Going Virtual with Dance and Music

One of my favorite pre-covid activities was venturing out to Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., to thrill at the talents in what the other Washington might think at “out West.”
Today, audiences and performers alike can see shows that they might not be able to attend in person. That’s one benefit of online productions.

Pacific Northwest Ballet Continues its Virtual Season

Coming up this week and next are performances by the most delightful Pacific Northwest Ballet.
Here’s the press release (edited a bit) from the inimitable p.r. guy Gary Tucker.
Following the success of its first-ever all-digital season opener, Pacific Northwest Ballet is back with its second program of digital dance for an audience that literally spans the globe. PNB’s Rep  2, debuting Thursday, November 12, celebrates a lineage of female choreographers, each with their own  bright and arresting perspective.
Jessica Lang and Penny Saunders have each created world premiere works for the digital stage, conceived, rehearsed and produced under pandemic protocols. These new  works are joined by a series of solos from Twyla Tharp’s “Waterbaby Bagatelles,” and “Arms,” a new-to-PNB  work by Susan Marshall. All performances were filmed live on stage at McCaw Hall at Seattle Center, and  made available to subscribers and ticket-buyers in the comfort and safety of home.
The release date for PNB’s Rep 2 is Thursday, November 12, and the program is streamable for five days, through November 16. Subscriptions to PNB’s 2020-2021 season are $155; Individual digital  performance tickets are $29, and $39 for Digital Performance Plus. The latter provides access to  additional videos including a new site-specific work created by Amanda Morgan. (See “Rep 2 Bonus  Content” below.)
The weekend following Rep 2, PNB invites one and all to its virtual gala, First Look to the Future. Celebrate with PNB as the company presents a program of tributes, surprises, and dance works including  the PNB premiere of Alejandro Cerrudo’s “Pacopepepluto.” Raise a glass (BYOB), raise funds, and  raise a collective voice in support of PNB’s future. The First Look gala is free, but pre-registration is  required at PNB.org/season/events/first-look. (Season subscribers are automatically registered.)
All performances were filmed at Seattle Center Studios: In early 2020, Seattle Center launched a  recording studio for virtual events on the stage of McCaw Hall. The studio utilizes theatrical equipment  paired with video technology to capture and livestream performances, lectures and events.
The program line-ups for Rep 2 and First Look include:
(Additional program notes are available at PNB.org.)
November 12 –16
Wonderland” (World Premiere)
Original Music and Adaptations: Michael Wall
Additional Music: Jean-Philippe Goude, Hugues Le Bars, Erik Satie, Camille Saint-Saëns Choreography: Penny Saunders
“Wonderland” pays homage to the marvel and magic of live theater – a love letter to the immense power and delight  one finds within those walls – and the shared experience so many of us are profoundly missing at the moment.
In conjunction with the premiere of “Wonderland,” and in collaboration with Seattle Dance Collective, PNB is releasing “Alice,” a new solo work choreographed by Ms. Saunders and performed by Noelani  Pantastico. The work was directed and filmed by Bruno Roque, with music by Michael Wall. “Alice” is available for viewing as a bonus for subscribers and Digital Performance Plus ticket buyers.
“Waterbaby Bagatelles” (Excerpt)
Music: 20th-century bagatelles (Mickey Hart and Zakir Hussain, The Hunt)
“Arms” (PNB Premiere)
Music: Luis Resto
“Arms” helped signal Susan Marshall as a major artist and innovator in contemporary dance when it premiered in 1984  at PS 122 in New York City. The Village Voice called it “a small masterpiece.” The five-minute duet was a game changer in the New York “downtown dance” scene and an important early example of Marshall’s innovations in  expanding the formal structures of post-modernism to include everyday gestures and theater experiments.
“Ghost Variations” (World Premiere)
Music: Robert Schumann (Ghost Variations, 1854, Theme, Variations II & V; Lierderkreis, Op., 39, No. 5  “Mondnacht”, 1840, arranged by Clara Schumann, 1872–1874) and Clara Schumann (Three Romances, Op. 11,  1839, I. Andante; Scherzo No. 2 in C minor, Op. 14, after 1840)
Notes from choreographer Jessica Lang: “‘Ghost Variations” was composed by Robert Schumann in 1854 just prior to his being committed to an asylum for insanity. Schumann believed that he was being haunted by composers from the  grave who were dictating the theme to him – forgetting that he had already written it himself. Dedicated to his wife Clara, she guarded this final score and would not allow the theme and five variations to be published until they finally  appeared in 1939.
“Ghost Variations was created in August 2020 during the global pandemic. Keeping to the protocols of two pods of  four dancers, donned in masks, physically distanced and never touching (unless cohabitating), sometimes behind  plexiglass, with covers on Zoom in other studios, this is a ballet created for the stage with costumes and theatrical lighting. It was my intention to create a ballet for the stage that was filmed and broadcast as opposed to making a  ‘dance film’. Even though our only way to experience this world premiere is on a screen right now, ‘Ghost Variations’  will seamlessly transfer to the stage for live performance when it is safe for all of us to gather in theaters again.” 

