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A Cinderella night for Pacific Northwest Ballet

By Keegan Prosser on October 30, 2012 – No Comment

Chairs Sharon Richardson and Alesha Shemwell. Alexander Lazaro for Team Photogenic © 2012

By Rose Dennis

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s black-tie opening gala – The Dream Continues – attracted more than 400 patrons Sept. 21. Under the direction of event co-chairs Alesha Shemwell and Sharon Richardson, the 40th anniversary raised $340,000.

Committee members worked endlessly in creating a memorable event.

The evening began with a red-carpet walk to a private cocktail reception. Then guests were then “called” to dinner and escorted through gates into Cinderella’s Garden.

The party décor was like a fairy tale dream come true with pumpkins, roses, topiaries, chandeliers, fabric and candles, which were creatively displayed to set the party mood.

Following dinner, guests enjoyed a one-time only performance with the special appearance of retired principal dancer Patricia Barker as the Ringmaster in Jerome Robbins’ Circus Polka. This was then followed by Cinderella that was choreographed by PNB’s founding co-artistic director Kent Stowell. PNB company dancer’s impressed the audience with their character roles and technical movements. The gorgeous costumes by the late Martin Pakledinaz were breathtakingly beautiful.

After the performances Cinderella’s celebration continued with an after party on the McCaw Hall stage. While the clock hands slowly approached midnight, patrons, guests and company dancers celebrated PNB’s past, while anxiously discussing the next 40 years under the continued leadership of PNB’s Artistic Director Peter Boal. Bravo PNB!

Rose Dennis writes about events in Bellevue and the Greater Seattle area. She lives in Bellevue.