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Love Stories

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Here is the trailer for "Love Stories", a mixed rep program featuring the company premiere of Balanchine's "Divertimento from 'Baiser de la fee'" and Robbins' "Afternoon of a Faun", along with excerpts from Maillot's "Romeo et Juliette" ("Balcony Pas de Deux"), Stowell's "Swan Lake" ("Black Swan Pas de Deux"), and Hynd's "Sleeping Beauty" ("Aurora's Wedding"):

Featured are:

Carla Korbes/Stanko Milov in "Black Swan Pas de Deux"

Kaori Nakamura/James Moore in "Balcony Pas de Deux"

Carrie Imler/Batkhurel Bold in "Aurora's Wedding"

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Here's the press release; Doug Fullington wrote the notes on the program:



Love Stories


George Balanchine’s Divertimento from “Le Baiser de la Fée”

Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun


Roméo et Juliette — Swan Lake — The Sleeping Beauty

November 4-13, 2011

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

321 Mercer Street, Seattle Center

Seattle, WA 98109

November 4 & 5 at 7:30 pm

November 5 at 2:00 pm

November 10-12 at 7:30 pm

November 13 at 1:00 pm

SEATTLE, WA — Pacific Northwest Ballet ponders love’s many moods with LOVE STORIES, a mixed-bill program that adds Balanchine and Robbins works to its repertory. George Balanchine's buoyant Divertimento from "Le Baiser de la Fée," was created for New York City Ballet's legendary 1972 Stravinsky Festival. Its charismatic choreography contains notable solos for the male and female leads as well as hints of an enigmatic attraction between the pair. Afternoon of a Faun, Jerome Robbins’ reconsideration of Vaslav Nijinsky's 1912 ballet, portrays an innocent exchange between two dance students. Holding their gazes toward the audience as if seeing their reflections in a studio mirror, the couple carefully appraises each movement in their tentative partnership. LOVE STORIES also includes selections from three of PNB’s most popular story ballets. In the Balcony pas de deux from Jean-Christophe Maillot's Roméo et Juliette, the ecstasy of love “unfolds as a series of chases, of catches, of rapture…as if happily drowning in a pool of sensation” (Seattle Times). The fiery Black Swan pas de deux from Kent Stowell’s resplendent Swan Lake is classical ballet’s most famous depiction of seduction and betrayal, as well as a show-stopping technical accomplishment. For a very grand finale, Aurora's Wedding from Ronald Hynd’s eminently English The Sleeping Beauty fills the stage with splendor. “In a word, lovely. A lavish production for the eyes and ears, a testament to the company’s depth of skill and talent” (Seattlest).

LOVE STORIES runs for seven performances only, November 4 through 13 at Seattle Center’s Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Tickets start at $28 and may be purchased by calling 206.441.2424, online at pnb.org, or in person at the PNB Box Office at 301 Mercer St.

In conjunction with LOVE STORIES, PNB is pleased to present After Petipa on Thursday, October 20. This lecture-demonstration will explore the term “After Petipa,” which is used as a choreography credit for many 19th-century dances. Three pas de deux from LOVE STORIES—the Black Swan pas de deux from Swan Lake, and the Blue Bird pas de deux and Grand pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty—will be danced in their “old” and “new” versions to demonstrate how they have evolved over time. For more information, see Special Events and Discount Offers below.

The line-up for LOVE STORIES will include:

Divertimento from “Le Baiser de la Fée”

Music: Igor Stravinsky (excerpts from Divertimento, concert suite, 1934, and the full-length ballet, Le Baiser de la Fée, 1928)

Choreography: George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust

Staging: Peter Boal


The original production of the Stravinsky ballet Le Baiser de la Fée was commissioned by Ida Rubinstein and choreographed in 1928 by Bronislava Nijinska. Balanchine choreographed the fullwork in 1937 for the American Ballet at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and restaged it for New York City Ballet in 1950. (British choreographers Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan also choreographed the work in 1935 and 1960, respectively.) Balanchine’s distillation of the ballet premiered at New York City Ballet’s legendary 1972 Stravinsky Festival.

The story of Baiser de la Fée is based on The Ice Maiden by Hans Christian Andersen and Stravinsky’s score is dedicated to Tchaikovsky. Historian Joseph Horowitz has described the music as, “one of Stravinsky's most tender scores—a love letter to the Russia of his childhood—The Fairy’s Kiss [the work’s English title] lovingly adapts more than a dozen songs and piano pieces by Tchaikovsky. The action of the ballet depicts a child kissed by a Fairy; later, on his wedding day, he is carried off to the Land of Eternal Dwelling. The story suggested to Stravinsky ‘an allegory with Tchaikovsky himself. The Fairy’s kiss on the heel of the child is also the Muse marking Tchaikovsky at his birth’—and later terminating his mortal existence at the height of his powers.”

