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PNB Rep 5: Swan Lake -- Live April 15-24; Streaming May 12-16

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From the press release:


Pacific Northwest Ballet Continues its 49th Season with the Magnificent Return of



11 Performances Onstage, April 15 – 24, 2022

April 15, 21 and 22 at 7:30 PM

April 16 and 23 at 1:00 and 7:30 PM

April 17 and 24 at 1:00 and 7:00 PM


Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

321 Mercer Street at Seattle Center

Seattle, WA 98109

Steaming Digitally May 12 – 16

SEATTLE, WA – Pacific Northwest Ballet continues the celebration of its return to live performances with Kent Stowell’s Swan Lake. Every element of this production was crafted to keep audiences on the edge of their seats, from the masterful choreography, stunning costumes by Paul Tazewell, and off-kilter scenic design by Ming Cho Lee, to the undeniably iconic score brought to life by the world famous PNB Orchestra. The tale at its heart – a classic tragedy of good versus evil – is considered by many to be the greatest classical ballet of all time, and provides the ultimate challenge for ballerinas: the dual role of Odette, trapped in the body of a white swan until an oath of true love sets her free; and Odile, the “Black Swan” temptress. Swan Lake runs for 11 performances, April 15 through 24. Tickets start at just $30. Swan Lake will also stream digitally from May 12 through 16, for friends and lovers to watch from the comfort of home. Tickets for the digital access are $35. For tickets and additional information, contact the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424, online 24/7 at PNB.org, or in person at 301 Mercer Street. See “Ticket Information,” below, for more details. 



Tickets to PNB’s live and/or digital performances are available through the PNB Box Office:

  • Phone - 206.441.2424
  • In Person - 301 Mercer Street at Seattle Center
  • Online (24/7) - PNB.org

(Tickets are also available – subject to availability – 90 minutes prior to each performance at McCaw Hall. In-person ticket sales at the McCaw Hall Box Office are subject to day-of-show increases. Advance tickets through the PNB Box Office are strongly suggested for best prices and greatest availability.)

Tickets for the live performances of Swan Lake are $30 - $190. Groups of ten or more may enjoy discounts up to 20% off regular prices: Contact Group Sales Manager Julie Jamieson at 206.441.2416 or JulieJ@PNB.org for ticketing assistance. (Group discounts are not valid on lowest-priced tickets and may not be combined with other offers.) For additional information about special ticket offers including The Pointe, Young Patrons Circle, TeenTix, Rush and PWYC, visit PNB.org/season/offers. 

Health & Safety: PNB patrons 12 and older must show proof that they are fully vaccinated before entering McCaw Hall. All patrons must be masked. For details and current information, visit PNB.org/Health.          

The show must go on: Pacific Northwest Ballet is committed to honoring its performance calendar. Performances will not be cancelled for sleet, snow, or Seattle traffic. In the unlikely event that the status of a performance does change, an announcement will be posted on PNB.org.

Tickets for PNB’s digital-only presentation of Swan Lake (May 12 – 16) are $35.


Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Op. 20, 1875 – 1876)Choreography: Kent StowellStaging: Francia Russell (after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov)Scenic Design: Ming Cho LeeCostume Design: Paul TazewellLighting Design: Randall G. ChiarelliOriginal Production Premiere: February 20, 1877, Imperial Ballet, Moscow, choreography by Julius Reisinger; restaged January 15, 1895, Imperial Ballet, St. Petersburg, choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov

Stowell/Russell Production Premiere: October 1, 1976, Frankfurt BalletPacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: April 8, 1981; new production September 25, 2003

Running Time, Live: Three hours, including two intermissionsRunning Time, Digital: Approximately two hours and ten minutes

Click here for complete program notes by Doug Fullington.


NEW FEATHERS FOR THE FLOCKSwan Lake is the quintessential classical ballet, and producing this staggering production is no small feat. All of its elaborate costumes, including headpieces, bodices, tutus and accessories, were made by the acclaimed PNB Costume Shop. One tutu can take up to 200 hours of labor and costs thousands of dollars, but once constructed, it will be used for hundreds of performances and fit many dancers with multiple sets of hook-and-eye closures. PNB’s current Swan Lake costumes were designed in 2003 by Paul Tazewell (Hamilton) and have been meticulously maintained and repaired as necessary in the years since. (The Seattle Times called the iconic tutus “as complex, and as beautiful, as a swan’s wing.”)

