Pacific Northwest Ballet
A Long Grand Pas des Duex
30 years. That’s a long run and Kent Stowell and Francia Russell had a long and magnificent run as co-artistic directors of the Pacific Northwest Ballet, a company they founded. They took a small company started to provide dancers for the Seattle Opera and grew it into one of the top ballet companies in the world.
When it came time for them to retire the company wanted to honor Kent and Francia in the best way possible. We spent a year with the company speaking with the dancers in the company, young dancers training in PNB’s acclaimed ballet school, and members of the costume, set, lighting, and orchestra. The co-artistic directors were renowned for their brilliant collaborations including famed set designer Ming Cho Lee, author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, composer William Bolcom. We also spoke with the San Francisco Ballet, the Balanchine Foundation, and many former principal dancers.