Carrie Imler and Batkhurel Bold plan to retire

Pacific Northwest Ballet longtime principal dancer Carrie ImlerSeattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet will soon wave goodbye to longtime principal dancers Carrie Imler and Batkhurel Bold. The company announced last week that they will both retire at the end of the 2016-17 season. Their acclaimed careers will be celebrated at PNB’s Season Encore Performance on Sunday, June 11, 2017.


“Both Carrie and Bold have been such central parts of PNB, it’s hard to imagine the company after their retirements,” said Artistic Director Peter Boal in his announcement. “Tens of thousands of us have applauded their work and a smaller number has treasured every moment working alongside these two over the past two decades. Their contributions to the company are beyond measure and they will be missed.”


Carrie Imler is originally from Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She trained on scholarship at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and the Pacific Northwest Ballet School and attended summer courses at the School of American Ballet. She joined PNB as an apprentice in 1995 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 1996, soloist in 2000, and principal in 2002.


In announcing her retirement, Imler said, “As a little girl I remember turning to my mother, after watching PNB at the Kennedy Center, and telling her that I was going to dance in Seattle when I grew up. For the past 22 years, I have had the distinct pleasure and honor of dancing for Seattle audiences. From Balanchine to Forsythe and Quijada to Gaines, I have had a career beyond anything that little girl could have ever imagined. [PNB Founding Artistic Directors] Kent Stowell and Francia Russell hired an eager ballerina, nurturing and refining me. Peter has opened my eyes to several new choreographers and ballets. Without each of them, I would not have had such an incredible and unbelievably satisfying career.”


Pacific Northwest Ballet longtime principal dancer Batkhurel Bold“To describe Carrie Imler’s dancing requires a long list of superlatives,” Boal said. “Carrie is an absolute master of technique and musicality. She is a dancer’s dancer, understanding choreography and musicality innately. Add to this an impeccable work ethic and you have a remarkable ballerina. There is no challenge Carrie can’t meet and for this reason, she has fascinated choreographers like William Forsythe, Alexei Ratmansky, and Twyla Tharp.”


He continued, “Equally at home in the contemporary and classical, Carrie has danced in over 100 leading roles with PNB over the past 22 years. That’s a lot of fouettes! As Carrie steps gracefully from the stage at the conclusion of this season, we thank her for leaving us with so many treasured memories and a profound legacy.”


On the other hand, Batkhurel Bold is originally from Ulan Bator, Mongolia. He trained at the Perm Choreographic Academy in Russia and later joined PNB as a member of the corps de ballet in 1996. He was promoted to soloist in 1999 and principal in 2004.


“Early on, Bold earned the nickname ‘Air Bold’ because of his gravity defying leaps, and the name still fits,” Boal commented. “A technical powerhouse, a consummate partner, a dramatic stage presence, Bold has been a true mainstay of this company. Though he’s played every leading male role in the book and excelled in each, I won’t forget his dramatic performances in Nacho Duato’s Rassemblement. Here we saw the tenderness that is such an integral part of this man.”


Pacific Northwest Ballet longtime principal dancer Batkhurel BoldWith high praise, Boal added, “Offstage and on, Bold cares deeply for those around him; from his current partner to the newest member of the company, he’s a prince to all.”


In a statement, Bold said, “Dreams do come true. Thanks to the amazing generosity of Kent Stowell, Francia Russell, Peter Boal and every single person both past and present at Pacific Northwest Ballet. I am truly blessed, humbled and forever grateful.”


Tickets go on sale to the public for PNB’s Season Encore Performance in March 2017. For more information, head to


Headshots (top and left) courtesy of PNB. Photo (right): Batkhurel Bold and Elizabeth Murphy in Nacho Duato’s Rassemblement. Photo by Angela Sterling.