Balanchine’s shorter work from 1972 contains no narrative, although, as dance historian Nancy Reynolds writes, “some found in the girl the embodiment of both the Bride and the Fairy, and in the prominent male role a reflection of the original, in which the Bridegroom was the protagonist.” [Notes compiled by Doug Fullington. Joseph Horowitz quotation courtesy of Boosey & Hawkes.]

Afternoon of a Faun

Music: Claude Debussy (Prelude a l’Après-midi d’un Faune, 1892-94)

Choreography: Jerome Robbins

Staging: Bart Cook


Debussy′s music, Prelude a l′Après-midi d′un Faune, was composed between 1892 and 1894. It was inspired by a poem of Mallarme’s which was begun in 1876. The poem describes the reveries of a faun around a real or imagined encounter with nymphs. In 1912, Vaslav Nijinsky presented his famous ballet, drawing his ideas from many sources, including Greek sculpture and painting. This pas de deux, choreographed by Jerome Robbins, is a variation on these themes. It was first performed in 1953 by New York City Ballet and is dedicated to Tanaquil Le Clercq for whom the ballet was choreographed. [Notes courtesy the Robbins Rights Trust.]

The Balcony pas de deux from Roméo et Juliette

Music: Sergei Prokofiev (Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64, 1935-1936)

Choreography: Jean-Christophe Maillot

Staging: Gaby Baars, Bernice Coppieters, and Giovanna Lorenzoni

In his version of Roméo et Juliette, choreographer 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 the themes of political-social opposition between the two feuding clans, this Romeo and Juliet highlights the dualities and ambiguities of adolescence. Torn between contradictory impulses, between tenderness and violence, fear and pride, the lovers are caught in the throes of a tragedy that exemplifies their youth and the extreme emotions and internal conflicts that characterize that time of life—a time of life when destiny, more than at any other moment, seems to escape conscious control, and when the inner turmoil occasioned by passions and ideals can sometimes have disproportionate—even fatal—consequences.

The Black Swan pas de deux from Swan Lake

Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Op. 20, 1875-1876)

Choreography: Kent Stowell (after Marius Petipa)

Staging: Francia Russell

Swan Lake is considered by many to be the greatest classical ballet of all time. With its fantastical plot filled with romance, sorcery, and betrayal, Swan Lake offers ballerinas the ultimate challenge of a dual role―Odette, trapped in the body of a white swan while awaiting an oath of true love to set her free, and Odile—the black swan—the temptress daughter of Baron Von Rothbart, who plots the downfall of Odette’s true love, Siegfried.

The image of a swan has come to represent the lyrical image of a dancer, and for that we have to thank three men: composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky and choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. Tchaikovsky composed his score for Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet in 1877, but it was not until Petipa and Ivanov’s St. Petersburg production of 1895 that Swan Lake took the form we know today. The ballet has since inspired countless choreographers, who, in their own productions, seek to extend the ideas and meanings suggested in the work of its creators. Following tradition, choreographers in our own century often have re-visited Swan Lake, for the ballet lends itself generously to new stagings and new interpretations. Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Swan Lake dates from 1981, when Mr. Stowell and Ms. Russell mounted here the production they had first created for the Frankfurt Ballet in 1975. [Notes by Doug Fullington.]

Aurora’s Wedding from The Sleeping Beauty

Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Op. 66, 1889)

Choreography: Ronald Hynd after Marius Petipa

Staging: Ronald Hynd, Annette Page, and Amanda Eyles

The Sleeping Beauty represents the pinnacle of 19th-century Russian ballet, a collaboration of dance, music, and design that continues to influence ballet today. The well-known story served as a foundation on which the ballet’s creators—composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, choreographer Marius Petipa, and designer and director of the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres Ivan Vsevolozhsky—developed a work that demonstrated a century’s worth of achievements in classical dance. Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of The Sleeping Beauty by English choreographer Ronald Hynd was originally set on English National Ballet and is based on the historic Royal Ballet version, with which Hynd and his wife, former Royal Ballet ballerina Annette Page, are intimately familiar. That production, in turn, was closely based on the original Sleeping Beauty of 1890.

Act Three—or, Aurora’s Wedding, as the act has come to be known— is a grand celebration of the wedding of Prince Aurora and Prince Florimund, held in the palace to which fairy tale characters are invited. They arrive bearing precious jewels, and each entertains the guests with a divertissement. Aurora and Florimund affirm their love in a grand pas de deux. At the climax of the festivities, the Lilac Fairy and her nymphs are revealed in the sky blessing the happy couple. [Notes by Doug Fullington.]