For the 2022 run of Swan Lake, the PNB Costume Shop refurbished the production’s tacked tutus (so named because all the layers of tulle are tacked together by hand) and created 42 new bodices for the PNB Company dancers and Professional Division students (from the PNB School) dancing in the large corps of swans. (There are 24 swans on stage during a performance, but multiple costumes are created to fit multiple sizes of dancers.) The costume shop put in 1,900 hours producing the bodices, including 84 hours spent hand-sewing buttons and closures, and over 300 hours hand-painting feathery detail work. The project also entailed over 60 hours of fittings. For information about the fundraising campaign PNB launched to support the creation of these costumes, visit PNB.org/swan.

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Principal casting is up for the second weekend:


Thursday, April 21 at 7:30 PM

Leta Biasucci

Prince Siegfried
Kyle Davis


Friday, April 22 at 7:30 PM

Elizabeth Murphy

Prince Siegfried
Lucien Postlewaite

Saturday, April 23 at 1 PM

Lesley Rausch

Prince Siegfried
James Kirby Rogers

Saturday, April 23 at 7:30 PM

Angelica Generosa

Prince Siegfried
Jonathan Batista

Sunday, April 24 at 1 PM

Elizabeth Murphy

Prince Siegfried
Lucien Postlewaite

Sunday, April 24 at 7 PM

Leta Biasucci

Prince Siegfried
Kyle Davis

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On 4/9/2022 at 7:33 AM, SandyMcKean said:

Do we know which cast will be in the 5/12 to 5/16 streaming presentation?

Yesterday PNB posted on Instagram it will be Lesley Rausch and James Kirby Rogers from opening night.

I went to their final show on Saturday, assuming it will be Lesley's final O/O.  Before they announced casting, I wasn't sure she was dancing the role(s).  We hadn't seen much of her during the digital season and the first weekend of the recent Romeo and Juliet run Peter Boal said she had a back injury at one of the post-performance talks, and I don't believe she ever debuted as Lady Capulet the second weekend.

Well she looked exactly the same as two years ago, meaning no diminished skill/ability, which is totally amazing as she is now 40, per Marcie Sillman's blog.  On top of aging two years, factor in almost two years of abnormal class and rehearsal conditions.  It is really something special to see a ballerina in her forties, they have a certain confidence and carry themselves with such sense of knowing.  But her strength, control, flexibility, all totally there.  And she had fantastic chemistry with her new partner James Kirby Rogers.  I saw other casts, other leads are pretty new to O/O and Lesley definitely shows her stuff as the veteran ballerina in terms of her Act II Odette with extra articulation and nuance in her arms. neck and head.  My guess is this is her fourth time in the role, and so she has a lot of experience and probably coaching from difference sources over the years.

James did a fine job partnering Lesley, they did not look like a new partnership at all.  During Act III multiple pirouettes into her back bend they were so on the music the audience applauded - and this was not a subscription show.  All his solos were clean and precise - really nice jumps and turns.  Sincere acting.  I noticed he had timing a little bit different, maybe he started a tad later but finished within the phrases.  It actually made his solos fun and interesting as I was seeing multiple shows.  Also after Lesley finished her fouette turns he did some crazy turning combination that included a turn in au second with five or six revolutions!

Has anybody else seen any shows?  C'mon we had such good dialogue from the Plot Points rep!?!

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Yesterday PNB posted on Instagram it will be Lesley Rausch and James Kirby Rogers from opening night.

Wonderful.....thanks, seattle-dancer.

I've been a huge Rausch fan since her start in the corps when I first noticed her arms (....and then came Dove's Red Angels......WOW!).

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I saw two shows the second week. Leta and Angelica. Both were beautiful. Leta seemed a little off her game but I'm a big fan of hers regardless.

Perhaps unlike Leslie (who can do no wrong in my mind), the other principals lost something over covid. A four act swan lake is a big ask post pandemic!

That said, hands down, the star of the show was the corps de ballet. I haven't seen corps work like that in a very long time. What a treat!

Lastly,  Jonathan Batista is a star.  I'm excited to see more from him. 

It will be interesting to witness how the company continues to develop. 

Overall, PNB's reputation as one of the top companies continues to hold true.


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Went to both Saturday evening performances: 4/16 Elizabeth Murphy and Lucien Postlewaite; 4/23 Angelica Generosa and Jonathan Batista. Sat in the first tier on 4/16 and orchestra level 4/23 -- the Jester's choreography made more sense closer up. 😄

Lovely performance by Elizabeth Murphy, especially considering she had a baby last year! Breathtaking Act 2 pas de deux. Black Swan coda: counted 27 single fouettes, finished early.

Thought Angelica Generosa and Jonathan Batista's performance was more dynamic. Looking forward to seeing more of his dancing. Counted 27+ fouettes with multiple pirouettes, though not always on the music. Impressed by Kuu Sakuragi's Jester and Abby Jayne DeAngelo in the Act 1 pas de trois. The people sitting next to me commented favorably about the cast diversity, which I was also glad to see. (I just wish they had kept their masks on...)

