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Balanchine "Nutcracker"

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Press release continued:

And PNB is honored and excited to announce that the prominent Christmas star that appears at the end of Act I will be presented by renowned artist Dale Chihuly. Winter Star, a spectacular work of art from Chihuly’s popular Chandelier series, will make a stunning addition to the famed Snow scene. With significant historical provenance, Winter Star debuted as part of the artist’s iconic Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem 2000 exhibition, and has also been exhibited at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (near London) and New York Botanical Garden.

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PNB re-tweeted the Chihuly Studio's tweet with photo of "Winter Star":

https://twitter.com/ChihulyStudio/status/659132369652338688

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Back to the press release:

FUN FACTS & FIGURES ABOUT PNB’s NEW PRODUCTION
99.97% of PNB’s new production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ was built entirely by artisans, craftspeople, carpenters, painters, and animators in Seattle, WA.
Over 50 drapers, stitchers, first hands, milliners, dyers and painters have built the new costumes. PNB’s shop was not large enough to accommodate the number of costumers required, so some of the costumes were constructed at the Seattle Children’s Theater and Seattle Repertory Theatre costume shops. There are 154 costumes in the show, not counting duplicates (i.e., multiple versions of the same costume, for different-sized dancers playing the same role – Sugar Plum Fairy, Cavalier, Dewdrop, etc.)
  • There are 174 velvet diamonds and 322 jewels on the Harlequin costume.
  • 640: Black pompoms on the eight Polichinelle costumes.
  • 697: Petals on the Waltz of the Flowers costumes.
  • 10 feet and 60 pounds: The width and weight of Mother Ginger’s skirt.
  • 175: Number of snaps on the Mother Ginger costume.
  • 4,000: Holes cut by hand to create the lace “doily” tutus and headpieces for the Marzipan costumes.
  • 300: Jewels hand-sewn on the two Arabian (peacock) headpieces.
  • 500: Yards of tubular horsehair used for the Party Mothers’ hairpieces.
  • 1,428: Cabochons sewn onto the Spanish women’s costumes.
  • 2,568: Appliques machine-sewn on the seven Spanish dresses.
35 men and women in the PNB Scene shop built and painted the sets and props. Construction began in July of 2014.
  • There are 22 painted drops.
  • 3,000 square yards of fabric were used in the creation of the scenery.
  • 343 gallons of paint were used in the painting of the scenery.
  • The corridor scrim at the top of the show depicts Nutcracker historical figures Alexander Dumas, E.T.A. Hoffman, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov, George Balanchine, and Lincoln Kirstein.
  • An actual walnut was used to model the construction and painting of the Nut Boat.
  • It took 400 hours to build the Christmas tree. At its full height it stands 40 feet. There are 450 lights on it.
  • 30 cubic feet of “snow” will be deployed during the Act I Snow scene, per performance.
The animated video that accompanies The Nutcracker overture was created by Straightface Studios located in the Interbay neighborhood of Seattle.
  • Production on the 3d animated work began in June 2015: The finished product features over 200,000 frames rendered on approximately two dozen computers. (It would take 600 days of rendering on one computer.)
  • The town in the video is inspired by antique mid-19th Century maps and satellite images of New England. The terrain covers 372 square miles.
  • There are over 1.5 million trees, 8,540 bushes, 287 buildings, and seven mice in the 3d animation.
Speaking of mice: Seventeen mice (eight adult mice, eight young mice, and the seven-headed Mouse King) have been built by Erik Andor and a team of fabricators in his Pioneer Square studio.
  • 98 yards of “fur” have been used to create the mice. They have a total of 230 whiskers. Each adult tail consists of 25 segments. Each ear is made up of six pieces.
  • Laid end-to-end, the mice’s upper lips total 782 inches.
  • For more information, visit encoreartsseattle.com/making-mice-erik-andor
And finally: Amusements Gift Shop at McCaw Hall has stocked its counters and shelves with 15,300 ornaments, 1,400 nutcrackers, 4,400 plush dolls, 1,000 posters, 300 tiaras and 120 tutus for shoppers attending the show.

