Featuring works by Emily Schoen Branch, Norbert De La Cruz III, and Price Suddarth

Two Performances
February 12, 2022, at 7 PM
February 13, 2022, at 5 PM

Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA)
410 4th Ave N, Edmonds, WA 98020

Edmonds, WAOlympic Ballet Theatre (OBT) continues its 2021-2022 performance season with DEBUTS in February, presenting new works by contemporary choreographers. This production features She travels softly (through midday light) by Emily Schoen Branch, Borderland by Price Suddarth, and Until the Mermaid Drags You Under by Norbert De La Cruz III.

DEBUTS is a new addition to the OBT’s season, and we are thrilled to present three new ballets by talented choreographers,” said artistic directors Mara Vinson and Oleg Gorboulev. “We were planning to launch DEBUTS last season, but the pandemic forced us, like other performing arts organizations, to cancel the whole season of live productions. Now, more than ever, we are excited to collaborate with these diverse choreographers, who are bringing original ideas and introducing new movements to our company dancers and our audiences. This production is a celebration of contemporary ballet, featuring the creative works of choreographers and musicians from the Pacific Northwest and New York.”

In addition to presenting contemporary ballet on stage, OBT is hosting a masterclass with Norbert De La Cruz III, the choreographer of Until the Mermaid Drags You Under in DEBUTS. The class with this award-winning Juilliard teacher is scheduled on February 5, 2022, from 2 to 3:15 PM and is open to all dancers ages 11 and over. Learn more at https://www.olympicballet.org/performance-season/masterclass-norbert-de-la-cruz/


She travels softly (through midday light)
Music: Portland Cello Project
Choreography: Emily Schoen Branch
Premiere: February 12, 2022, Olympic Ballet Theatre

Riding on musical waves by the acclaimed regional group Portland Cello Project, unacquainted individuals find that their ethos align. Through camaraderie and with elegance, they voyage to a shared destination.

Music: J.S. Bach
Choreography: Price Suddarth
Staging: Joshua Grant
Premiere: June 13, 2014, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Next Step Performance

Borderland: the state of being where the mind is caught between two realms– awake and asleep. The ballet opens with four dancers emerging out of the darkness as if in a dream. Following the unpredictable path of this dream, they travel back and forth between hauntingly silent tranquility and explosively manic tension. The work invites the viewer to remove themselves from the predictable and immerse themselves instead into this rapidly changing experience.

Until the Mermaid Drags You Under
Music: Ben Salisbury, Peter Gregson, Ichiko Aoba, Abel Korzeniowski, Shigeru Umebayashi, Matthew D. Morgan
Choreography: Norbert De La Cruz III
Premiere: May 22, 2021, Olympic Ballet Theatre (digital fundraiser release)

I am interested in creating a ballet that explores the relationships we have with our interiority: our dreams, nightmares, our monsters, and our fantasies. I want to see how our relationships with one another transform in a time of endless uncertainty and how we escape and return to our normalcy. I have had vivid dreams of sirens dragging me under into the deep blue ocean, questioning whether or not they will save me or destroy me. What is it about this underworld that calls me? Gasping for air, unable to breathe – the water is both a symbol of our fear and freedom.  I am examining the relationship to these hauntingly beautiful nightmares to the fear and liberty we hold as a culture.  Using the mermaid as symbolism for our desires, destructions, beauty, secrets, and repression, I ask the dancers to co-create this work with me as a personal and contemplative reflection of self-transformation and to embody what remains in our internal emotional landscape. [choreographer’s notes]


DEBUTS will run two performances at the Edmonds Center for the Arts on February 12 and February 13, 2022. Tickets range from $27 to $40 and can be purchased at https://www.olympicballet.org/tickets or at the box office (425) 774-7570. For more information, contact OBT at dance@olympicballet.org or visit https://www.olympicballet.org/performance-season/debuts/ .

Edmonds Center for the Arts COVID-19 safety policies: All patrons must have current photo ID and either proof of full vaccination (two weeks after the second shot of two-dose vaccine or first dose of one-dose vaccine), a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, or a test taken within 72 hours of the performance. This policy applies to all patrons, including infants and young children. Face masks are required (children ages two and under are exempted from wearing face masks). More information about the ECA policies at https://www.edmondscenterforthearts.org/.

