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Showing posts from November, 2014

Twenty-five years of live music celebrated at PNB

During the current run of the Director’s Choice, and the upcoming month of “Nutcracker” performances, Pacific Northwest Ballet audiences will enjoy something that very few dance fans experience these days.
“Today most ballet companies don’t have an orchestra or only perform with a very small group of musicians hired for the occasion,” said Emil de Cou, PNB’s music director and principal conductor. Here in Seattle, the orchestra’s 50+ musicians not only wow audiences on a regular basis, they also convert choreographers to the advantages of live music.

“Choreographers like control and the predictability of recorded music but when they see what a grand group that PNB Orchestra is, they know it is first class and full of musicians who love to play for the ballet,” said de Cou.
To celebrate their 25th anniversary as PNB Orchestra, the group also received their own solo moment, playing a joyful “Praeludium” from Edvard Grieg’s Holberg Suite, Op. 40, to appreciative applause duri…

Performing Beckett with circus style

Tonight (Nov. 13), UMO Ensemble brings their individual brand of movement and clowning to the works of Samuel Beckett. While the Ensemble often creates original works, they accepted an invitation from Seattle’s ACT to join the Seattle Beckett Festival this month. Since 1987, the Vashon-based troupe has built a reputation for mixing theater with circus arts, seeking to be "image-rich" as well as intellectually challenging.

In “Fail Better: Beckett Moves UMO,” rope artist Terry Crane and sound designer Jimmy Garver worked with ensemble members Janet McAlpin, David Godsey, Maria Glanz, and Lyam White to mix up clowning, aerial derring-do, and “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it nudity” for a very different take on Beckett’s stories. Elizabeth Klob, executive artist of UMO, directed this work and took time to answer a few questions about transforming Beckett’s prose into an UMO production.

Why did you want take part in the Seattle Beckett Festival?
UMO has always been fascinated w…