Critical Dance

pnb lon

Brit flip: This time, critics bash PNB appearances in London
A round-up in the Seattle Times

Critical Dance Reviews the Mixed Bill
By Petra Tschiene, July 3
Pacific Northwest Ballet’s second programme of their London season opened with George Balanchine’s Divertimento #15 set to Mozart. This clear cut classical work full of understated elegance let the musicality of the dancers shine. more

Audience impressions of the mixed bill
"Nacho Duarto’s ballet Jardí Tancat has some truly beautiful sung music by Maria del Mar Bonet. The ballet was danced with great conviction by the company and the central couple..." more

The London press reviews of the Mixed Bill:
- The Independent
- London Observer
- London Guardian

- London Times
- Daily Telegraph
- Financial Times
- Evening Standard

Critical Dance Reviews Silver Lining
By Joanne Brack, July 2
Silver Lining is billed in the programme notes as a tribute to “Jerome Kern, whose brilliant work in musical theatre contributed significantly to creating what is now regarded as a classic American art form.” more

Audience impressions of Silver Lining
"Louise Nadeau and Olivier Wevers in particular have mastered the dance style necessary for this work and the trio in “Pick Yourself Up” generate as much energy as we’re likely to see at Sadler’s this year." here

The London press reviews of Silver Lining:
- Online Review London
The Stage
- The Independent (Percival)
- The Independent (Gilbert)
Sunday Times
- London Observer
- London Guardian
- London Times
- Daily Telegraph
- Financial Times
- Evening Standard

For news about the special Critical Dance offer on discounted tickets, click here

For Company biographies and casting, click here

For the latest news, previews, reviews, and live updates from London, visit the PNB in London forum

"We have one of the most beautiful cities in the world" – An Interview with Stanko Milov, PNB Principal Dancer
By Emma Pegler
Any fears that he was avoiding me quickly dispersed when I finally collided with the dancer. He has the charm and looks of an aristocratic Bulgarian – square jaw, high cheek bones and proud bearing – and the openness and affability of your average American. Deliciously glistening with post-class perspiration, he submitted willingly to my line of questioning. more

"Everything. I want to do everything." – An Interview with PNB Soloist, Jonathan Porretta
By Stuart Sweeney
"My mother told me that as soon as I could talk all I said was, “When I grow up I want to be a dancer.” She was very confused, because nobody in my family had ever taken ballet or any kind of dance." more

"It's wonderful and I get paid to do it!" – An Interview with PNB Soloist, Alexandra Dickson
By Stuart Sweeney
"It was something that was always in my life. My older sister took ballet classes when I was young and from early on I was doing Scottish dance and creative movement and then it snowballed; once you get started you can’t stop." more

Critical Dance Interviews Stacy Lowenberg, Noelani Pantastico, Jonathan Porretta, Casey Herd and Jodie Thomas
By Toba Singer, July 4, 2002
The stage door reception desk has wrapped itself and the adjoining snack bar in a firestorm of red, white and blue. I grimace, shiver, and give that imploring look to the receptionist that people behind desks often get from those hobbled by being on the other side. By way of explanation, I say that one of the ancillary benefits for me of coming to London was for once ESCAPING all the bunting and puff-patriotism that July 4th detonates in the US. She explains as demurely as she can, that the goal was to make the dancers feel at home, and indeed, what she says is completely in keeping with the warm reception the dancers have received from the technical and house staff at the theater. more

Critical Dance Goes Backstage – A Daily Diary
By Stuart Sweeney, July 6
The curtain has gone down on the 2002 visit of PNB to London, except for a richly deserved final night party. Remember everyone the flight home leaves at 4.45 am! Dwight Hutton, Company Manager, told me that he was delighted with the dancers and the reaction of the audiences. In addition the technical staff at Sadler’s have been a dream to work with and coped with some unexpected requirements without a fuss. more

Critical Dance Goes Backstage – A Daily Diary
By Emma Pegler, July 5
At Critical Dance, there was a great deal of excitement and anticipation at the prospect of meeting and reviewing Pacific Northwest Ballet on its second trip to London. We have strong links with Seattle and know of PNB's good reputation back home. Our moderators and correspondents in the U.S. spent time with the company before it left for London and reported back on the preparations for the tour. more

Critical Dance Goes Backstage – A Daily Diary
By Stuart Sweeney, July 4
The company performed the Mixed Bill for the first time last night and is settling into the London season with the routine of a ballet dancer’s life such as the daily classes at Sadler’s Wells and hunting out the local restaurants and shops that are open after performance to grab some food. more

