Pacific Northwest Ballet Principal Dancer Jeffrey Stanton Announces Retirement
Final Performances During 2010-2011 Season
Seattle, WA – Pacific Northwest Ballet Artistic Director Peter Boal and principal dancer Jeffrey Stanton have announced that Mr. Stanton will be retiring at the end of the 2010-2011 season, following a 23-year career, 17 years of which were spent with PNB.
“As I look back at my ballet career I feel a tremendous amount of pride and gratitude,” said Mr. Stanton in his announcement. “It seems only yesterday I was a student with high hopes and dreams to fulfill. What happened was everything and more than I ever hoped for. I can now retire from my professional ballet career knowing that I gave it everything I had. My hope is that it’s been as rewarding to the audience as it has been for me.”
Mr. Stanton trained at San Francisco Ballet School and the School of American Ballet. In addition to classical ballet, he also studied ballroom, jazz, and tap dancing. He joined San Francisco Ballet in 1989 and left to join Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 1994. He was promoted to soloist in 1995 and was made a principal in 1996. He is originally from Santa Cruz, California.
“Jeff is a true Prince in every sense of the word,” said Mr. Boal in his announcement. “He not only more than fulfills his princely obligations onstage in Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Nutcracker, but he is a Prince offstage too, leading by quiet example, carefully guiding new partners in new roles, and continually demonstrating the perfect work ethic. Jeff is perhaps the best hoofer I have ever seen in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. During one of his triumphant performances in this role he suffered a severe sprain of his ankle. Sitting in the audience, I never knew. Jeff continued to dance with all of the charm and swagger that the role required. Audiences would never have guessed that Jeff left the theater that night in a wheelchair. Jeff has been the consummate professional who has served PNB admirably during his long tenure with the Company.”
“From heart-throb Prince to heart-breaking Romeo to scintillating, top-hatted tap dancer, Jeff Stanton has done it all at PNB – and done it with virtuosity, strength and the sensitivity of the true, committed artist,” said PNB Founding Artistic Directors Kent Stowell and Francia Russell, who hired Mr. Stanton in 1994. “When Jeff joined PNB he was a promising, attractive young dancer we hoped would become an ideal partner for our tall ballerinas. From the first day he began to fulfill our dreams. His technique gained elegance and assurance and his conscientious, graceful partnering was an immediate hit with all the Company women. Not only Kent but guest choreographers creating in many styles almost inevitably chose him for their works. Always a hard-worker in the studio, Jeff displayed onstage the courage and accurate theatrical instincts that can’t be taught. A quiet charisma uniquely his own never failed to surprise and delight us in the inevitable transformation we saw as he went from rehearsal to performance.
“Jeff has been a brilliant dancer, great colleague and stalwart Company member for seventeen years – a lifetime in dance and a gift to his artistic directors. It is our hope that, when he retires from performing, he will pass on everything he knows to future generations of young dancers. But we will always picture him onstage: handsome, sure and, in all ways, generous.”
Highlights in Mr. Stanton’s career include his performance in the role of Demetrius in the BBC’s 1999 film version of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, filmed at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London. He originated leading roles in Susan Stroman’s TAKE FIVE…More or Less; Stephen Baynes’ El Tango; Donald Byrd’s Seven Deadly Sins; Val Caniparoli’s The Bridge; Nicolo Fonte’s Almost Tango and Within/Without; Kevin O’Day’s Aract and [soundaroun(d)ance]; Kent Stowell’s Carmen, Palacios Dances, and Silver Lining; and Christopher Stowell’s Zaïs.
Mr. Stanton has performed as a guest artist for Le Gala des Étoiles in Montreal, Prague Gala of Stars, and the TITAS Command Performance of International Ballet in Dallas, Texas. In 2000, he participated in The George Balanchine Foundation’s Interpreters Archive series, dancing excerpts from Balanchine’s Episodes, coached by Melissa Hayden. He is also featured on the 1999 danceWORKS fitness video.
Other Leading Roles: George Balanchine’s Agon, Apollo, Ballet Imperial, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Chaconne, Coppélia (Dr. Coppelius), Diamonds, Divertimento No. 15, Emeralds, The Four Temperaments, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Demetrius, Divertissement pas de deux), Serenade, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Stars and Stripes, Symphony in C, Symphony in Three Movements, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Theme and Variations, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, La Valse, Western Symphony, and Who Cares?; Todd Bolender’s Souvenirs; Val Caniparoli’s Lambarena; Dominique Dumais’ Scripted in the Body; Eliot Feld’s Intermezzo; William Forsythe’s Artifact II and In the middle, somewhat elevated; Paul Gibson’s Diversions and Rush; Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow (Count Danilo) and The Sleeping Beauty (Prince Désiré); Robert Joffrey’s Remembrances; Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort; Edwaard Liang’s Für Alina; José Limón’s The Moor’s Pavane; Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette (Paris); Peter Martins’ Fearful Symmetries and Valse Triste; Mark Morris’ Pacific; Marius Petipa’s Le Corsaire Pas de Trois, Don Quixote, and Paquita; Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free, In the Night, and West Side Story Suite (Riff); Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana, Cinderella (Prince), Delicate Balance, Firebird, Hail to the Conquering Hero, Kammergarten Tänze, Nutcracker (Prince), Quaternary, Swan Lake (Prince Siegfried), The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet (Romeo), and Zirkus Weill; Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s The Ballad of You and Me, Mercury, and The Quilt; Glen Tetley’s Voluntaries; Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs; and Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain pas de deux. At San Francisco Ballet, he performed leading roles in works by Lew Christensen, Agnes De Mille, James Kudelka, Mark Morris, and Jerome Robbins.