Sad News from Seattle

September 19, 2014

Wouldn’t it be great if our favorite dancers could just continue dancing forever? I mean, retirement, shmetirement—we can’t bear to see the good ones go!

We’re still reeling from New York City Ballet’s announcement about Wendy Whelan a few months ago, and on Thursday, Pacific Northwest Ballet dropped this doozy: Beloved principal Carla Körbes will retire at the end of the 2014–2015 season. Körbes has had an illustrious career in both Seattle and New York. Born and raised in Brazil, she moved to NYC to study at the School of American Ballet as a teen, and became a NYCB apprentice in 1999. Körbes joined the main company soon after, and in 2005, she became a soloist. But later that year she had a change of heart, and decided to move across the country to join PNB as a soloist. A year later she was promoted to principal.

Leaping to new adventures

(photo by Matthew Murphy)

Luckily for PNB devotees, Körbes’ last performance isn’t until June 7, 2015, which means there are still plenty of opportunities to see her perform. She’ll dance in George Balanchine’s Jewels this September and October, Kent Stowell’s Nutcracker in November and December, Don Quixote in January and Swan Lake in April. And if you’re on the East Coast, you can catch her when the company comes to NYC’s Joyce Theater in October.

Körbes in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette

Photo © Angela Sterling

PNB also has a significant presence on YouTube, including enough videos of Körbes that you could spend a whole day watching her. (I recommend it.) This quick profile is a good way to start the mourning process:

So far, there’s not much news about what Ms. Körbes will be up to next. In an interview with the New York Times, Körbes, who’s only 33, mentioned that injuries have taken a toll on her body, and that she’s “always compensating and just trying to get through a season.” Körbes continued: “I don’t want to ‘get through’ a season, so I need to change the way I’m making my art.”

That last part makes it sound like she’s still going to make art. I sure hope so.