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November 23 – December 29, 2007 at McCaw Hall

SEATTLE, WA —Pacific Northwest Ballet invites the young and the young-at-heart to be captivated by the timeless, magical dream-world of the enchanting Nutcracker, November 23-December 29 at McCaw Hall. PNB’s Nutcracker, the Northwest’s favorite family holiday tradition, has been dazzling Northwest audiences each holiday season since 1983. Created by PNB Founding Artistic Director Kent Stowell and world-famous children’s author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, Nutcracker brilliantly blends lavish sets and costumes, wondrous choreography and Tchaikovsky’s perennially popular music performed by the acclaimed PNB Orchestra to create a magical storybook world enjoyed by children and adults alike.

TICKETS range in price from $20-$125 and may be purchased by calling the PNB Box Office at (206) 441-2424 (Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.), online at www.pnb.org or in person at the PNB Box Office at 301 Mercer Street (Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) and at McCaw Hall at 321 Mercer Street 90 minutes prior to each performance. Tickets are also available at any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling (206) 292-ARTS or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Discounts are available for children 12 & under and for groups of 15 or more. For group tickets, please call (206) 441-2416 or email juliej@pnb.org. PNB’s Online Group Builder is now available for audience members to gather their friends, family and co-workers to see any Nutcracker performance. Any group of 15 or more can save up to 25%.

Nutcracker Family Packs

Bring the whole family! Specially priced Family Packs include four discounted Nutcracker tickets and coupons to be redeemed at McCaw Hall for cookies and milk or cider. Family Packs are available for all Nutcracker performances and range in price from $158-$432. Family Packs are available for purchase in-person or by phone through the PNB Box Office at (206) 441-2424.

More about PNB’s Nutcracker

PNB’s Nutcracker is a holiday treat eagerly anticipated by all. “It’s hard to think of a more exuberant way to celebrate the holiday season than attending Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker,” writes Seattle Weekly’s Nina Shapiro. “The production is simply magic.” For 24 years PNB’s inimitable Nutcracker has enchanted audience members of all ages with its masterful blend of costumes, sets and choreography—from the first thrilling appearance of Maurice Sendak’s toothsome Nutcracker teeth to the last. In 1983 PNB’s Principal Choreographer and Founding Artistic Director Kent Stowell collaborated with renowned children’s book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak to create PNB’s wildly imaginative adaptation of Nutcracker that immediately set itself apart from other Nutcracker productions. Each year over 100,000 people come to McCaw Hall to see PNB’s Nutcracker – one of the largest holiday productions in the United States.

This production really has and gives us everything; glorious and uplifting music; dramatic tension; imaginative and fresh choreography; lavish sets and costumes; perfect lighting; not to mention great dancing and dance-acting by its platoon of multiple casts . . . [Nutcracker] continues to delight audiences of all ages and continues to astonish repeat goers.” —Dean Speer, Critical Dance

Slightly darker and more exotic than traditional Nutcracker productions, the Stowell/Sendak version explores the world through the eyes of a child on the cusp of adulthood and constantly blurs the line between fantasy and reality, leaving the audience to discern where dreams truly begin and end. Stowell and Sendak drew inspiration from E.T.A. Hoffman’s classic 1816 story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, as well as Marius Petipa’s original scenario for the ballet, which was first performed in St. Petersburg in 1892. Set to P.I. Tchaikovsky’s famous and unforgettable score, audiences are swept away with Clara into her enchanting dream world full of memorable characters and peculiar happenings.

In an uncertain world, some things are wholly dependable, like the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’ . . . the dancing was enthralling . . . The PNB Orchestra, led by Stewart Kershaw, has never sounded in better form” —R.M. Campbell, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Maurice Sendak’s larger-than-life designs call for more than 115 different props, including a 27-foot Mouse King puppet made of 17 moving pieces and an awe-inspiring 950-pound Christmas tree, with over 1,000 miniature light bulbs, that grows from 14 to 28 feet in height. Behind the scenes nearly 40 stage hands are busy at work attending to every technical detail to complete the multi-layered visual feast: rigging a stage full of frothy waves with leaping dolphins, maneuvering the sets in the mysterious Pasha’s Kingdom and dusting more than 200 pounds of “snow” throughout each of the 40 public performances and three performances for school groups. Taking the stage are PNB’s entire company of professional dancers plus over 200 students from Pacific Northwest Ballet School (including 29 graduates of DanceChance, PNB’s innovative outreach program aimed at talented Seattle and Bellevue area third-grade students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to study dance) in roles that range from baby mice to toy soldiers to the coveted role of young Clara. Working behind the scenes with PNB School students are 75 parent volunteers (25 each performance) and 30 Professional Division Students assisting student performers with hair, make-up, costuming – and, most importantly, making sure PNB’s talented young performers make their entrances smoothly and on time. To accommodate so many performers, PNB’s Nutcracker has over 190 costumes, comprised of approximately 700 different pieces, while dancers wear out about 500 pairs of pointe shoes during a Nutcracker run. Stewart Kershaw and Allan Dameron share leading the PNB Orchestra each night in Tchaikovsky’s classic 1892 score. This presentation of Nutcracker promises to be a truly unforgettable experience for the [/b]100,000[/b] audience members expected at McCaw Hall this holiday season.

Nutcracker and Education

[Nutcracker] is the ballet that opened the door for me to the wonders of dance.

