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Swan Lake, February 2-3 and 8-11

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Below is the information from the press release; please note:

  • There will be two non-subscription performances on Saturday, February 10 at 1pm and on Sunday, February 11 at 7pm.
  • All matinees will start at 1pm; that is a change for the Saturday matinees that normally start at 2pm

Part 1:


Proudly Presents


February 2 – 11, 2018

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

321 Mercer Street at Seattle Center

Seattle, WA 98109


February 2, 3, 8, 9 & 10 at 7:30 pm

February 3, 10* & 11 at 1:00 pm

February 11* at 7:00 pm

*added performances – best seating availability!


SEATTLE, WA - Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Swan Lake, choreographed by Founding Artistic Director Kent Stowell, returns to the McCaw Hall stage as the third offering of PNB’s 2017-18 season. With its fantastical plot filled with romance, sorcery, and betrayal, Swan Lake is considered by many to be the greatest classical ballet of all time. Sumptuous scenery, costumes, and lighting, and an achingly beautiful Tchaikovsky score, set the stage for the ethereal corps de ballet and the ultimate challenge for ballerinas all over the world—the dual role of Odette, trapped in the body of a white swan until the oath of her true love sets her free; and Odile, the “Black Swan” temptress. Swan Lake runs for nine performances only, from February 2 through 11 at Seattle Center’s Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Tickets start at $30. For more information, contact the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424, in person at 301 Mercer Street, or online at PNB.org.


“Kent Stowell’s enchanting choreography, with masterful staging by Francia Russell, has been bringing Seattle audiences to their feet since 1981,” said Artistic Director Peter Boal, calling PNB’s Swan Lake “a milestone production for the Company.” Mr Boal adds that “Dance and choreography are essential, but so is light: Rico Chiarelli, an artist in his own right, brings not only light to this production, but also mood, mystery, and nuance. Add Ming Cho Lee’s monumental sets and Paul Tazewell’s vibrant costumes, and we have one of the finest Swan Lakes I’ve ever seen.”


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Part 2:



Tuesday, January 16, 5:00 pm

The Phelps Center, 301 Mercer St., Seattle

Principal dancers prepare for the role of Odette/Odile and coach PNB School advanced students in some of Swan Lake’s iconic solos. Learn Swan Lake’s origins and how it became a beloved classic. Tickets ($25) are available through the PNB Box Office.



Friday, January 26, 5:00 pm

The Phelps Center, 301 Mercer St., Seattle

PNB’s popular Friday Previews are hour-long studio rehearsals hosted by Artistic Director Peter Boal and PNB artistic staff, featuring Company dancers rehearsing excerpts from upcoming ballets. Tickets are $15. (Note: These events sell out in advance.) Friday Previews are sponsored by U.S. Bank.



Thursday, February 1, 6:00 pm

Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall

Join PNB Audience Education Manager Doug Fullington and Company dancers for an engaging discussion during the hour preceding the dress rehearsal. The conversation begins at 6:00 pm, followed by the dress rehearsal at 7:00. Tickets ($30) may be purchased through the PNB Box Office.



Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall

Join PNB Audience Education Manager Doug Fullington for a 30-minute introduction to the performance, including discussions of choreography, music, history, design, and the process of bringing Swan Lake to the stage. One hour before performances. FREEfor ticketholders. (NOTE: There will be no post-show “Meet the Artists” Q&As during the run of Swan Lake.)



Saturday, February 3, 7:30 pm

PNB partners with 98.1 Classical KING FM to bring listeners one of the world’s most popular ballet scores, featuring the world famous Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra performing under the direction of music director/ principal conductor Emil de Cou, direct from McCaw Hall. Tune in to KING FM for a live broadcast of Swan Lake on Saturday, February 3 at 7:30 pm. Only on 98.1 fm or online at KING.org/listen.



Friday, February 9

Join members of PNB’s Young Patrons Circle (YPC) in an exclusive lounge for complimentary wine and coffee before the show and at intermission. YPC is PNB’s social and educational group for ballet patrons ages 21 through 39. YPC members save on their subscriptions and additional tickets. For more information, visit PNB.org/YPC.

