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2007-2008 season -- subject to change

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The press release just came to my inbox, with the usual caveats about material being subject to change. Here it is.


with BACKSTAGE GALA SUPPER & PARTY ~ 6:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.

Pacific Northwest Ballet invites its audiences to enjoy an evening of exhilaration and elegance as we present a 2007–2008 Season preview with a magnificent performance featuring the first movement of George Balanchine’s Ballet Imperial, Ulysses Dove’s Vespers, David Parsons’ Caught, the “Balcony pas de deux” from Jean Christophe-Maillot’s Romeo et Juliette, and Jerome Robbins’ The Concert. An enticing array of dining options and an on-stage dance party follow the performance. Tickets for PNB’s Gala preview performance are priced at $75 and include a champagne reception at intermission. Performance tickets paired with a post-performance party range from $120 to $1500. For further information, please email: <mailto:events@pnb.org>events@pnb.org

REP I: ALL BALANCHINE ~ September 20 – 22 & 27 – 30, 2007 (8 performances)

Square Dance

Music: Antonio Vivaldi and Arcangelo Corelli

Choreography: George Balanchine

Staging: Peter Boal

Prodigal Son

Music: Sergei Prokofiev

Libretto: Boris Kochno

Choreography: George Balanchine

Staging: Richard Tanner

Ballet Imperial

Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Choreography: George Balanchine

Staging: Francia Russell

PNB opens the 2007-2008 Season with three masterworks by George Balanchine. Square Dance (1957), choreographed to music by Antonio Vivaldi and Arcangelo Corelli and staged by PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal, received its PNB premiere in 1981 and was last performed by the Company in April 1985. Balanchine’s Prodigal Son (1929), set to Sergei Prokofiev’s Op. 46, with libretto by Boris Kochno and staged for PNB by Richard Tanner, received its PNB premiere in 1984 and was last performed by the Company in November 2004. Ballet Imperial (1941), set to P.I. Tchaikovsy’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, received its PNB premiere in 1997 and was last performed by the Company in February 2000.

REP II: November 1 – 3 and 8 – 11, 2007 (8 performances)


Music: Igor Stravinsky

Choreography: George Balanchine

Staging: Francia Russell


Music: Arvo Pärt

Choreography: Susan Marshall

Staging: Kristen Hollinsworth and Luke Miller

Caught « PNB Premiere

Music: Robert Fripp

Choreography: David Parsons

Staging: Elizabeth Koeppen

In the Upper Room « PNB Premiere

Music: Philip Glass, arranged by Kurt Munkacsi

Choreography: Twyla Tharp

Staging: Stacy Cadell

November’s mixed repertory program features works by three master choreographers familiar to PNB audiences and introduces an exciting PNB newcomer – David Parsons. George Balanchine’s timeless Agon (1957), set to a score by Igor Stravinsky and staged for PNB by Francia Russell, received its PNB premiere in 1993 and was last performed by the Company in February 2004. Susan Marshall’s achingly beautiful aerial pas de deux Kiss, set to Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten and staged for PNB by Kristen Hollinsworth and Luke Miller was given its PNB premiere in February 2006. PNB introduces choreographer David Parsons to Seattle audiences with his signature piece, Caught (1982), an ingenious 6-minute solo set to music by Robert Fripp and staged for its PNB premiere by Elizabeth Koeppen, Associate Artistic Director of Parsons Dance Company. “Radiant with a circus-like thrill, Caught wows an audience,” raved the Chicago Tribune. “The dancer is caught in mid-air in Peter Pan-like poses that embody the magic essence of dance itself, the quixotic desire to defy gravity and yet exude grace and joy at the same time.” Twyla Tharp’s tour de force, In the Upper Room (1986), set to the driving pulse of Philip Glass’s music, mixes Norma Kamali’s vibrant black-and-white striped costumes with their blood-red accents, dramatic scenic design by Santo Loquasto, and an innovative lighting plot by Jennifer Tipton to create a many-layered work that alternately advances, recedes, explodes and implodes in an “escalating display of prowess as heroism.” (The Village Voice) “In the Upper Room is a 40-minute unfolding of energy, of pulsating rhythm, of dance ideas. Not for one second does Tharp let the physical prowess of her dancers substitute for a complicated, dense dance vocabulary. Yet never is the sheer exuberance of motion beclouded by choreography.” (The Philadelphia Inquirer) The PNB premiere of In the Upper Room is staged by Stacy Cadell, former soloist with New York City Ballet and Twyla Tharp Dance Company.

