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Choreographer Crystal Pite Brings Work To PNB

Courtesy of Pacific Northwest Ballet/Copyright Lindsay Thomas

Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite might actually be better known in Europe than here on the North American continent. The Vancouver Island native trained in ballet and danced with Ballet British Columbia before moving to Europe to perform with legendary American choreographer William Forsythe.

Pite has created her own dances since her early days in ballet, and while in Europe she continued to choreograph for large dance companies and for her own dance troupe, Kidd Pivot.

Most Seattle audiences know Pite's contemporary work with Kidd Pivot. Her company has performed at On The Boards several times to sold out crowds and great acclaim. Now Pite brings her work for the first time to Pacific Northwest Ballet.

PNB will present "Emergence," a dance originally choreographed for the National Ballet of Canada in 2009. Pite has spent several weeks over the past year selecting PNB company members to learn "Emergence." But the choreographer also had a chance to revise it with the help of the dancers.

"It's so satisfying," she said, "because there are always sections in the original piece that I wasn't quite convinced about."

Pite is currently on leave from her position as choreographer-in-residence at the Netherlands Dance Theater. She has a young son, and she's taken the past year off to spend time with him and family in British Columbia.

Pite said that's given her time to think about what she wants to do next. "I really l0ve having my own company. I like the small scale of it," she said. 

But Pite plans to continue her association with companies like Netherlands Dance Theater and Pacific Northwest Ballet. They've got more money, more dancers and resources to allow Pite to create bigger works.

Pite enjoyed her experience in Seattle. "Every time I work with someone new I learn something," she said. Now audiences will have the opportunity to sample something new as well, when PNB dancers perform Pite's "Emergence" at McCaw Hall.