Casting Announced for Pacific Northwest Ballet’s
Season Preview Performance & Party
Saturday, September 15, 2007 ~ 6:30 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
McCaw Hall, Seattle
Artistic Director Peter Boal to Announce Dancer Promotions at FIRST LOOK 2007
SEATTLE — Casting for the leading roles in Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Season Preview, FIRST LOOK 2007, was announced today by Artistic Director Peter Boal.
FIRST LOOK 2007, Saturday, September 15 at 6:30 p.m., provides PNB audiences with their first look at some of the most anticipated performances of the season, featuring the first movement of George Balanchine’s majestic Ballet Imperial, along with four PNB premieres – the “Balcony pas de deux” from Jean-Christophe Maillot’s contemporary Roméo et Juliette, Edwaard Liang’s atmospheric Für Alina, David Parsons’ gravity-defying Caught, and Jerome Robbins’ hilarious The Concert. In addition, Mr. Boal will make a special curtain speech announcing the promotions of new Principal dancers.
George Balanchine’s Ballet Imperial – from “All Balanchine” ~ September 20-30, 2007
“...Balanchine’s extravagant tutu ballet replete with palatial scenes and courtly ambience. This production of Ballet Imperial, staged here by Francia Russell, indeed captures the regal splendor of the original production." —Gigi Berardi, Dance Magazine
Opening the evening is the first movement of Balanchine’s Ballet Imperial, set to Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Major, Op. 44 (1879), staged by Founding Artistic Director Francia Russell, with scenic design by Edith Whitsett and costume design by Martin Pakledinaz. A grand tutu ballet with a hierarchical cast, courtly atmosphere and choreographic references to Swan Lake, Ballet Imperial, in Balanchine’s words, is “a contemporary tribute to Petipa, the father of the classic ballet, and to Tchaikovsky, his greatest composer.”
Dancers cast by Mr. Boal to perform in leading roles include: New principal dancer Miranda Weese and principal dancer Casey Herd as the lead couple; soloist Mara Vinson (second ballerina); soloists Jodie Thomas, Chalnessa Eames and Karel Cruz, and new corps de ballet dancer Seth Orza in solo roles, joined by an ensemble of twenty-two. Performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 2 is Seattle pianist Mark Salman.
Edwaard Liang’s Für Alina – from “Director’s Choice” ~ March 13-22, 2008
“… in Für Alina…, [Liang] solidifies his reputation as a poet-choreographer.”
—Marilyn Russe, World Dance Reviews
Next up is Edwaard Liang’s pas de deux, Für Alina, performed by principal dancers Carla Körbes and Batkhurel Bold, set to a piano score by Arvo Pärt, with new costumes designed by PNB’s Mark Zappone. The work was first performed as part of “New Ballet Choreographers” (New York) in 2006 with New York City Ballet’s Wendy Whelan and Craig Hill in the lead roles. “Liang's Für Alina ... was the real gem of the evening,” wrote Susan Reiter in her review for danceviewtimes. “...Liang clearly responded to [the] limpid, ultra-quiet piano score—its gong-like cadences and its silences—on a deeply personal level. ...[He] found a way to make the silences palpable through the choreography, and sustained a profound sadness...”
Edwaard Liang, born in Taipei, Taiwan, was a soloist at New York City Ballet, performed on Broadway and danced for Nederlands Dans Theater, where he choreographed his first ballet, Flight of Angels. He participated in the 2004 New York Choreographic Institute and has since choreographed for New York City Ballet, Shanghai Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance, Peter Boal and Company, Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process series, Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, and, most recently, with Christopher Wheeldon’s Morphoses company. Mr. Liang was named one of the “Top 25 to Watch” in 2006 by Dance Magazine, won the 2006 National Choreographic Competition and was invited to be part of the 2007 National Choreographers Initiative.
David Parsons’ Caught – from “Contemporary Classics” ~ November 1-11, 2007
“David Parsons is one of the most innovative choreographers in modern dance, an artist whose more than 60 works have ranged from comic (The Letter) to biting (Ring around the Rosey) to stunning (Caught).”
—James Lilliefors, The Phil
Parsons signature piece, Caught, an ingenious 6-minute solo set to music by Robert Fripp, is sure to surprise with its intriguing use of a strobe light which illuminates the high flying technical wizardry of PNB principal dancer Olivier Wevers.
The concept behind Caught is simple and unexpected, with the dancer executing a continual series of leaps synchronized to the flashes of a strobe light. The idea for Caught came to Parsons after working with photographers and looking at the ways light is used in photography to capture images. By controlling the light to illuminate only the desired shapes and poses, he created a series of snapshots. Strung together, these isolated images build into a dance that seems to take place entirely in mid-air.
Caught is being staged for its PNB premiere by Jaime Martinez, associate artistic director, as well as a dancer and founding member, of The Parsons Dance Company.
Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette ~ West Coast Premiere ~ January 31 – February 10, 2008
"Jean-Christophe Maillot has wisely chosen to update a classic, choreographing with a lucidity that is hard to find. He serves up a psychological reading through a progression of emblematic scenes...[and] assisted by an intelligent scenic mechanism by Jérôme Kaplan and lighting by Dominique Drillot, Maillot makes room for fine scenes of individual expression, alternating them with magnificent ensembles." —Le Provence
PNB offers the West Coast’s enticing first look at an excerpt from Jean-Christophe Maillot’s contemporary Roméo et Juliette—the “Balcony pas de deux,” performed for FIRST LOOK 2007 by principal dancer Noelani Pantastico and corps de ballet dancer Lucien Postlewaite. Set to Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet score, the complete three-act production received its premiere by Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo in 1996, where Maillot is resident choreographer and artistic director.
In his version of Roméo et Juliette, Jean-Christophe Maillot has taken formal inspiration from the episodic character of Sergei Prokofiev’s classic score, structuring the action in a manner akin to cinematic narrative. Rather than focusing on themes of political-social opposition between the two feuding clans, this Romeo and Juliet highlights the dualities and ambiguities of adolescence.
Hailed as “one of the most beautiful ballets adapted from Shakespeare’s masterpiece that can be seen today” (Scènes Magazine), and “… a work that transcends all the genres and leads us directly to the heart of emotion” (Matins d'ici), PNB audiences will surely look forward to the full-length production which will be given its much-anticipated West Coast premiere by PNB, January 31 – February 10, 2008.
Jerome Robbins’ The Concert – Laugh Out Loud! Spring Dance Festival ~ April 17-20, 2008 & part of “All Robbins”~ May 29-June 8, 2008
“The Concert appears to make jokes about Chopin's music but its true subjects are human dreams and yearnings. The comedy of errors that can be anyone's life finds its apt metaphor in the side-splitting segment known as the ‘Mistake Waltz.’ It is also a ballet joke, in which one or more dancers in an ensemble are always behind or ahead of the others, usually facing the wrong direction.” —Anna Kisselgoff, The New York Times
Jerome Robbins’ 1956 comic masterpiece, The Concert (or, The Perils of Everybody), offers a glimpse of what is to come in PNB’s Laugh Out Loud! Spring Dance Festival, April 17-20, 2008. The work is performed again as part of the All Robbins program, May 29 – June 8.
A hilarious spoof of a classical music concert, set to incidental music by Frederic Chopin, The Concert perfectly showcases the theatrical talents of PNB’s dancers. The setting is an all-Chopin concert where the attendees allow their decidedly imaginative minds to wander. When the resulting images are danced, human foibles and recognizable insecurities are revealed as Robbins brings each fantasy comically and vividly to life. A genuine crowd-pleaser, The Concert illustrates Robbins’ remarkable insight into the delightful imperfections of human relationships and, in the midst of the laughter, enlightens us all.
Dancers cast to perform lead roles in The Concert include: Principal dancers Carrie Imler, Louise Nadeau, Noelani Pantastico, Jonathan Porretta and Olivier Wevers; soloists Lesley Rausch and Maria Chapman; and corps de ballet dancers Kiyon Gaines, Benjamin Griffiths and Barry Kerollis.
PNB’s premiere production of The Concert is staged by Christine Redpath, ballet master and former soloist with New York City Ballet and Trustee of the Jerome Robbins Trust. Ms. Redpath is one of four ballet masters designated by Jerome Robbins to maintain and stage his works.
PNB’s FIRST LOOK 2007 is Saturday, September 15 at McCaw Hall. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the performance begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets to the performance are $50 and $75 and include a champagne reception at intermission. After the performance, PNB invites the community to an evening of dance, fashion, and music in the spirit of Monte Carlo – Europe’s pleasure capital and playground to everyone’s favorite Secret Agent. The evening begins with a tantalizing cocktail party where guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, wine, champagne, and specialty martinis (shaken, not stirred). Following the performance, enjoy a sophisticated, multi-course Backstage Dinner: From Monte Carlo with Love… or try your luck at black jack, craps and roulette over lighter fare in Club Royale. Partygoers are then invited to head to the electric on-stage dance party featuring the sensational soul funk review, Soul Provider, and an unveiling of a special photo shoot by photographer Marc von Borstel showcasing PNB dancers dressed by Mario’s.
Performance tickets paired with the post-performance party including complimentary wine, champagne and light buffet are $125. Tickets that include backstage supper (black tie optional) range from $375 to $5000. Tickets at the $50, $75 and $125 levels may be purchased by calling the PNB Box Office at (206) 441-2424, in person at the PNB Box Office, 301 Mercer Street, or online at www.pnb.org. Tickets including the post-performance supper may be purchased by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (206) 441-3597.