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Showing posts from June, 2015

More than a prince, Gaines takes final bow tonight

From the start, he was told that he didn’t look like a prince. “Your muscles are not long enough, you’re not tall enough,” Kiyon Gaines can tick off the discouraging phrases by memory. And the one mostly unspoken but obvious to the African-American teenager with the passionate love of classical ballet. “I’d look around the classroom and everyone else was white.”

Still, Gaines, who started ballet classes at age 12, was judged good enough to attend the prestigious School of American Ballet in his teens, and found a professional home at Pacific Northwest Ballet before he turned 20. Since then, he’s originated leading roles in Paul Gibson's “The Piano Dance,” Margaret Mullin’s “Lost in Light,” Susan Stroman’s “TAKE FIVE … More or Less,” and Twyla Tharp’s “Opus 111” and “Waiting at the Station.” On the classical side of the repertoire, he’s danced with acclaim in everything from George Balanchine’s “Agon” to Kent Stowell’s “Swan Lake.”

“I never set out to be a dancer, b…