Critical Dance Goes Backstage – A Daily Diary
By Sylvia, July 3
It’s a gloomy Wednesday with much rain promised. The company class is at 11am and I am told to make my way to the Ashton studio, where the company manager, Dwight Hutton, greets me enthusiastically. He tells me that Sadler's Wells was packed the night before... more

Critical Dance Goes Backstage – A Daily Diary
By Petra Tschiene, July 2
Tonight PNB will open their London season with Silver Lining, so naturally all of today’s preparations were geared towards getting ready for curtain time at 7.30 pm. Jet lag or no jet lag, class is the one constant in a dancer’s life and so all company members found themselves squeezed into the Ashton studio at 11am to start their working day. more

Critical Dance Goes Backstage – A Daily Diary
By Stuart Sweeney, July 1
PNB have already been in town for a couple of days. The production team arrived on Friday and the dancers and other staff members on Saturday morning. The first two days were mainly taken up with sight-seeing and the London Eye has won some more devotees, as well as the more traditional spots like Big Ben and Piccadilly Circus. And of course there is "essential" shopping to be done in Oxford Street. more

Carnets, Visas, and Exchange Rates: Why PNB is Touring to London and How It's Doing It
By Azlan Ezaddin
In the window behind Margo Spellman, remnants of load-bearing walls, the roof framing and the foundation are about all that remains of what used to be the Seattle Opera House. Spellman claims she’s gotten used to the noise and doesn’t seem fazed by all the activity. “It must be a guy thing,” she ventures. “All the guys who walk in here get distracted by the construction. Kent was all excited when he got to drive a crane last week,” referring to co-Artistic Director Kent Stowell. more

A fresh breeze from the Pacific
A preview article in The UK Independent

An Insider's Personal View on the Company Background and History
By Dina McDermott with Azlan Ezaddin
Seattle is tucked in the far Northwest corner of the United States, surrounded by breathtaking mountains and chilly Puget Sound, a city of gray mists and long, drizzly winter days. First impressions are of local lifestyles focused primarily on rugged, outdoor activities: many enjoy kayaking, skiing, and hiking. However, the Seattle institution visible on the international cultural scene is one of a wholly, different bent, but of an equally athletic nature. That institution is Pacific Northwest Ballet, directed by Francia Russell and Kent Stowell. more

A Conversation with Kent Stowell
By Dean Speer & Francis Timlin
On a clear and sunny Seattle day, we recently sat down with Pacific NW Ballet's Artistic Director, Kent Stowell to discuss PNB's upcoming tour to London. Relaxed and engaging, Mr. Stowell took time out of his busy schedule to answer questions, offer commentary, and provide his views on the tour, building ballet companies, what it's like to create a new ballet, and share some memories of his career and how this has influenced and shaped his ethics, work habits and artistic vision. more

Preview Article in the London Financial Times
(requires a free trial subscription)

About the London Tour – A Chat with PNB Principal Dancer Patricia Barker
By Dean Speer & Francis Timlin
During a break from rehearsals in preparation for PNB's upcoming Rep. program, Principal Dancer Patricia Barker met with us to discuss her participation in the upcoming tour to London and to field questions about her career. What follows is a summary of that conversation. more

Pacific Northwest Ballet in London – Programme Preview
By Stuart Sweeney
Pacific Northwest Ballet returns for a second visit to Sadler's Wells in early July and CriticalDance will be covering the short season in depth with a series of interviews, reviews and much more. Our three representatives in Seattle, Francis Timlin, Dean Speer and Dina McDermott have already been busy preparing preview material for your delectation and the UK staff will pick up the baton soon after PNB arrive in the UK. more

Olivier Wevers – An Artist For All The Right Reasons
By Dean Speer & Francis Timlin
In talking with PNB Principal Dancer, Olivier Wevers, it became clear that this dancer is an artist of the highest caliber and one who approaches his work and craft with an European sensibility coupled with an American love of openness and freedom. Highlights of our conversation follows. more

A brief look back to earlier visits of Pacific Northwest Ballet to the UK
By Stuart Sweeney
This is Pacific Northwest Ballet's second visit to London's Sadler's Wells and they first thrilled UK audiences at the 1998 Edinburgh Festival. more


More interviews are scheduled. Check back regularly.

Programme 1

Tues 2 July at 7.30pm
Sat 6 July at 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Programme 2

Weds 3, Thurs 4 & Fri 5 July at 7.30pm

Book Your Tickets Online
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or tel. 020 7863 8000



Designer: Lena Marie Stuart
US Director: Azlan Ezaddin
UK Director: Stuart Sweeney

All photos copyright Angela Sterling unless noted otherwise.
Background Photo: Jonathan Porretta and Timothy Lynch in 'Fearful Symmetries'.

All contributions as noted in each feature.