Ballet Careers
Former Pacific Northwest Ballet corps de ballet dancer Chelsea Adomaitis with Company dancers in Jerome Robbins' The Concert. Photo © Angela Sterling.

Reuniting with Chelsea Adomaitis in Paris was like a little taste of home. Old friends and former corps members of the Pacific Northwest Ballet, we had both moved to Europe last summer. Over brunch she' d share the story that brought her abroad.

As a little girl, Chelsea Adomaitis dreamed of dancing for the Paris Opéra Ballet, but as most do, she dismissed it as just that: a dream. Beginning her training in Boston with her mom, a former dancer, she later enrolled at the Harid Conservatory. It wasn't until she attended Pacific Northwest Ballet School's summer program, at age 16, that she discovered Balanchine, and it was love at first step. After two years in the school she was hired as an apprentice.

Her first few years in the company were full of growing pains. Her technique and confidence flourished as she gained opportunities to perform leading roles. Yet juggling these with a very heavy corps load began to wear on her. Confusion, frustration and injuries mounted as one season of this juggling act turned into four. Yet she persevered, hoping her work would soon be recognized and rewarded.


The author and Adomaitis outside Versailles. Photo by Jessika Anspach McEliece, Courtesy McEliece.

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Ballet Stars
"Twenty, thirty years ago, this work was quite unique," says Forsythe (in foreground) of his evolution as a choreographer. "Now it's been absorbed by new generations, and they expect something like this to come their way." Photo by Angela Sterling for Pointe.

William Forsythe isn't a large man, and he's not particularly flashy. But when he sidled into Pacific Northwest Ballet's rehearsal studio on a bright winter afternoon, the dancers all gravitated to him, like sunflowers stretching to the sun.

“Gather, my dears!" he greeted them, with a huge smile on his face.

Forsythe spent two weeks in residence at PNB last March, putting the finishing touches on the three dances in the first American all-Forsythe program, which included In the middle, somewhat elevated, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude and New Suite.

New Suite, a collection of pas de deux from some of Forsythe's earlier works, had only been performed by one company, the Dresden Semperoper Ballett, prior to its PNB debut.

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