NUTCRACKER ~ November 23 – December 29, 2007 (40 public performances + 3 student matinees)

PNB’s Nutcracker dazzles Northwest audiences each holiday season. The production’s brilliant blend of costumes, sets, and choreography is unique to Seattle and creates a magical world enjoyed by children and adults alike. Founding Artistic Director and choreographer Kent Stowell collaborated with acclaimed children’s author and illustrator Maurice Sendak to create Nutcracker in 1983. The entire company of professional dancers and over 200 students from PNB School will dance in 43 performances of Nutcracker during the 2007 holiday season. Audiences are sure to enjoy PNB’s 27-foot mouse king, the splendid Christmas tree that grows from 14 to 28 feet tall, the land of snow, and all the magical characters in this special adaptation of a classic story. 2007-2008 season subscribers may purchase 2007 Nutcracker tickets now. Single tickets will be available to the general public in July 2007.

REP III: Roméo et Juliette ~ January 31 – February 2 and 7 – 10, 2008 (8 performances)

Music: Sergei Prokofiev

Choreography: Jean Christophe-Maillot

Scenic Design: Ernest Pignon-Ernest

Costume Design: Jérôme Kaplan

Lighting Design: Dominique Drillot

PNB’s winter season opens with the PNB premiere of Roméo et Juliette, choreographed by Jean-Christophe Maillot to Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet score. The three-act production received its premiere by Les Ballets de Monte Carlo in 1996, where Maillot is resident choreographer and artistic director. His contemporary interpretation of Shakespeare’s drama has been hailed by the press throughout the world: “one of the most beautiful ballets adapted from Shakespeare's masterpiece that can be seen today.” (Scènes Magazine) “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 … assisted by an intelligent scenic mechanism designed by visual artist Ernest Pignon-Ernest, costumes by Jérôme Kaplan and lighting by Dominique Drillot, Maillot makes room for some fine scenes of individual expression, alternating them with magnificent ensembles.” (Le Provence) “Just like Molière back in his day, [Maillot] fosters diversion and enchantment in order to bring a certain rest to the soul. His highly unique style – perpetually tinged with controversy – takes techniques from classical dance and gives itself over to a resolutely contemporary art of movement that is extremely vivacious. It seduces the audience…” (Author’s text by Michael Temman, recorded during Les Ballets de Monte Carlo’s China Tour, 2004) "… a work that transcends all the genres and leads us directly to the heart of emotion.” (Matins d'ici, Ottawa, Radio)

REP IV: March 13 – 15 & 20 – 23, 2008 (8 performances)

Vespers « PNB Premiere

Music: Mikel Rouse

Choreography: Ulysses Dove

Staging: Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson

Für Alina « PNB Premiere

Music: Arvo Pärt

Choreography: Edwaard Liang

Sense of Doubt

Music: Philip Glass

Choreography: Paul Gibson

One Flat Thing Reproduced « PNB Premiere

Music: Thom Willems

Choreography: William Forsythe

The March mixed repertory program features three PNB premieres — Ulysses Dove’s Vespers (1986), a tightly-structured work for six women set to music by Mikel Rouse and staged for PNB by Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson; Edwaard Liang’s atmospheric pas de deux, Für Alina (2006), set to a piano score by Arvo Pärt, with costumes by Mark Zappone; and William Forsythe’s One Flat Thing Reproduced (2000), a work for 14 dancers “[who] rampage precisely on, under, and around a squad of 20 tables” (The Village Voice), set to music by Thom Willems. The program also includes Paul Gibson’s Sense of Doubt, set to music by Philip Glass, which premieres at PNB’s April 2007 Celebrate Seattle Festival.


«Celebrate Seattle «

April 5 – 20, 2008

Featuring three weeks of alternating programs ~ including works with a comedic twist

REP V: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM ~ April 3 – 5 & 10 – 13, 2008 (WEEKS 1 & 2)

Music: Felix Mendelssohn

Choreography: George Balanchine

Direction & Staging: Francia Russell

Set & Costume Design: Martin Pakledinaz

Lighting: Randall G. Chiarelli

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1962), presented during the first two weeks of PNB’s Spring Dance Festival, transforms our stage into Shakespeare’s enchanted landscape for lovers. Misunderstandings and mayhem weave tangled paths through the opulent layers of Martin Pakledinaz’s designs and George Balanchine’s partnerings. All ends well in Act II’s wedding festivities with the recognition of ideal love tenderly portrayed in the exquisite Divertissement Pas de Deux.

