sandik

2012-13 season

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During a Q/A session this weekend, Andrew Bartee mentioned that he would be making a new work for the company during the 12-13 season, working with Jessika Anspach's brother, who is a Julliard-trained composer. I should have asked Boal if he could tell us anything else about next year, but I didn't think to do it until after the fact.

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I know that the company doesn't want to make any big announcements until they send out the subscription renewals at the end of the month -- right now all we know for sure is the Bartee work listed above and a new piece by Mark Morris (it makes me smile just to type that here).

Could someone with a subscription please post when they get their mail, and let the rest of us know what we're looking forward to?

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I just received the first subscriber announcement about the 2012-13 season:

Renew by April 21 and pay no price increases!

The Anniversary Season will be an incredible year-long celebration of our past with a bold look to the future. Highlights of the season include:

  • An All Stravinsky program, featuring Francia Russell’s quintessential staging of Agon
  • The return of Kent Stowell’s Swan Lake
  • An All World Premiere program, featuring a commission by Mark Morris
  • Jean-Christophe Maillot’s stunning Roméo et Juliette
  • Exciting guest artists throughout the season

Fifteen seconds later, and I'm already casting these few tidbits in my mind.

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Ah, Swan Lake and Romeo et Juliette -- I can see the 'tragedy times two' promotion now!

But the other hints are so tempting. All world-premier -- we get a new Morris (made for us!) and I think the new piece by Andrew Bartee that he announced during the Don Q Q/A, but what else?

All-Stravinsky? Agon, yes, and we'll be happy to have it back, but what else? Probably not Apollo, since they're doing it this year (though that would be great). I imagine we might get the Fenley choreography to Rite of Spring again (State of Darkness), especially since Rachel Foster is dancing that kind of work so well. The other options, if we're being frugal and only programming from existing rep on the PNB website, include Circus Polka , Divertimento from Baiser de la Fee, Duo Concertant, Rubies, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, and Symphony in Three Movements. It would be great to see Baiser again so soon -- it got some fabulous performances this year, and Rubies is always a stalwart. Violin Concerto hasn't been performed for quite some time, so I don't know what it would take to bring it back. I think they've only done Symphony in Three Movements once before, but I still remember Imler and Porretta in it, covering almost half the stage in those big assembles.

[tangentially, I was curious to see the works that are no longer listed in their repertory. No Stowell/Stravinsky, so no Dumbarton Oaks or Firebird or Ragtime, Robbins' The Cage, Glen Tetley's Rite of Spring, which would have made a fascinating match with the Fenley, and I'm probably missing some off the top of my head. I appreciate the fact that they want their web list to reflect what the company is today, but I wish there was a space for a list of older repertory, or (dare I ask) a list of previous performances...]

And guest artists -- what a wild card those will be!

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I have my hate-hate relationship with guest artists, because there are so few performances (seven for each regular rep), that unless it's for a ballet that needs more people than the company has, it means fewer performances for company members.

Robbins' "The Cage" is one the company could do so well: it's a shame it's not in the rep. (It would have been great to see it last season, right before "Giselle".) It was Jonathan Porretta's amazing performances in Glen Tetley's "Rite of Spring" that convinced The Powers That Be to find the money to give him a well-deserved promotion.

For people who like to renew early, online renewals have been enabled on the PNB website:

http://www.pnb.org/Season/Subscriptions/Renew/Overview.aspx

If you log in (at the top of the page), your renewal info will appear on screen after you click "Online".

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That's the list of potentially active repertory. I'm not sure why works drop off the list apart from the obvious -- Maillot's "Romeo et Juliette" replaced Stowell's "The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet" and the Ratmansky "Don Q" replaced the ABT production -- but some may have to do with rights. (For example, now that there's a Robbins Foundation controlling stagings, I'm not sure PNB has permission to perform "The Cage".)

What sandik is asking for is a list of works that PNB has performed that have been removed from this list, like "The Cage", Tetley's "Rite of Spring", and Tudor's "Dark Elegies", which I saw the company perform.

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Yes, please! I can reconstruct a lot from my own records, and I'm much more careful about keeping track of work than I used to be, but my dance historian's heart really wants the dance company version of a catalogue raisonne.

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What sandik is asking for is a list of works that PNB has performed that have been removed from this list

Ah, I see. Sorry, to misunderstand.