DEBUTS is generously underwritten by Kevin Conefrey & Dawn-Rene Becker, William Jones, and an anonymous donor. Olympic Ballet Theatre’s 2021-2022 season is proudly sponsored by the Edmonds Arts Commission, the Hazel Miller Foundation, the Hubbard Family Foundation, The Morgan Fund, and Seattle NorthCountry.


Emily Schoen Branch is a dancer, choreographer, and Dance Magazine “Top 25 to Watch” artist who spent most of her career in New York and has recently relocated to Seattle. Baryshnikov Arts Center (NYC) chose her as the 2019 Martha Duffy Resident Artist for their acclaimed BAC Space Residency. She’s received the Gibney Dance boo-koo grant for emerging artists in NYC, a Princess Grace Fellowship nomination by METdance (Texas) and was Artist-In-Residence for the Choreographers and Composers Series at Jamaica Center for the Arts and Learning (New York). As a dancer, she’s worked for Kyle Abraham/AIM (New York); the Metropolitan Opera in works by Doug Varone, Mark Morris, and Carolyn Choa; the Rolling Stones in their 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour, and for 8 years with KEIGWIN + COMPANY (New York). With Larry Keigwin, she was privileged to tour extensively, collaborate on a dozen new works, serve as a repetiteur, and assist in commissions for The Juilliard School, Marymount Manhattan, and Keigwin’s “Bolero” community series, reenacted throughout the US. As a passionate educator, Emily has fulfilled 17 commissions for companies and university programs all over the country. She directs her own group, Schoen Movement Company, which is home to her creative endeavors: happy hour performance series, dance films, and international collaborations, including a residency and international livestream performance at the Tunisian National Theater.

Price Suddarth is an American choreographer and dancer in Seattle, Washington. He studied at Central Indiana Dance Ensemble, the School of American Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and attended summer courses on scholarship at Pacific Northwest Ballet School, the Rock School, the School of American Ballet, and Miami City Ballet. He joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 2010, being promoted to corps de ballet in 2011 and soloist in 2018. Price Suddarth has performed as a guest artist with Panama National Ballet. He has choreographed for the Regional Dance America gala in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s NEXT STEP, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School’s annual School Performance. In 2015, he choreographed Signature for PNB’s mainstage repertory. In 2017, he choreographed Shifted Figures for Sculptured Dance, a collaboration between Pacific Northwest Ballet and Seattle Art Museum presented at Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park. In 2021 he choreographed and directed The Intermission Project for PNB’s digital season.

Norbert De La Cruz III was born in the Philippines and raised in California. He received a BFA in Dance from the Juilliard School and an MFA in Dance from Hollins University. He is a New York- and Los Angeles-based freelance artist. He was a soloist with Ballet Torino, Aszure Barton, the Metropolitan Opera, Complexions, and Boca Tuya. He has been commissioned by Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Barak Ballet, Hubbard Street, BalletX, Peridance, and Olympic Ballet Theater. Norbert was a finalist of Hubbard Street’s National Choreographic Competition, a Princess Grace Foundation-USA award recipient, Alvin Ailey New Directions Choreography Lab, Joffrey Academy of Dance’s Winning Works, the National Choreographic Initiative, and a recipient of the NY Choreographic Institute. Honorable mentions include the Asian Arts Alliance Jadin Wong Award, McCallum Theatre Choreography Festival Award, and was featured in Dance Magazines Top 25 to watch. www.NorbertDeLaCruziii.com IG: @Norbert.DeLaCruz.iii

Olympic Ballet Theatre is an emerging nonprofit ballet company presenting four productions of classical and contemporary ballets each season. Founded 41 years ago and now under the leadership of artistic directors Mara Vinson and Oleg Gorboulev, OBT has become a mainstay of the Snohomish County arts scene, regularly touring theaters in Everett and Edmonds. OBT provides high-quality original and classical ballet productions while maintaining the family-friendly ticketing prices and intimate venues that audiences love.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Katya Turnbow, marketing@olympicballet.org, 206.484.3724

700 Main Street, Edmonds, WA 98020 | 425.774.7570 | OlympicBallet.org

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