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More special events have been added to some listed above:

Dancing The Nutcracker
Tuesday, November 17, 5:30 pm
Watch PNB Company dancers rehearsing excerpts from The Nutcracker while learning about the close ties Balanchine’s production shares with the 1892 St. Petersburg original. With James Moore, Noelani Pantastico, Kyle Davis, and Angelica Generosa. Tickets ($40) are available through the PNB Box Office, 206.441.2424 or online at PNB.org.
Opening Weekend Festivities
Celebrate the premiere of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ and kick off the start of the holiday season with crafts and activities, magicians, dance classes, and – of course – Almond Roca. Free with admission.
Listen to the Ballet
PNB partners with Classical KING FM 98.1 to bring listeners some of history’s most popular ballet scores, featuring the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra direct from McCaw Hall. Tune in for a live broadcast of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ on Saturday, December 5 at 7:30 pm. Only on KING FM, 98.1 fm or online at KING.org/listen.
See the Ballet…and Play the Instruments
Classical KING FM 98.1, in collaboration with Music Center Northwest, will host their ever-popular Instrument Petting Zoo at The Nutcracker matinees on December 5, 6, 12, 13 and 19, as well as the 5:30 performance on December 6. Stop by and get a feel for the instruments that make Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score come to life! Free with admission.
Teddy Bear Clinics
Calling all kids! Bring your favorite teddy bear, doll, or toy for a check-up at Swedish Pediatrics’ Teddy Bear Clinic. Diagnose imaginary ailments with stethoscopes and otoscopes and bandage it all better. At the 1:00 matinees on Sunday, December 13 and Saturday, December 26. Free with admission.
Nutcracker Suites at McCaw
Skip the lines and bustle of the lobby at intermission! Treat you and yours to an enchanted intermission experience in the SAVOR…McCaw Hall Nutcracker Suite. The Nutcracker Suite takes the stress out of intermission and adds to the memorable wonder of your day at the ballet. There’s a range of activities awaiting you: a self-service candy station, hot cider and cocoa with marshmallows and toppings, swords and crowns for snap-your-own pictures, a light appetizer buffet by Executive Chef Shawn Applin, and coffee, Prosecco, wine and beer for adults. Nutcracker Suites are $30 per person (includes applicable tax and service charge); performance tickets sold separately. To purchase, visit PNB.org/NutcrackerSuites.
Nutcracker Tea
Saturday, December 5 following the 2pm matinee performance
Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of the holiday magic: You and your little ones will join friends from the Land of Sweets in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ for an exclusive reception after the show. Enjoy a buffet of kid-friendly snacks and sweets, while collecting autographs from the Sugar Plum Fairy, Arabian Coffee, Spanish Hot Chocolate, and all your favorite characters, on your very own keepsake poster. Tickets ($45/child and $65/adult) are available through the PNB Box Office, 206.441.2424 or PNB.org. Performance tickets sold separately.
FAQs for PNB Kids
Visit PNB.org/Community/PNB-Kids for helpful hints and frequently asked questions about attending the ballet with children.

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Very important:

The show must go on! Pacific Northwest Ballet is committed to honoring its performance calendar. Performances will not be cancelled for any reason: weather, swine flu, Mercer traffic, etc. All ticket sales are final and there are no refunds or exchanges. In the unlikely event that the status of a performance does change, an announcement will be posted on PNB.org.

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More stuff:

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ Student Matinees (for groups of 15 or more)
Friday, Dec. 4 at 12:00 pm, Thursday, Dec. 10 at 12:00 pm and Friday, Dec. 11 at 12:00 pm
PNB offers three student matinees of the full two-hour performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™. Join us for the PNB Premiere of this classic ballet and make a new holiday tradition! Student matinees feature the PNB Orchestra. More Information.

