Pacific Northwest Ballet Principal Dancer Carla Körbes To Retire At Season’s End

“PNB’s Dancer Profile – Carla Körbes”

[Seattle, WA] – Pacific Northwest Ballet Artistic Director Peter Boal and principal dancer Carla Körbes have announced that Ms. Körbes will retire from the Company at the end of PNB’s 2014-2015 season. Ms. Körbes joined PNB as a soloist in 2005 and was promoted to principal in 2006.

“I have had unforgettable moments with Pacific Northwest Ballet,” said Ms. Körbes regarding 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.”

“I’ve been in denial about Carla’s insistence that this season be her last,” said Mr. Boal in his announcement. “When I think about the many exquisite moments she has afforded us over the past decade, I think I might be selfish to want more. One more Kitri, one more Odette/Odile and one more In the Middle, please? Yes, we may have those, but I trust Carla with this difficult decision. After all, she’s always had impeccable timing.”

Mr. Boal continued: “Our story began almost twenty years ago when I arrived in Porto Alegre, Brazil to perform Apollo with ‘a local girl.’ I was apprehensive to say the least, having performed with a few too many ‘local girls’ in my day. But when a stick of a girl named Carlinha entered the stage with a blonde bun the size of a brioche and arches to match, I was in awe. Trust me when say that I’m not the kind of person who would summon a translator to tell a fourteen-year-old she needed to leave her home and her family in order to move to New York City to train at the School of American Ballet, but after one seamless run-through of the pas de deux in Apollo, I knew I needed to take action. Carla was that rare bird with a gift greater than she, her parents or even her teachers understood. She offered the very essence of the Balanchine aesthetic coupled with true graciousness and instinctive musicality. She was a breath of fresh air and continues to be just that almost twenty years later at the height of her career. How fortunate we are to have her artistry on proud display in our city, on our stage and on stages around the world. Carla is an absolute treasure.”

Audiences will have several more opportunities to see Ms. Körbes perform during the 2014-2015 season, including the upcoming Jewels (September 26 – October 5), Nutcracker (November 28 – December 28), Don Quixote (January 30 – February 8, 2015), and Swan Lake (April 10 – 19), among others. (She will also be appearing in the preview performances of Justin Peck’s Debonair at The Joyce Theater in New York City on October 8 – 12, and in the work’s premiere in Seattle, November 7 – 16.) During the run of Jewels, Ms. Körbes is scheduled to dance the lead role in Diamonds on Friday, September 26 (opening night) and Saturday, October 4; and Emeralds on Saturday, September 27 (matinee), Thursday, October 2, and Friday, October 3. (For up-to-date casting information, check performance details on PNB.org. Schedule and casting is subject to change). The season will conclude with PNB’s annual Season Encore Performance (6:30 pm on Sunday, June 7) which will feature Ms. Körbes reprising some of her signature performances. Tickets to Jewels, in addition to the rest of PNB’s season offerings, may be purchased through the PNB Box Office, 206.441.2424, online at PNB.org, or in person at 301 Mercer Street. Tickets to the Season Encore Performance are on sale now for PNB’s season subscribers only, and will go on sale to the general public on January 19, 2015.

Carla Körbes was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and began her ballet training at age five with local teachers. At age eleven, she began studying at Ballet Vera Bublitz. In 1996, Peter Boal danced with her as a guest artist of the school and encouraged her to come to New York to study at the School of American Ballet. For academic year 1997–1998, her tuition was paid by Alexandra Danilova so she could continue studying at the School of American Ballet. In 1999, she was the Mae. L. Wien Award recipient and was made an apprentice with New York City Ballet. She joined the company as a member of the corps de ballet in 2000 and was the Janice Levin Dancer Honoree for 2001–2002. She was promoted to soloist in 2005 and later that year joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a soloist. Ms. Körbes was promoted to principal dancer in 2006.

In 2006, DANCE magazine selected Ms. Körbes for their annual “25 to Watch” feature, and she appeared on the cover of DANCE in February, 2010. Gia Kourlas, in a New York Times profile, described Ms. Körbes as “one of America’s most remarkable ballerinas. When she burst onto the scene, seeing her glittering intensity and silky phrasing was like watching Balanchine with new eyes.” In a 2012 review of her performance at the Vail International Dance Festival, Alastair Macaulay, dance critic of The New York Times, wrote that “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.”

For PNB she has originated leading roles in Paul Gibson’s Sense of Doubt, Benjamin Millepied’s 3 Movements, Christopher Wheeldon’s Tide Harmonic, and Twyla Tharp’s Opus 111. She has performed leading roles in the majority of PNB’s repertory, including the works of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, William Forsythe, Christopher Wheeldon, Alexei Ratmansky, Kent Stowell, and Twyla Tharp. She has danced leads in all of PNB’s full-length repertory, including Kent Stowell’s Swan Lake (Odette/Odile), Nutcracker (Clara, Flora), and Cinderella (Cinderella); George Balanchine’s Coppélia (Swanilda); Peter Boal’s Giselle (Giselle); Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty (Aurora, Gold and Silver pas de trois, Lilac Fairy); Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette (Juliet); and Alexei Ratmansky’s Don Quixote (Kitri).

At New York City Ballet, Ms. Körbes first danced leading and featured roles in Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15, Episodes, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Titania, Helena), and Serenade; Peter Martins’ Concerto for Two Solo Pianos, Sinfonia, The Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake; and Jerome Robbins’ Antique Epigraphs, Fanfare, The Four Seasons, I’m Old Fashioned, and Interplay. She originated leading roles in Albert Evans’ Haiku, Peter Martins’ Chichester Psalms, Susan Stroman’s Double Feature, Richard Tanner’s Soiree, and Christopher Wheeldon’s An American in Paris and Shambards.

Other leading roles have included George Balanchine’s Agon, Apollo, Concerto Barocco, Diamonds, Duo Concertant, Emeralds, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Divertissement pas de deux), Prodigal Son, Serenade, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, La Sonnambula, Symphony in Three Movements, and La Valse; Val Caniparoli’s The Bridge; Merce Cunningham’s Inlets 2; Sonia Dawkins’ Ripple Mechanics; David Dawson’s A Million Kisses to my Skin; Ulysses Dove’s Red Angels and Serious Pleasures; Nacho Duato’s Jardí Tancat and Rassemblement; William Forsythe’s Artifact II and In the middle, somewhat elevated; Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort; Mark Morris’ A Garden and Pacific; Alexei Ratmansky’s Concerto DSCH; Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free, Glass Pieces, In the Night, and West Side Story Suite (Anita); Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana, and Hail to the Conquering Hero; Susan Stroman’s TAKE FIVE…More or Less; Richard Tanner’s Ancient Airs and Dances; Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs and Waterbaby Bagatelles; and Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain pas de deux, Carousel (A Dance), and Polyphonia.

In 2002, Ms. Körbes performed Richard Tanner’s Ancient Airs and Dances for the nationally televised PBS Live from Lincoln Center broadcast, “New York City Ballet’s Diamond Project: Ten Years of New Choreography.” In addition to her performances with New York City Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ms. Körbes has performed with Peter Boal and Company and in the debut performance of Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company. She has also performed as a guest artist on the Vail International Dance Festival’s “International Evenings of Dance” galas and at the “Dance Open” Gala in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2010.

For further information, please visit: PNB.org.

[Photo of Carla Körbes, Pacific Northwest Ballet Principal Dancer, by Angela Sterling.]

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