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Part 3:


Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Op. 20, 1875–1876) 
Choreography: Kent Stowell 
Staging: Francia Russell (after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov) 
Scenic Design: Ming Cho Lee 
Costume Design: Paul Tazewell 
Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli 
Original Production Premiere: February 20, 1877, Imperial Ballet, Moscow, choreography by Julius Reisinger; restaged on January 15, 1895, Imperial Ballet, St. Petersburg, choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov 
Stowell/Russell Production Premiere: October 1, 1976; Frankfurt Ballet 
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: April 8, 1981; new production September 25, 2003

Running Time: 3 hours

The image of a swan has come to represent the lyrical image of a dancer, and for that we have to thank 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.

Tchaikovsky longed for a successful revival of his first ballet. The original Moscow production, now generally regarded as a failure, actually achieved mild success and saw more performances over more years than most ballets premiered on the Moscow stage. The choreography by the otherwise unknown German ballet master Julius Reisinger was admittedly undistinguished. Anti-German sentiment fueled opinions against both the dance and the story, which was thought to have originated in Germanic legend.  Tchaikovsky’s score was admired but considered unsuitable for ballet—not sufficiently danceable.

Tchaikovsky died in 1893.  A memorial concert in St. Petersburg the next year included a revival of Swan Lake Act II, the first lakeside scene, with new choreography by Lev Ivanov, ballet master Marius Petipa’s assistant.  The performance was a success and plans were laid for a revival of the entire ballet in 1895.  Ivanov choreographed Act IV, the second lakeside scene, and Petipa supplied dances for Acts I and III.  Tchaikovsky’s brother, Modeste, labored to streamline the story, while conductor Riccardo Drigo took on the unenviable task of editing the sometimes unwieldy musical score.

Their efforts paid off. While not an unqualified hit, Swan Lake was a solid success.  And although Petipa succeeded with his choreographic contribution, Ivanov’s “white” acts provided the images by which Swan Lake has become iconic.  Movements and poses suggest swan wings, necks, and bodies and offer images of flying, swimming, and preening in a purely stylized way that has enabled the choreography to transcend the particular aesthetics of its time and become immemorially expressive.

The 1895 revival of Swan Lake has served as the basis for nearly every production since then.  The dual role of Odette/Odile remains a coveted challenge for ballerinas and is broad enough in concept to sustain an endless variety of interpretations. Tchaikovsky’s score, his first attempt to compose for ballet, came into its own during the 20th century, as dance and dance production developed to embrace it as Swan Lake’s motivating force. But, as George Balanchine once commented, “Swan Lake is always changing. That is as it should be.” Nineteenth-century tradition allowed choreographers carte blanche when approaching existing work. Total or partial revision of staging and choreography was standard, as was re-writing of the scenario, and liberties were taken with the musical score.

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 the production they had first created for the Frankfurt Ballet in 1976.  Preserving the best of the St. Petersburg original as it has come down to us through England’s Royal Ballet, Ms. Russell researched and staged what has long been regarded as the soul of Swan Lakenearly all of Ivanov’s Act II, and Petipa’s Act I pas de trois and Act III Black Swan pas de deux. To enhance the story, Mr. Stowell made important changes in the order of the musical numbers. He also re-choreographed most of Act I, the national dances in Act III, and all of Act IV, rescuing the usually forgotten last act with a radiant pas de deux and giving the conclusion dramatic power and unity.

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 1981 production was a significant milestone as the first full-length ballet re-created for the Company. The current production of Kent Stowell’s Swan Lake, in a revised staging and featuring new scenic, costume and lighting designs by Ming Cho Lee, Paul Tazewell and Randall G. Chiarelli (respectively), premiered to critical acclaim in 2003 to open PNB’s inaugural season in Marion Oliver McCaw Hall.  [Program notes by Doug Fullington.]

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First weekend Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried pairings have been posted to the top of the Swan Lake page on the PNB website:


Opening Weekend Casting

Friday, February 2 at 7:30 PM
Odette/Odile: Lesley Rausch
Prince Siegfried: Jerome Tisserand

Saturday, February 3 at 1:00 PM
Odette/Odile: Laura Tisserand
Prince Siegfried: Karel Cruz

Saturday, February 3 at 7:30 PM
Odette/Odile: Noelani Pantastico
Prince Siegfried: Seth Orza

I'm guessing that Pantastico and Orza will dance the dress rehearsal on Thursday, February 1, so that Rausch and Tisserand don't have to dance it two nights in arrow.

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Thank you so much for posting!  I did not expect to hear first weekend casting for another week and a half.  Now I can plan out my weekends.

Does anyone know, has Noe been O/O at PNB before?  I don’t recall seeing her in that role, and I’m really looking forward to the first Saturday.