SPRING DANCE FESTIVAL ~ April 17 – 20, 2008 (6 performances) (WEEK 3)

Program A:

Thursday, April 17, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 19, 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The Envelope « PNB Premiere

Music: Gioacchino Rossini, arranged by Charles Grouse

Choreography: David Parsons

Staging: Elizabeth Koeppen

Millennium Skiva « PNB Premiere

Music: Brainbug

Choreography: Moses Pendleton

Variations Sérieuses « PNB Premiere

Music: Felix Mendelssohn, adapted and orchestrated by Mack Schlefer

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon

Staging: Ben Huys

Program A of the Festival’s third week features three PNB premieres. David Parsons’ popular The Envelope (1986), set to a collage of Gioacchino Rossini Overtures, is a farcical and hysterical romp where the dancers are pitted against a renegade piece of stationary. Millennium Skiva (1999), set to music by Brainbug, is choreographed by Moses Pendleton, one of the founding members of Pilobolus Dance Theater and founding artistic director of Momix. “In Millennium Skiva … Mr. Pendleton explores the possibilities for motion when one’s feet are encased in boots attached to skis … The great pleasure of [the work] was its distillation of a central precept of dance: that the physically impossible is achievable. (The New York Times). Christopher Wheeldon’s delightful depiction of life backstage, Variations Sérieuses (2001), is set to a score by Felix Mendelssohn, adapted and orchestrated by Mack Schlefer. “Ian Falconer's ingenious set is integral to Mr. Wheeldon's Variations Sérieuses … a crowd-pleaser, a pièce d'occasion…” (The New York Times)

Program B:

Friday, April 18, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 20, 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The Lost Language of the Flight Attendant « PNB Premiere

Music: Wolfgang Amadeaus Mozart

Choreography: Brian Reeder

World Premiere

Choreography: Olivier Wevers

Ordinary Festivals « PNB Premiere

Music: Italian folk music

Choreography: Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig

The Concert (or, The Perils of Everybody) « PNB Premiere

Music: Frederic Chopin, orchestrated by Clare Grundman

Choreography: Jerome Robbins

Program B features a World Premiere — by PNB principal dancer and choreographer Olivier Wevers — along with three PNB premieres. Brian Reeder’s The Lost Language of the Flight Attendant (2002), a humorous look at the typical day of a flight attendant, is set to excerpts from Wolfgang Amadeaus Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 and Piano Concerto No. 27. “With his witty and enchanting premiere for ABT Studio Company, Lost Language of The Flight Attendant, Reeder presented his calling card as a seemingly lost breed: an inspired balletmaker who can bring his own time to ballet's timeless art.” (Dance Magazine) Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig’s Ordinary Festivals (1995), a dancetheater piece for 300 oranges, 6-16 performers, and 2 knives “pushes the rituals of a traditional community over the edge into mysterious, subversive, and often funny acts.” (The Village Voice) Set to the enchanting folk music of pre-war Italy, the 55-minute work explodes with images which are wildly kinetic, deeply moving, and delightfully odd. Jerome Robbins’1956 masterpiece, The Concert (or, The Perils of Everybody), is a hilarious spoof of a classical music concert, set to incidental music by Frederic Chopin and orchestrated by Hershy Kay.



REP VI: ALL ROBBINS ~ May 29 – 31 & June 5 – 8, 2008 (8 performances)

In the Night

Music: Frederic Chopin

Choreography: Jerome Robbins

Staging: Christine Redpath

Opus 19/The Dreamer « PNB Premiere

Music: Sergei Prokofiev

Choreography: Jerome Robbins

Staging: Peter Boal and Susan Hendl

Fancy Free

Music: Leonard Bernstein

Choreography: Jerome Robbins

Staging: Judith Fugate

Jerome Robbins’ romantic ballet, In the Night (1970), set to a selection of Frederic Chopin nocturnes, received its highly praised PNB premiere in September 2005. “Olivier Wevers and Noelani Pantastico danced with such limpid beauty and flowing line, one could visualize the music,” wrote R.M. Campbell in his review for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “The second couple is different: more remote, formal, restrained. Even adult. Jeffrey Stanton and Patricia Barker captured the quiet bravura and rhythmic impulse of the movement. The last couple is the most agitated and least idealized, which Louise Nadeau and Christophe Maravel illuminated with clarity and passion.” Robbins’ haunting Opus 19/The Dreamer, created in 1979 for New York City Ballet, is set to Sergei Prokofiev’s lyrical Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major (also referred to as Opus 19) and is staged for PNB’s premiere by Peter Boal and Susan Hendl. Mr. Boal chose Opus 19/The Dreamer for his final performance with New York City Ballet in June 2005. Fancy Free (1944), with music by Leonard Bernstein and staged for PNB by Judith Fugate received its PNB premiere in September 2006.

A special 2007-2008 Season Encore Performance is scheduled for the evening of Sunday, June 8.

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Did Stowell do a Romeo and Juliet?
Yes, he did. It was called The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, and it was set to a score of mostly obscure music by Tchaikovsky, with two exceptions: the Diamonds adagio from the Symphony #3, and the "Pregheria" from Suite No. 4 (Mozartiana). Stewart Kershaw worked with Kent Stowell to craft the score. I find it a very lovely and moving work. I would love to see it again, and I think that there are many companies in the US that would be richer if they produced it. I think this might be a wish in vain.

This new R&J is to the Prokofiev score.

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