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More news in an email sent by the Company:

Celebrate with PNB as we honor our past with
Swan Lake
,
Agon,
and
Roméo et Juliette
and leap forward with six new works by choreographers ranging from promising newcomers to the best in the business (Kiyon Gaines, Paul Gibson, Mark Morris, and Christopher Wheeldon, to name a few!).

It's felt like forever since Paul Gibson's last work: as Ballet Master he's been the Master Scheduler and indispensable to the company, but I'm glad to see he's making a new work. It will be interesting to see what Wheeldon makes directly on the company. The older works that Boal has acquired have been wonderful; Wheeldon's most recent work has gotten mixed reviews, and it's different to commission than to select, but he's always worth watching. (Edited to add: see below.)

The email also says that the full announcement will be in this Sunday's "Seattle Times" and on the PNB website on Monday.

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It's interesting to see how much more choreographed this announcement is than previous years -- I know it's partially just the evolution of experience, but it's also the anniversary -- there's a bit more edge to the whole thing.

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It just occurred to me that "new work" might be new to the company, not the world.

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It just occurred to me that "new work" might be new to the company, not the world.

Well, we know that the Morris will be altogether new, and it's pretty sure that the Gibson and Gaines works will be likewise -- so it's Wheeldon that might be the wildcard. The gods know he's made a lot of dances, and I'd be fine with a restaging, but new new would certainly be exciting.

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The promised season announcement was published in The Seattle Times today:

http://seattletimes....2362_pnb11.html

Highlights, in addition to the previously announced ballets:

  • Mark Morris' new ballet will be dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the World's Fair, but not related to it
  • Twyla Tharp will be Artist in Residence for up to eight weeks and will create a new work to be premiered in Fall 2013
  • The September 2012 (opening) program will be a tribute to Francia Russell ("Agon" staging) and Kent Stowell ("Firebird" choreography)
  • The March program will be Balanchine's "Concerto Barocco", Dove's "Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven", and Tharp's "In the Upper Room"
  • The June program will be "All Tchaikovsky", with the world premiere of a new Wheeldon ballet, and Balanchine's "Allegro Brillante", "Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux", and "Diamonds"
  • Company members Andrew Bartee and Margaret Mullin will also choreograph new works. It isn't spelled out that they will be on the same program as the Gaines* and Gibson works, but, counting programs, that's the only slot left, usually November.

Edited to add: *See sandik's post on page 2: the Gaines ballet will be to Stravinsky and appear in the "All Stravinsky" opening program.

There are also five tours tentatively scheduled, due to a grant from Raisbeck Engineering and James & Sherry Raisbeck, and they include:

  • Maillot's "Romeo et Juliette" at City Center
  • Spoleto Festival (Italy)
  • Las Vegas
  • Victoria

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The sets and costumes for "Swan Lake" have gotten a wake-up for performances by Los Angeles Ballet next week:

http://www.burbankle...0,7466124.story

I think these are the sets from the old production, before the Opera House was remodeled into McCaw Hall, not the current Ming Cho Lee sets and Paul Tazewell costumes. The company lent them to Oregon Ballet Theater when they staged the work, and now it looks like they've made their way further down the coast to LA.

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  • The September 2012 (opening) program will be a tribute to Francia Russell ("Agon" staging) and Kent Stowell ("Firebird" choreography)

I think that this will be an all-Stravinsky program, as well as a tribute to Stowell and Russell.

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The sets and costumes for "Swan Lake" have gotten a wake-up for performances by Los Angeles Ballet next week:

http://www.burbankle...0,7466124.story

I think these are the sets from the old production, before the Opera House was remodeled into McCaw Hall, not the current Ming Cho Lee sets and Paul Tazewell costumes. The company lent them to Oregon Ballet Theater when they staged the work, and now it looks like they've made their way further down the coast to LA.

Thank you! I thought PNB sold the old "Swan Lake" sets. I didn't realize they kept ownership.

  • The September 2012 (opening) program will be a tribute to Francia Russell ("Agon" staging) and Kent Stowell ("Firebird" choreography)

I think that this will be an all-Stravinsky program, as well as a tribute to Stowell and Russell.

Yes. I forgot to clarify.

