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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 11, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 46
Jonathan Porretta celebrates his life in dance at special PNB book-signing event
Arts & Entertainment
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Jonathan Porretta celebrates his life in dance at special PNB book-signing event

Meet author Marcie Sillman, photographer Angela Sterling, and Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Jonathan Porretta, at a book-signing event at McCaw Hall

OUT THERE:
JONATHAN PORRETTA'S
LIFE IN DANCE
BY MARCIE SILLMAN
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANGELA STERLING
MARION OLIVER MCCAW HALL
November 13


On Sunday, November 13 at 3:15 pm, following the final performance of Pacific Northwest Ballet's current program Brief Fling, meet author Marcie Sillman, photographer Angela Sterling and Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Jonathan Porretta at a book-signing event at the PNB Amusements Gift Shop in McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street at Seattle Center in Seattle. (No ticket required to attend the book-signing.)

Jonathan Porretta (https://www.pnb.org/artist/jonathan-porretta/) is one of the most beloved dancers at Pacific Northwest Ballet. But his journey to principal dancer wasn't easy. He grew up different: gay, lonely, and bullied in a small New Jersey town, following a dream that those around him couldn't understand. Porretta's tale is now chronicled in a new catalogue raisonné by award-winning arts journalist Marcie Sillman, Out There: Jonathan Porretta's Life in Dance.

The book's message: 'Be yourself and people will love you for who you are' - comes through clearly in Sillman's crisp, engaging prose. Family snapshots, along with exquisite dance imagery by acclaimed photographer Angela Sterling show key moments in Porretta's career thus far.

Out There is an expanded version of the 2,000-word article Sillman published on KUOW.org in January 2016. In addition to Sillman's 5,000-word essay, Out There includes a list of Porretta's lead roles (plus 10 favorites highlighted with personal commentary by Porretta), a selected bibliography of articles about Porretta, and a timeline.

Seattle Gay News dance critic Sharon Cumberland reviewed Out There and interviewed Jonathan Porretta for the SGN's Fall Arts & Travel special section, which was published September 16, 2016 - http://www.sgn.org/sgnnews44_38/pdf/Sec%203%2009-16-16WEB.pdf - on pages 19 and 20.

Designed and edited by Rosie Gaynor, the 136 pages, 8.5' x 11' hard cover book was published independently by Seattle Scriptorium through IngramSpark - ISBN: 978-0-692-70822-4. The list price for the book is $59 (available on Amazon.com and through other IngramSpark distribution channels) - but at this special book signing event and in person and online at the Amusements Gift Shop (amusementsgiftshop.com) the price is $45.

Praise for Out There
'This book is worth the purchase price just for the retrospective of Jonathan Porretta's various hairstyles. Like thousands of fans in Seattle, you will love this guy. Jonathan's unmatchable energy jumps from each page of this visually stunning book. As much as the story catalogues the career of one of the greats in the world of ballet, it is also the story of a talented boy finding his identity and his passion for dance through the unwavering support of his mother. This compelling tale takes the reader from the closed-minded bullying of the schoolyard to the dazzling bravura of the stage. It's a great read for ballet-goers, boys, moms, and the rest of the human race.'
- Peter Boal, Artistic Director, Pacific Northwest Ballet

'Jonathan's personal journey of his life through dance and his dance through life is an inspiration that makes him living proof that dreams come true!'
- Choreographer David Dawson

'Out There is one of those must-have books. The photos alone are worth it...and these added to Sillman's prose make for a dance book collector's dream.'
- Dean Speer, CriticalDance

'In an art form that is primarily known for celebrating a specific type of feminine ideal, it is refreshing to read about a male ballet star. Yet Mr. Porretta doesn't fit the conventional princely model typically emulated on stage. Out There will inspire dancers (or dance lovers) of any age, but perhaps especially young men, who might relate to Mr. Porretta's adolescent feelings of not fitting in and having a singular passion to perform. A flamboyant gay outsider, he found acceptance akin to a second home in the world of dance. Young dancers may find a new kind of inspiration in Mr. Porretta.'
- Marc Kenison (aka Waxie Moon)

About the Author
Marcie Sillman has been covering the Seattle arts scene for 30-plus years. Her work is heard in Seattle on the NPR-affiliate KUOW FM, and has appeared in The Seattle Times, 'Crosscut,' and on the 'Seattle Channel.' Nationally, she reports for NPR and has written for Pointe and Dance Teacher magazines. She was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in dance journalism in 2009. More of Sillman's writing can be found on her blog, 'And Another Thing,' at marciesillman.com.

About the Photographer
After a successful career as a soloist with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Angela Sterling turned to her second passion, photography. She has created images commercially and for many marketing campaigns around the world, and she has shot for more than ten years for companies like Pacific Northwest Ballet, Les ballets de Monte Carlo, Dutch National Ballet, Boston Ballet, Alonzo King's LINES, and Dresden Semper Opera Ballet. Sterling's images are seen regularly in The New York Times, USA Today, Dutch VOGUE, Paris ELLE, and international dance publications. Images can be seen on her website, www.angelasterlingphoto.com/ Recent work includes photographing for friend and Tony Award-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon for his Broadway show, An American in Paris.

Visit the book online at http://jonathanporretta.com

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