As if Wendy Whelan’s imminent retirement wasn’t a hard enough pill to swallow, news that Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Carla Körbes will retire in June 2015 makes this an even sadder year for ballet.
Körbes started her career at New York City Ballet, before being hired as a soloist at PNB in 2005. In 2006 she was promoted to principal. Körbes has been lauded for her dancing in Balanchine ballets, and has originated roles in ballets by Peter Martins, Benjamin Millepied, Christopher Wheeldon and Twyla Tharp among others.
She has had a long-standing professional relationship with PNB artistic director Peter Boal, who first danced with her in her home country of Brazil when Körbes was just 14 years old. He insisted that she try to study at the School of American Ballet, and the rest is history.
The New York Times reported that Körbes has had a difficult recovery from a knee injury she sustained in 2013. She told The Times that she doesn’t want to feel like she’s just “getting through” the season any more. Even though she sought out the varied repertoire of PNB, she felt that she was pushing her body too hard, and that she was ready to move on.
“I trust Carla with this difficult decision,” said Boal in PNB’s press release. “After all, she’s always had impeccable timing.”