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The sets and costumes for "Swan Lake" have gotten a wake-up for performances by Los Angeles Ballet next week:

http://www.burbankle...0,7466124.story

I think these are the sets from the old production, before the Opera House was remodeled into McCaw Hall, not the current Ming Cho Lee sets and Paul Tazewell costumes. The company lent them to Oregon Ballet Theater when they staged the work, and now it looks like they've made their way further down the coast to LA.

Thank you! I thought PNB sold the old "Swan Lake" sets. I didn't realize they kept ownership.

I'm not really sure who owns them now, though the LAB review does make it sound like they're still PNB's -- very mysterious.

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Ok, they handed me a schedule last night, with "Subject to Change" all over it -- budgets are still being negotiated. But here is the gist -- let the speculation begin!

Rep 1 (all Stravinsky -- Russell/Stowell tribute)

September 21-30 (7 performances)

Circus Polka

New Gaines (Dumbarton Oaks and Octet)

Agon

Firebird

Rep 2 (all new work)

November 2-11 (7 performances)

New Bartee (music - Barrett Anspach)

New Mullin

New Gibson

New Morris (Hindemith: Kammermusik #3)

Rep 3

February 1-10 (9 performances)

Romeo et Juliette

Rep 4

March 15-24 (7 performances)

Concerto Barocco

Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven

In the Upper Room

Rep 5

April 12-21 (11 performances)

Swan Lake

Rep 6 (all Tchaikovsky)

May 31-June 9 (7 performances)

Allegro Brillante (Boal staging)

Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux (Boal staging)

New Wheeldon

Diamonds

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I think it great that Kiyon Gaines is taking on Stravinsky. That will be a great challenge: "Dumbarton Oaks" is a tricky piece. It's fitting that Gaines' work will be on the Russell/Stowell Tribute program: of the choreographers in the company, he's the last one to be trained and nurtured by them.

"Allegro Brillante" is a wonderful ballet. I hope Christina Siemens gets to play the Tchaikovsky. I saw Peter Boal dance "Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux" with Suzanne Farrell Ballet.

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It looks like there have been some changes in the season schedule for 2012-13 -- at the lecture before the dress rehearsal of Apollo/Carmina, music director Emil de Cou mentioned that Cinderella was coming back next year. I didn't remember that being on the list, so I checked the website and sure enough -- Cinderella is in as the opening ballet of the season, and Circus Polka, Firebird, Allegro Brillante, and Tschaikovsky pas de deux are all out. The order of the rest is shifted around a bit (no all-Stravinsky or all-Tschikovsky programs) but all the new commissions seem to be there. The opening program was originally going to be a tribute to Stowell and Russell as a part of the company's 40th anniversary year, so perhaps Cinderella felt like a more substantial nod.

This does mean that, of the non-Nutcracker programs, half of them are program-length works and half are mixed reps. I went back and did a little arithmetic -- in the current season there will have been two program-length works (Don Q and Coppelia) and four mixed reps, in 2010-11 it was half and half (Giselle, Midsummer and Cinderella were the program-length), in 2009-10 there were two program-lengths (Coppelia and Beauty), in 2008-09 there were two (Swan Lake and Jewels, if you think of it that way), and in 2007-08 there were two (Midsummer and Romeo). We've had the program-length/mixed rep conversation in many different places on Ballet Alert, but perhaps it's time to have it again...

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I thought there was going to be some sort of "choreographer in residence" for Twyla Tharp? I guess not?

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According to the press release/announcement in the Seattle Times, Tharp's new work will premiere in the 2013-14 season:

And choreographer Twyla Tharp will return to PNB in a new capacity: as artist in residence for the year 2013, during which she will create a new work for the company, to premiere in the fall.

http://seattletimes....2362_pnb11.html

I think that "Cinderella", "Nutcracker", and "Swan Lake" are Kent Stowell's active full-lengths, and "Cinderella" and "Nutcracker" especially show Stowell's mastery of story-telling.

And there we were, sandik and I, speculating about who would perform as Ringmaster in "Circus Polka" and what letters would be spelled. (I think we were both hoping for Francia Russell.) Alas, it's not on the program anymore.

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Well, instead of rehearsing for Circus Polka, the summer kids will be getting ready for Cinderella, where they have those great hats that make them look like pumpkins. The last time the company performed this I mentioned that they should be selling adult versions in the gift shop -- perhaps they will take up the idea this time around.

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