AFTER PETIPA: Lecture-Demonstration

Thursday, October 20, 5:30 pm

The Phelps Center, 301 Mercer Street at Seattle Center

Many ballets are credited with choreography “after Petipa,” but what does that really mean? In After Petipa, PNB Education Programs Manager Doug Fullington and Company dancers take a fascinating look at LOVE STORIES’ famous classical duets—the Black Swan pas de deux from Swan Lake and the Blue Bird pas de deux and Grand pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty—to find how these extraordinary dances have evolved over time. Tickets are $25 each, and may be purchased through the PNB Box Office.


Saturday, November 5 at 7:30 pm

PNB partners with 98.1 Classical KING FM to bring listeners some of the world’s most popular ballet scores, featuring the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra performing live, direct from McCaw Hall. Tune in to KING FM to listen to the live performance of LOVE STORIES on Saturday, November 5 at 7:30 pm. Only on 98.1 FM or online at king.org/listen.


Friday, October 28, 6:00 pm

The Phelps Center, 301 Mercer Street, Seattle

Join PNB for an hour-long dance preview led by Artistic Director Peter Boal and featuring PNB dancers rehearsing excerpts from LOVE STORIES. PNB Friday Previews offer an upbeat and up-close view of the Company preparing to put dance on stage. Tickets, $10 each, may be purchased by calling the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424, online at pnb.org, or in person at the PNB Box Office at 301 Mercer Street. (NOTE: Friday Previews usually sell out in advance.) Friday Previews are sponsored by U.S. Bank.


Tuesday, November 1, 12:00 noon

Central Seattle Public Library, 1000 Fourth Avenue, Seattle

Join PNB for a free lunch-hour preview lecture at the Central Seattle Public Library. Education Programs Manager Doug Fullington will offer insights about LOVE STORIES, complete with video excerpts that illuminate the ballets being discussed. FREE of charge.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lecture 6:00 pm, Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall

Dress Rehearsal 7:00 pm, McCaw Hall

Join PNB artistic staff, choreographers, and/or stagers during the hour preceding the dress rehearsal. Attend the lecture only or stay for the dress rehearsal. Tickets are $12 for the lecture, or $25 for the lecture and dress rehearsal. Tickets may be purchased by calling the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424, online at pnb.org or in person at the PNB Box Office at 301 Mercer Street.


Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall

Join Education Programs Manager Doug Fullington for a 30-minute introduction to each performance, including discussions of choreography, music, history, design and the process of bringing ballet to the stage. One hour before performances. FREE for ticketholders.


Skip the post-show traffic and enjoy a conversation with Artistic Director Peter Boal and PNB dancers. Immediately following each performance in the Norcliffe Room at McCaw Hall. FREE for ticketholders.

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"Black Swan" is a new video with the opening of the "Black Swan Pas de Deux" performed by:

Patricia Barker/Jeffrey Stanton

Carrie Imler/Batkhurel Bold

Kaori Nakamura/Lucien Postlewaite

Carla Korbes/Stanko Milov


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It's a shame, for whatever reason, that Peter Boal could not use Sean Lavery's version of the "Romeo and Juliet" balcony scene. He danced it (with Judith Fugate I believe) and the choreography was beautiful, moving, intelligent, human, breathing and musical. Sean hasn't done any other choreography, as far as I know, and we are all missing something as a result.

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I'm always interested in seeing another version of R&J, but I can understand why Boal would choose to present the balcony scene from the production he's already got in the repertory. Aside from the obvious logistical issues, this is a chance to either keep current cast members rehearsed in the part, or to give other dancers a chance to "audition."

But if we're in the wishing business (and who wouldn't want to be?) I'd have been thrilled to see either the Ashton or the Tudor versions. A girl can dream...

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But if we're in the wishing business (and who wouldn't want to be?) I'd have been thrilled to see either the Ashton or the Tudor versions. A girl can dream...

I want the same dream!

(It's much better than the one I had last night that alternated Flamenco Jaleo badly done with browser UI hex color codes :lol: )

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PNB had Tudor in its rep under Russell and Stowell, including the gorgeous "Dark Elegies" and "Jardin aux Lilacs". In a Q&A, Peter Boal answered once that he didn't know Ashton's work. He hasn't shown any interest in Tudor or Ashton.

Iain Webb in Sarasota is presenting Ashton's "The Two Pigeons", "Les Patineurs", "Valse Nobles et Sentimentales", "Monotones I & II", and "Facade" just this season:


I can't find an annual report, but it's hard to imagine that the company has a bigger budget than PNB.

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Iain Webb in Sarasota is presenting Ashton's "The Two Pigeons", "Les Patineurs", "Valse Nobles et Sentimentales", "Monotones I & II", and "Facade" just this season:


You tell me these things just to get me all wound up!