First Look Gala
November 20
“Pacopepepluto”  (PNB Premiere)
Music: Songs sung by Dean Martin and Joe Scalissi (“In the Chapel in the Moonlight,” “Memories Are Made of This,” and “That’s Amore”)
This work contains implied nudity.
Music: Luis Resto
Ghost Variations” (Excerpt)
(See notes above.)
“Apollo” (Excerpts: Terpsichore variation, 2nd Apollo variation, pas de deux)
Music: Igor Stravinsky (Apollon Musagète, 1927-1928)
“Red Angels” (Excerpt) Music: Richard Einhorn
“Swan Lake” (Excerpts)
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Rep 2 Bonus Content
All patrons of PNB’s basic Digital Performance ($29) will also receive, in addition to the Rep 2 program  line-up:
Five Minute Call – A peek backstage at the artists, musicians, and crew preparing for the  performances.
Ballet Talk – Doug Fullington’s informative introduction to the performance, discussing  choreography, music, history, and design.
Meet the Artist – Peter Boal with company dancers in a lively conversation about the works.
Additionally, season subscribers and patrons of the Digital Performance Plus ($39) will receive access to an interview with Twyla Tharp by Peter Boal; two additional casts performing Susan Marshall’s “Arms;” plus the world premieres of “Alice,” a new solo by Penny Saunders to complement “Wonderland, performed by PNB principal dancer Noelani Pantastico (and co-presented by Seattle Dance Collective); and “This Space  Left Intentionally Blank,” a site-specific work created by Amanda Morgan with music by nordra.
For tickets, call 206-441-2424  or go to PNB.org
Ticket-buyers will receive an email prior to the program with a link and password, as well as helpful  information to assist in viewing the digital content. Rep 2 content will be available for a five-day viewing  window beginning at 10am (Pacific) on Thursday, November 12. 
Tickets to the First Look to the Future gala are free or $500*, but pre-registration is required for the First Look to the Future gala on Nov. 20, at  PNB.org/season/events/first-look. 

Jazz it up in Canada

Yes, we still can’t go north of our border, bu through November 15, we be a part of history as Jazz Festivals across the country join forces to present top jazz talent performing online. From coast to coast, over a dozen Festivals have collaborated to bring all Canadians — and those in the U.S. — together in an effort to unite us in our love of jazz music.
Canadian Online Jazz Festival is a virtual event highlighting the strength of musicians from each Jazz Festival market in Canada, featuring artists in a digital format for local, national, and international audiences and buyers. With two festival presentations each evening, Canadian Online Jazz Festival will exhibit the full breadth and depth of Canada’s unique jazz tapestry.
Visit cojazz.ca to learn more about the various festival presentation days and time, and to follow each festival’s website.
The following festivals will be online:


TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival


TD Halifax Jazz Festival


TD Ottawa Jazz Festival


TD Toronto Jazz Festival


TD Niagara Jazz Festival


Jazz Sudbury Festival


TD Jazz Winnipeg


JazzFest Regina


TD Edmonton International Jazz Festival


Yardbird Suite Edmonton


Medicine Hat Jazz Fest


TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival


Victoria International Jazz Fest


Taj online

Closer to home, Mount Vernon’s Lincoln Theatre is partnering with the legendary Taj Mahal to bring you access to his LIVESTREAM performance at 6 p.m. November 17. Taj, a composer, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, multi-GRAMMY® winner, multi-Blues Music Award winner, Blues Hall of Fame member and Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement award recipient will be streaming LIVE to the comforts of your own home from the UC Theatre stage in Berkeley, CA. This will be Taj’s first ever livestream performance! Tickets are $20 and on sale now.. A portion of each ticket sold benefits the Lincoln Theatre! Call 360-366-8955 or go to lincolntheatre.org 

For information on how to cast to your TV click HERE.