific Northwest Ballet Principal Dancer Patricia Barker, Artistic Director of Grand Rapids Ballet, is bringing her company to the Pacific Northwest on October 7-11. Grand Rapids Ballet will present five performances at the Cornish Playhouse (201 Mercer St.) at Seattle Center.

Grand Rapids Ballet will kick off their Seattle tour with three performances of Olivier Wevers' whimsical interpretation of A Midsummer Night's Dream Wednesday through Friday @ 7:30 p.m. On Saturday @ 7:30 p.m. and Sunday @ 2 p.m., MOVEMEDIA | Seattle presents a mixed repertory that features works by internationally renowned choreographers. (See details below.) Tickets are $52 in advance at http://www.grballet.com/seattle-2015/ or brownpapertickets.com and $57 at the door.



Seattlepi.com has recognized Patricia's essential role in the development of Pacific Northwest Ballet into the national company it is today. Her career spanned over two decades, during which she became one of the most recognized faces in all of ballet.

'Seattle is a city that holds a special place in my heart,' said Patricia Barker. 'I'm thrilled to introduce Grand Rapids Ballet to dance fans across the Pacific Northwest.'

'Patricia Barker's name is synonymous with the name Pacific Northwest Ballet,' said Peter Boal, Artistic Director of Pacific Northwest Ballet. 'With the countless treasured memories she has created, the arts community is brimming with anticipation for her return with Grand Rapids Ballet.'

Dance International Magazine said 'The turn of fortune at Grand Rapids Ballet since Barker's arrival has translated into the company becoming one of the city's premier arts organizations.'

Pointe Magazine has also noted Grand Rapids Ballet's rise in the dance industry under Patricia Barker. In four short years, Barker has rebuilt Grand Rapids Ballet's repertoire and reinvigorated the company.

A Midsummer Night's Dream - October 7-9
Choreographer Olivier Wevers, former Pacific Northwest Ballet Principal Dancer and Artistic Director of Whim W'him, teams up with critically acclaimed lighting designer Michael Mazzola to create a 21st century version of A Midsummer Night's Dream told through the eyes of a young Nick Bottom. In the work, Young Nick, the little boy over whom the royal fairy couple quarrels, is a changeling with no lines. The ballet takes place in Young Nick's mind as he dreams of becoming an adult and running for president. Across the arc of the ballet, Nick Bottom's character grows and the audience watches how his experiences of being bullied, reading books, and seeking love stimulate his imagination and come to life in a dream.

MOVEMEDIA | Seattle - October 10 & 11
MOVEMEDIA | Seattle features works by internationally renowned choreographers. The performance will include Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's humorous and thought provoking WRITTEN & FORGOTTEN, Penny Saunders brilliant and majestic look into the dynamic of light in Slight, David Parsons' modern masterpiece The Envelope, and Mario Radacovsky's intense Beethoven's 5th.

THE CHOREOGRAPHERS

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

The Colombo-Belgian Annabelle Lopez Ochoa is a sought-after choreographer that has made ballets for many companies around the world such as the Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, Dutch National Ballet, Djazzex, Geneva Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Gothenburg Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, BalletX, BJM-Danse Montreal, Luna Negra, Ballet National de Marseille, Saarbrucken Ballet, Jacoby & Pronk, Chemnitzer Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, Whim W'Him, IncolBallet de Colombia, Finnish National Ballet, CND Madrid, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Washington Ballet, Ballet Nacional Dominicano, Augsburg Ballet, Ballet Austin, Atlanta Ballet and the Ballet Nacional de Cuba.

Penny Saunders
Penny Saunders, originally from Florida, graduated from the HARID Conservatory (Boca Raton, FL) in 1995. Later that same year Saunders began her professional career with The American Repertory Ballet (Princeton, NJ) while also continuing to train with Elisabeth Carroll. Saunders made her way out west in 1999 to join Ballet Arizona where she continued to dance the traditional ballets as well as many neoclassical and contemporary works. Saunders was introduced to Moses Pendleton in 2001, which led her to tour extensively with MOMIX Dance Theater for the following two years before moving on to New York City in 2003 where she became a founding member of Cedar Lake Ensemble. In 2004 Saunders joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago where she had the good fortune to dance works by Jirí Kylián, Nacho Duato, Ohad Naharin, Mats Ek, Twyla Tharp, Christopher Bruce, Doug Varone, Aszure Barton, Victor Quijada, and Alejandro Cerrudo, among many others.

David Parsons
David Parsons founded Parsons Dance in 1985 with lighting designer Howell Binkley. Since then, Mr. Parsons has created works through commissions from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, the American Dance Festival, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, the Spoleto Festival, and Het Muziektheater in Amsterdam, among others. His works have also been performed by Batsheva Dance Company of Israel, English National Ballet, Feld Ballets/NY, Hubbard Street Dance Company, Nederlands Dans Theatre, and Paris Opera Ballet, among many others. He choreographed and directed the dance elements for Times Square 2000, the 24-hour festivities in Times Square celebrating the turn of the Millennium.

Mario Radacovský
Upon graduating from the Eva Jaczova Dance Conservatory, Radacovský joined the Ballet Company of the Slovak National Theatre in 1989. Soon after, he was promoted to principal dancer and performed principal roles in classical and contemporary pieces including Romeo and Juliet, Carmen, Giselle, La Dame Aux Camelias and more. He received acclaim for his ability to combine brilliant dancing technique with a natural acting talent and a masculine expression.

Olivier Wevers
Olivier Wevers is from Brussels, Belgium. He received his training at the Karys Dance Center with Nicole Karys, a former dancer with Béjart's Ballet du XXième Siecle. He was a Principal at Royal Winnipeg Ballet, dancing regularly with Evelyn Hart, prior to joining Pacific Northwest Ballet in 1997 where he was also a Principal Dancer. Olivier Wevers is the Founder and Artistic Director of Whim W'him.

GRAND RAPIDS BALLET
Celebrating its 44th anniversary this season, the Grand Rapids Ballet remains committed to lifting the human spirit through the art of dance. A proud recipient of the ArtServe Michigan Governor's Arts Award for Outstanding Cultural Organization, Michigan's only professional ballet company has a rich history marked by steady growth, a commitment to excellence, and strong community support.

For more information on Grand Rapids Ballet, visit grballet.com or connect with them on Facebook.

Courtesy of Grand Rapid Ballet

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