Interesting tidbit: the lobby display had rehearsal photos which included Elle Macy and Christopher D'Ariano in the principal roles. I didn't see Christopher D'Ariano in the listed casting, so hope he is doing okay.

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Following up on Grace8's post...

I saw Angelica Generosa & Jonathan Batista's debut and 4/23 shows.  Both of them I noticed the overall momentum grew and grew with each act.  I have seen each production of Swan Lake since this one started when McCaw opened and I don't feel like any other pair of leads produced this kind of momentum.  Usually the big fireworks are in Act III, then Act IV is more subdued.  There was a lot of these two on social media leading up to their debut and they did not disappoint.  Angelica is becoming quite the storyteller with her fantastic facial expressions on top of outstanding technique.  Jonathon displays a beautiful spirit especially in his jumps and his turns have a level of control we have not seen since maybe Karel Cruz (being able to slowly come to a stop, he even hopped a little and then completed multiple pirouttes).

Kuu Sakuragi also stood out as the Jester.  It has been a long time since we had one with so much freedome and energy; he reminds me of when Jonathon Poretta started in the role, I believe as a Corp member way back when.  I also saw Kuu in Neopolitan in one of my shows, and he also had a delightfully light and energetic presence.  He accented different parts of the music which made the divertissement interesting, since I was seeing multiple shows.

The second Saturday show evening aside from the leads (and I think Kuu was Jester)  also had a lot of diversity in the cygnets.  Ashton Edwards and a professional division student Destiny Wimpye both were featured here, as well as they danced in the swan corp.

The digital program was just released.   I am looking forward to seeing Lesley Rausch & James Kirby Rogers as the leads again, and in the pas de trois I believe it should be Angelica Generosa, Leta Biassuci, and Kyle Davis.  If you don't have it as part of your subscription, you can buy it for $35 and receive unlimited viewing through Monday 5/16 midnight PDT.

Edited by seattle_dancer
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Today in the SFB Swan Lake thread Helene mentioned the PNB Princess contenders in Act III and even posted a video from Instagram.  I remembered something from the last weekend of shows.  Have any of you ever watched these princesses when Odile crashes the party?  I honestly never have over the past almost twenty years but I finally did.  Oh my gosh, their faces and reactions are hysterical!  I hope in the digital version the filming is wide enough so we can see it!!!

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Saw the digital performance last night on a big TV (77"). BTW, I sure wish they would implement surround sound instead of the clunky old stereo.

Loved it. What a wonderful company we have! I completely agree with seattle-dancer and fun en face that the Lesley Rausch & James Kirby Rogers team was spectacular. I have to believe James is Leslie's "new" partner. They "fit" so well together. Leslie seemed to be beside herself with joy when she looked at him during curtain calls.....like "WOW, he and I can really take things to a new level". Like Fun en face, Leslie can do no wrong by me, so I sat rivetted by her dancing; in particular, her entrance as Odile stunned me. Her transition from innocent white swan to conniving black swan was like Leslie changed not only her costume but her entire personality (frankly I prefer her as Odile 😉).

Also totally agree about Angelica Generosa, Leta Biassuci, and Kyle Davis. All three are craft-persons....you just couldn't get a better set of dancers who are perfection in every move with the grace and musicality of these three. And again (!!) I totally agree about Kuu Sakuragi and Jonathon Poretta; I kept thinking of Jonathon the whole time in terms of movement and energy (although IMO, Kuu needs to relax into more natural and authentic expressions of emotion and characterization -- I have no doubt this will come in time). Seeing Louise Nadeau as the Queen was an unexpected delight. I've missed many dancers over the years when they retire or leave, but I've never missed anyone as much as I did Louise (a picture of her hangs over this very desk as I type this....yes, this one from Gibson's Piano Dance:


And one last word about Elle Macy. OK, I'm prejudiced, Elle is, after all, my favorite PNB dancer (Leslie is in a class by herself with me); but everything Elle does is exciting, inventive, and in a word....DANCE. Chills went down my spine watching her as the Persian Dancer. Every time she looks straight out at the audience, I swear she's looking right at me, no one else, just me....(actually, it's more like she's looking right through me into my heart hence the chills).

Edited by SandyMcKean
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I watched the video for the manyth time, and Abby Jayne DeAngelo did not stop beaming at Prince Siegfried, however in vain: unless she was turning, she had her eyes on the prize the entire time.  It was fantastic!

I want the male lead costume from the Czardas.  That hat with the feather is all. the. things.

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