Dancer Peter Boal Will Be Pacific Northwest Ballet's New Artistic Director

Classic Arts News   Dancer Peter Boal Will Be Pacific Northwest Ballet's New Artistic Director
Peter Boal has been named artistic director of the Pacific Northwest Ballet, the company announced today. He succeeds Francia Russell and Kent Stowell, who will retire at the end of the season.

Boal, currently a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, was selected last month as the "lead candidate" being considered for the position, from a field that included dancers Colleen Neary and Thordal Christensen; dancer Benjamin Houk; Jeff Edwards, associate artistic director of the Washington Ballet; and Victoria Morgan, artistic director of the Cincinnati Ballet.

In all, nearly 50 people applied for the position.

Search committee chairman Carl Behnke said, in a statement, "Peter's exceptional achievements as an artist, his strength of character, and his impressive entrepreneurial spirit made a very positive impression with all participants in the search process."

Russell and Stowell came to PNB in 1977, and are credited with transforming it from an adjunct to the Seattle Opera to a well-regarded company in its own right.

The pair danced for George Balanchine in New York before taking over PNB, and the company has been rigorous in attending to Balanchine's legacy. Boal trained at the School of American Ballet, the school attached to NYCB and started by Balanchine with Lincoln Kirstein in the 1930s.

Boal has won a number of dance awards for his performances, and his new ensemble, Peter Boal & Co., made its New York debut at the Joyce Theater this past March.

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