Here's a photo of the Orza's daughter Lola May in front of "The Nutcracker" poster featuring Elizabeth Murphy as the Sugar Plum Fairy: it's the finished tutu that Pantastico was fitted for in the instagram photo above, which was sans decoration:

https://twitter.com/PNBallet/status/658306039817760769

Ticket Contest:

There's an Alaska Airlines "Nutcracker" contest. Prizes are two travel vouchers on Alaska Air (or Sky West Air), with a bunch of published restrictions, plus a pair of "Nutcracker" tickets for one winner, and a pair of "Nutcracker" tickets for five more winners. Tickets are for the 5:30pm performance on November 29, and the deadline for entry is November 15 at midnight:

https://www.pnb.org/win/alaska/

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A "Nutcracker" ad with a nice view of some of the costumes. Sugar Plum Fairy is Elizabeth Murphy, who's on the poster, and Cavalier is Jerome Tisserand:

I'm guessing the long purple dress is the Sugar Plum Fairy's for the opening of Act II, which includes the SPF's variation. I love that it matches.

There's a 20% discount offer for opening weekend, November 27-29 for 72 hours, which should mean by 11:59pm on Wednesday, November 11:

https://www.pnb.org/mypromo/?promo=sugarplum&utm_source=wordfly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=16-nutcracker-monday-promo-20&utm_content=version_A&sourceNumber=

The discount code is "Sugarplum." It's imbedded in the link above, but you'll need it for phone orders or for website orders if you don't use the link.

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In the NYCB versions, she's in a pale nightgown, and her mother covers her with a pale blanket.

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Some casting changes this weekend:

Both Sarah Ricard Orza (Sugarplum Fairy debut, Hot Chocolate) and William Lin-Yee (Drosselmeier, Hot Chocolate) were replaced in two roles this weekend. Elizabeth Murphy, who was scheduled to debut as Hot Chocolate, and Jerome Tisserand danced Sugarplum Fairy and Cavalier in place of Richard Orza and Seth Orza; Murphy is scheduled to dance Hot Chocolate in next Saturday's matinee performance.

I don't see any changes for next weekend yet. Here's the revised spreadsheet:

PNB Nutcracker 2015 Weeks 1-3 6 Dec.xlsx

Here's a lovely photo of Benjamin Griffiths as Candy Cane:

https://twitter.com/PNBallet/status/673230371023011840

Can't wait to see this tomorrow!

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I bought a ticket to last night's show with the Black Friday deal, motivated by Noe's debut as Dewdrop. After the show I ran into some friends and her amazing performance was all we could talk about. Sure she has all the technique - turns, jumps, balance, but she seemed to put her own spin on the role and make it really special. I'm not exactly sure how to describe - phrasing, use of head, and her wrists/hands are more beautiful than I remember. So today we bought tickets to see her as Sugar Plum Fairy next Sunday, even though I'm going to the matinee that day as well. Angelica and Noe as SPFs that day - can't wait!

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Curious if there is insight on this...

One of my worries in seeing the Balanchine Nutcracker at PNB was having to watch the single raised fingers in Chinese. Last weekend I didn't notice them, and then with the Chinese instagram video posted, yup, they took out the fingers. Has NYCB been doing this? or is this something new just for PNB.

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This is one of the most visually stunning and internally coherent productions I've seen for a long time.

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Casting is up for Week 4. I don't see any changes to Week 3.

https://www.pnb.org/season/15-16/nutcracker/#casting

I've moved Weeks 1 and 2 (for reference) below Weeks 3 (this week) and 4 in the spreadsheet. Casting is as of today, and, as always, is subject to change:

PNB Nutcracker 2015 Weeks 1-4.xlsx

If you haven't seen it, and you don't have tickets yet, go see it. I'm still trying to finagle my schedule to see at least one more performance. This is where the social scientists have it right: there are so many choices, that analysis paralysis can set in, but it really doesn't matter which cast you see: there are going to be great performances no matter which you choose. Everyone is looking at their role(s) anew.

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