Oregon Ballet Theater did Facade a few years ago, not long after Christopher Stowell came in as AD. It was a charming piece of work. It's possible to see this stuff, but it takes a much bigger travel budget than I have access to.

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Leslie Rausch and Batkhurel Bold rehearse the "Wedding Pas de deux" from "Sleeping Beauty":

Casting for Week 1 should be coming up soon: I learned from Stephen Manes' "Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear" of the contractual reasons why casting must be published 10 days ahead of time.

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the contractual reasons why casting must be published 10 days ahead of time.

Does this mean that the 10 day cast publishing issue is constrained such that the casting must be published no sooner than 10 days or no later than 10 days? Also, does it mean that cast publishing to the public is a requirement for some reason?

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I don't know what the contract says, so I don't know if the company is prohibited from posting the casting ahead of those 10 days, but why would they if they could?

There are companies like ABT, which has already posted casting for their late spring/early summer performances at the Met. ABT is on a union contract, but it's not the same union, and probably not the same contract, as PNB's.

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Speaking of casting.....

In that video you posted earlier today of Rausch and Bold, it's fun to see the 2 dancers in the back of the room. It's clear to me that they are there to rehearse this same PdD (note the woman in the back of the room marking the steps at the very beginning of the video). The woman seems to me to be Sara Richard Orza (mostly by the way she moves). The man seen at the end is likely James Moore, but that doesn't look quite right.......I wonder.......could it be Ryan Cardea??

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That's definitely Sarah Orza in pink, but the man in the corner looks to me like Karel Cruz. I didn't mention them, because it's possible that this was filmed during rehearsals for "After Petipa", in which Orza danced the reconstruction of the "Bluebird Pas de deux" with Jerome Tisserand, and in which Cruz danced the reconstruction of Prince Desire's "Wedding Pas de deux" variation.

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You were right, Sandy -- casting is out, and Sarah Ricard Orza and Karel Cruz are dancing the leads in "Aurora's Wedding" on the first Saturday matinee (4 Nov) and second Saturday evening (12 Nov) .

Here's the grid in Excel

Love Stories Casting as of 25 Oct 11.xlsx

-- as always, schedule and casting is subject to change:

Please note that Sarah Ricard Orza is listed as "Ricard" in the grid. "Orza" = Seth Orza.

There's an excellent mix of experienced and younger dancers in the PNB premiere of "Divertimento from 'Baiser de la fee'": Kaori Nakamura/Jonathan Porretta -- he will be great in Tomasson's solo -- and Rachel Foster/Benjamin Griffiths with multiple performances, and single performances with Liora Reshef/Matthew Renko and Leta Biasucci/Kyle Davis. Davis recently performed the reconstructed Cavalier solo from "Black Swan Pas de deux" in Doug Fullington's "After Petipa" lecture-demo.

For "Afternoon of a Faun", also a PNB premiere, Carla Korbes/Batkhurel Bold, Foster/James Moore, and Leslie Rausch/Seth Orza each have two, with Kylee Kitchens/Jerome Tisserand in the last performance.

For "Romeo et Juliette 'Balcony Pas de deux'", Rausch/Tisserand join Korbes/Lucien Postlewaite and Nakamura/Moore, who danced those roles the last time the work was performed.

Lindsi Dec/Bold and Laura Gilbreath/Karel Cruz perform "Black Swan Pas de deux" with Carrie Imler and Postlewaite.

Lots of opportunities in "Aurora's Wedding", with newcomers, debuts, second chances, and veterans. Sara Ricard Orza dances Aurora with Cruz.

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You were right, Sandy -- casting is out, and Sarah Ricard Orza and Karel Cruz are dancing the leads in "Aurora's Wedding"

NOPE........I was wrong, you're the one who got it right! You guessed that the "other couple" in the video was Ricard/Cruz, and it seems you called it perfectly (not me).

There is a new development here tho. If my memory serves, this is the first time casting for both weeks has been announced at the same time. In the past, we always got week one first, and then some time later we got week two. I strongly applaud :clapping: this new procedure. For those of us that go to multiple performances to see the various casts, for the 1st time we are now able to make ticket purchasing decisions across all the casts for the entire run......no more guessing! I am pleased a punch.

It's going to take me a while to digest this casting sheet....as you imply Helene, so many opportunities with dancers at all levels getting exposure. I love it. I am particularly pleased to see Jessica Anspach get some more solo exposure. She captures my attention more and more. I'm looking forward to the combo of Rausch/Orza....they both get into character so well IMO. And Imler/Postlewaite!!!....I will die and go to heaven with that one......Carrie will shoot Siegfried one of her seductive "knife into your heart" glances, and Lucien will swoon with naive emotion. They are the greatest. My only disappointment is that I would have liked to have seen Ezra Thomson's name in one of the character roles in Sleeping Beauty

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