I did get to see her as the Black Swan in Lac, when BMC toured in NYC, 2012 I believe.  It was very dramatic and so fun!

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Pantastico made her debut in the Stowell production with Jeffrey Stanton -- cannot right now recall when that was, but will keep sifting through my paper trail  It likely would have been the year they premiered the production, when they moved back into a newly-remodeled Opera House/McCaw Hall.

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Ding ding ding!  Very good sandik.  I found a video of Noe made last spring.  She said her first time as O/O was 2003 when she was a baby ballerina.  She also said she was promoted to Principal in 2004, so she must have been a Soloist at the time.  I haven’t listened to the whole interview yet, but so far it sounds like something we should listen to, so we have an understanding (and maybe empathy) of the gals making their debuts.


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Second weekend Principal Casting is up on the site, except for the Sunday evening, February 11 non-subscription performance:


Elizabeth Murphy debuts as Odette/Odile, partnered by Lucien Postlewaite.  Sarah Ricard Orza and Dylan Wald make a double debut on Friday, February 9.  


Second Weekend Principal Casting


Thursday, February 8
at 7:30 PM

Elizabeth Murphy*

Prince Siegfried
Lucien Postlewaite


Friday, February 9
at 7:30 PM

Sarah Ricard Orza*

Prince Siegfried
Dylan Wald*


Saturday, February 10
at 1:00 PM

Elizabeth Murphy

Prince Siegfried
Lucien Postlewaite


Saturday, February 10
at 7:30 PM

Laura Tisserand

Prince Siegfried
Karel Cruz


Sunday, February 11
at 1:00 PM

Lesley Rausch

Prince Siegfried
Jerome Tisserand



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I found this video on the website.  At first I thought this was an older video, but it is new.  I must have watched it half a dozen times, it’s a great way to see so many dancers and even professional division students.  But my eye keeps getting drawn to Calista Ruat.  She looks so smooth, effortless, and natural.  And proud. And I mean that in the most positive way.

I’m getting excited for the performances!

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On 1/25/2018 at 11:25 AM, SandyMcKean said:

Is she the one with a blue top and mid-thigh, black "whatever-they-are's"?

Yes, for most of the video she’s in the second line from the left, and third row from the front.  The top is a pretty kind-of-sky blue with three quarter sleeves or long sleeves pushed up.

I went to the Friday Preview tonight.  What a treat to see Noe and Seth in the Act 3 grand pas and Act 4!  Both of them had such attack on their Act 3 turns.    Act 4 was so tender and exquisite, I had to wipe away a tear.  Can’t imagine a better segue to the weekend.

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Act IV in Stowell's Nutcracker is so very strong.  Usually it goes from a dance for swans into Siegfried rushing in with "I'm sorry!" Odette forgiving him, and then von Rothbart showing up through whatever ending is chosen.

The long reconciliation pas de deux to some of the most beautiful and often cut music in the score, accomplishes through temperament and style -- it's neoclassically classical, not Ivanov -- what the best Romeo and Juliet's bedroom pdds do: it conveys that the emotional context is quite different and it's a different world from their first.

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More media:  from the Seattle Times, an article about approaching the fouettes and a video featuring Lesley Rausch (partnered by Jerome Tisserand) and Laura Tisserand, the latter I think in performance from the "Love Stories" program, since the only other person on stage for the Black Swan pas de deux is Batkhurel Bold :).


Also a short clip of Noelani Pantastico and Seth Orza in rehearsal:


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4 hours ago, Helene said:


The long reconciliation pas de deux to some of the most beautiful and often cut music in the score, accomplishes through temperament and style -- it's neoclassically classical, not Ivanov -- what the best Romeo and Juliet's bedroom pdds do: it conveys that the emotional context is quite different and it's a different world from their first.

What she said.  I often think it's ironical that when people want to talk about Petipa and the format of the 19th c ballet, they point to Swan Lake, which breaks so many of those conventions.  Unlike Beauty, and other works where the drama is resolved before the final act, which becomes "a celebration" or some other justification for a suite of dances, in SL, the story ends at the final curtain.  We may know what is going to happen, but like Giselle, we watch if play out all the way to the end.

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Thrilled to see Sarah Ricard Orza get an O/O.  And her partner is corps dancer Dylan Wald.  Clearly he climbing the role ladder!  

I’ve thought for a while that Ricard Orza would be a splendid Odette.  Her Odile is the wild card.  

Edited by Jayne
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