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By Wendy Perron
We all know what it feels like when there’s a good fit between ourselves and the place or company we are in. When we ask ourselves, Is this the right place for me?, chances are the answer is completely intuitive. You just know when it feels right. For Carla Körbes, after a few years at New York City Ballet, it felt wrong, and she found her right place at Pacific Northwest Ballet. Sure, it helped that Peter Boal, who discovered her in Brazil, brought her to PNB and gave her wonderful roles. But it also has to do with the health-conscious city of Seattle and the more laid-back schedule of PNB. In “Fearless in Seattle,” Gigi Berardi writes about what it took for Körbes, who was plagued by injuries and insecurities, to become the glorious dancer she was meant to be.
An ingenious way to celebrate the diversity of dance returns to New York this month. Tina Croll and Jamie Cunningham masterminded From the Horse’s Mouth as a framework for dancers of different backgrounds to tell stories and perform together. Along with about 30 other dancers, I was in the original version in 1998. All of us had long track records in the dance world, but we had been in our own little corners of it. Although I had danced with both Tina and Jamie at different times, I had never been onstage with Arthur Aviles, Martine van Hamel, Carmen de Lavallade, or Rajika Puri. What a thrill it was! When we performed this back in ’98, no one ever suspected that From the Horse’s Mouth would travel to 13 cities and involve more than 600 dancers. Read Deborah Jowitt’s wonderful first-person account of some of the more surprising—or outlandish—things that have happened during the course of From the Horse’s Mouth. And yes, both Deborah and I will be performing it again at the 92nd Street Y the last weekend in February.
For Valentine’s Day, we’ve brought you a little treat. No, it’s not a box of chocolates, but it might be more delicious. Our photo collage, “A Kiss Is Still a Kiss,” is about those moments when brash love and the discipline of dance come together. You will see sweet kisses, bold kisses, and romantic kisses. Happy Valentine’s Day!
From top: Photo of Wendy Perron by Steve Vacciarello. Photo of Carla Korbes by Matthew Karas.