It is the introduction for so many of us." —Peter Boal, Artistic Director

DanceChance ~ providing dance training opportunities for Seattle and Bellevue area children since 1994

Pacific Northwest Ballet's DanceChance program strives to reach into the community and discover talented, Seattle-area elementary school students. Children who show they have the physical ability to become professional dancers are provided with classical training, allowing them the opportunity they might not otherwise have to pursue a dance career. Students attend classes twice a week on full tuition scholarship with dance attire, transportation and complimentary tickets to company performances provided.

Currently in its fourteenth year, PNB’s DanceChance program has reached yet another landmark. Twenty-nine DanceChance graduates, including sixteen boys, will dance in this year’s Nutcracker performance. The excitement of this achievement is best described by one such student:

The best day of my life was today, September 26, 2007! Our family drove the car all the way up to the ballet center. What felt like hours was really 20 minutes. I felt butterflies in my stomach the whole way. As a family we all went in to see where the list of the Nutcracker performers was posted. Once we found it, I started to go down the list as this was the biggest moment of my life. There it was . . . my name! I bursted out with tears of joy. I hugged my family and savored the moment as a jewel. My two year goal was fulfilled. I have never felt so proud of myself. I am really excited to start practicing for Nutcracker. I will perform in close to 20 performances in 2 months. I can’t wait to be on stage!

Newspapers in Education Benefit Performances

The evening performance of Nutcracker on December 27th at 7:30 p.m. and the matinee performance on December 29th at 2:00 p.m. are benefit performances for The Seattle Times’ Newspapers In Education program. Newspapers In Education provides newspapers, learning programs and online activities to educational organizations throughout Puget Sound communities to help foster literacy and real world learning.

Student Matinees

Each year PNB invites students ages 5-12 to attend reduced priced matinee performances of Nutcracker with their school. This year PNB is expecting to welcome over 6,000 children from 65 schools and organizations from around western Washington and Vancouver, B.C. for these performances. Matinees will be performed on Friday, November 30, Thursday, December 6, and Friday, December 7. All shows are at 12:00 noon, and include the show in its entirety. PNB’s Outreach & Education department is also offering in-school pre-performance workshops for schools that attend matinees, which include exploration of movement, the Nutcracker story, and an up-close look at costumes. For more information contact the PNB Box Office at (206) 441-2424, online at www.pnb.org or in person at the PNB Box Office.

Pacific Northwest Ballet Special Events and Offers

Opening Weekend Extravaganza November 23, 24 & 25

Join us on Nutcracker Opening Weekend for a one-of-a-kind kick-off to the holiday season! Opening Weekend attendees will be treated to strolling carolers and entertainers, crafts for children and costumed Nutcracker characters.

Nutcracker Brunch

Saturday, November 24 at 10:00 a.m. at McCaw Hall

Join the PNB League for a fun-filled holiday event hosted by PNB Principal Dancer Louise Nadeau and her daughter Emma. Enjoy activities for children and families, a delicious brunch and a special Nutcracker-themed performance to delight young and old alike. Make your reservations early for this sell-out event!

Event Tickets: Adult: $60, Child (up to age 12): $40 Patron Tickets: (Patrons must also purchase an event ticket to attend the performance) Platinum: $500 Gold: $250 Silver: $150

Tickets are available: In person at the PNB Box Office, 301 Mercer St. (Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) or by phone at (206) 441-2424 (Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

Pacific Northwest Ballet School’s 5th Annual Winter Wonderland Ball

Sunday, January 27, 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Francia Russell Center - 13440 NE 16th Street, Bellevue

Join us for the Pacific Northwest Ballet School’s 5th Annual Winter Wonderland Ball hosted this year by PNB Principal Dancer Stanko Milov and his family. Festivities will include dance lessons, live music, delicious food, a silent auction and appearances by PNB company dancers in the beautifully decorated Francia Russell Center. All proceeds benefit Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Tickets to the Ball make a great holiday gift! Tickets are $40 for the first child, $20 for each additional child and $60 per adult (all children must be accompanied by an adult). For more information and/or reservations, please contact PNB Special Events at (206) 441-3597 or events@pnb.org.

Please visit www.pnb.org for further information and a complete schedule of PNB Special Events.

Holiday Season at Amusements gift shop

Find a captivating array of unique holiday creations for yourself — or someone special on your list.

* PNB Nutcracker Storybook—Re-live PNB’s magical Nutcracker in this lavish storybook, with photography by Angela Sterling and a foreword by PNB Founding Artistic Director Francia Russell.

* Classic Nutcracker storybook illustrated by Maurice Sendak—Maurice Sendak’s classic drawings featured in PNB’s production of Nutcracker fill this beautiful book that recounts E.T.A. Hoffman’s original story.

* Holiday Cards—Watch the Christmas tree grow! These cards feature the whimsical artistry of Maurice Sendak in PNB’s own Nutcracker scene of Clara and the Christmas tree.

* Custom PNB Nutcrackers—Discover a unique nutcracker for your collection—all beautifully packaged in Pacific Northwest Ballet signature wooden boxes.

* 2007 Nutcracker Posters—Buy one to frame and enjoy each holiday season.

* PNB Nutcracker Sweatshirts—Our artfully embroidered sweatshirts will keep you in the Nutcracker spirit all year long.

* Tchaikovsky’s Complete Nutcracker Audio CD—Refresh your memories of PNB’s Nutcracker every time you listen.

Patrons and general public can visit the Amusements boutique at McCaw Hall before, during and after all PNB Nutcracker performances (doors open two hours prior to curtain).

PNB On-line Gift Shop Open for Business

Holiday shopping has never been easier with PNB’s online gift shop featuring the Nutcracker Collection, Kids’ Corner, PNB apparel, music, DVD’s and books. Visit www.pnb.org for these exciting gift ideas.

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