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PNB: A Midsummer Night's Dream Apr 14-15 and Apr 20-23; Digital Stream Apr 27-May 1

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April 14 – 23, 2023

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

321 Mercer Street at Seattle Center

Seattle, WA 98109


Only eight performances? Lord, what fools these mortals be!

April 14 at 7:30 PM

April 15 at 2:00 and 7:30 PM

April 20 and 21 at 7:30 PM

April 22 at 2:00 and 7:30 PM -- matinee is an additional, non-subscription performance.

April 23 at 1:00 PM

Streaming Digitally April 27 – May 1

SEATTLE, WA – A garden of delight for the eyes and ears, George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream returns to the McCaw Hall stage as the penultimate offering of PNB’s 50th Anniversary season. Staged by Founding Artistic Director Francia Russell and featuring exquisite scenic and costume designs by Martin Pakledinaz, PNB’s exuberant production of Midsummer – Shakespeare’s comic tale of romantic confusion – has been captivating all who enter its enchanted Northwest-inspired forest for over 25 years. The ballet follows the quarrels of the King and Queen of the Fairies, and the mayhem of mismatched lovers, abetted by mischief-maker Puck. All is resolved by Act II, which opens with Mendelssohn’s familiar Wedding March, and is crowned by the magnificent Divertissement pas de deux, considered one of Balanchine’s most beautiful creations.

PNB has performed its one-of-a-kind Midsummer to great acclaim in Istanbul, Hong Kong, at the Edinburgh International Festival, and Sadler’sWells Theater in London, where the production was filmed by the BBC and released on DVD.  A Midsummer Night’s Dream plays for eight performances only, from April 14 through 23 at Seattle Center’s Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Tickets start at $37. The program will also stream digitally from April 27 through May 1. Tickets for the digital access are $35. For tickets and additional information, contact the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424, in person at 301 Mercer Street, or online 24/7 at PNB.org.



Tickets to PNB’s live and/or digital performances may be purchased 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 may be 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 A Midsummer Night’s Dream are $37 - $195. 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.) Tickets for PNB’s digital-only presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (April 27 – May 1) are $35.

For information about special ticket offers including group discounts, The Pointe, Pay-What-You-Can, Beer and Ballet night, rush tickets and more, visit PNB.org/offers.


Health & Safety: PNB will continue to follow the advice of local health authorities in partnership with our labor groups to create our masking policies. At this time, masks are strongly encouraged but not required for audience members. For details and current info regarding PNB’s health and safety policies, 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 snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night. In the unlikely event that the status of a performance does change, an announcement will be posted on PNB.org.




Thursday, April 13, 5:30 pm

Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall

Join PNB Associate Artistic Director Kiyon Ross, in conversation with PNB company alumni Deborah Hadley, Angela Sterling, and Eric Hipolito Jr. Attend the PNB Conversations event only or stay for the dress rehearsal of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Tickets ($30) may be purchased through the PNB Box Office. 



Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall

Join dance historian Doug Fullington for a 30-minute introduction to each performance, including discussions of choreography, music, history, design and the process of bringing A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the stage. One hour before performances. FREE for ticketholders.



Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall

Skip the post-show traffic and enjoy a Q&A with Artistic Director Peter Boal and PNB dancers, immediately following each performance. FREE for ticketholders.




A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Music: Felix Mendelssohn

Choreography: George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust

Staging: Francia Russell

Scenic and Costume Design: Martin Pakledinaz

Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli

Premiere: January 17, 1962; New York City BalletPNB Premiere: May 16, 1985; New Production: May 27, 1997 

Balanchine’s fondness for Shakespeare's tale of love's delusions and mishaps dated from boyhood when he had performed as an elf in a St. Petersburg production of the play. But his desire to bring this favorite theater piece to the ballet stage waited more than 20 years for fulfillment while he searched for music with which to expand Mendelssohn's original score to suitable length.* In Midsummer, which dance writer Anita Finkel has called "possibly the greatest narrative ballet of all time," Balanchine demonstrated brilliantly that the pace of a story ballet can be fleet, that mime can be delicate and to the point, and that the tale can be told almost entirely through dance. Perhaps most inspired is Balanchine's sustained employment of ballet's central metaphor of love—the pas de deux—to embody the play's subtle insights into the many permutations of the love relationship. The cloying embraces of Hermia and Lysander, the distraught pleadings of Helena with Demetrius, the thrashing resistance of Hermia to Demetrius and of Helena to Lysander—all are distortions of the ideal partnership between lovers, traditionally conveyed by the ballerina and her cavalier. This human game of power is also played out in the fairy realm where, tellingly, the disputing spouses Titania and Oberon never dance together but instead perform self-celebratory solos for their admiring retinues. When Titania does condescend to take a partner, it is either the non-descript cavalier, who functions more as prop than peer, or, in the work's most charming episode, an artless ass. Only in Act II, which is pure dance, do the battles and imbalances, the self-indulgences and self-deceptions give way to a genuine dance partnership, in the magnificent Divertissement pas de deux which crowns the wedding festivities.A Midsummer Night's Dream has been in PNB’s repertory since 1985. In 1997, with the approval of The Balanchine Trust, PNB commissioned Martin Pakledinaz to re-design the entire production — a "first" for a Balanchine story ballet. Staged by PNB Founding Artistic Director Francia Russell, this freshly-designed Midsummer brings the choreographer's dramatic ideas to life scenically as never before. [Excerpted program Notes by Jeanie Thomas, edited by Doug Fullington. For complete program notes, visit PNB.org.] 

*Music details: Overture and incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 21 and 61, 1826, 1843; Overtures to Athalie, Op. 74, 1845; and The Fair Melusine, Op. 32, 1833; The First Walpurgis Night, Op. 60; Symphony No. 9 for Strings [first three movements], 1823; Overture to Son and Stranger, Op. 89, 1829



Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, George Balanchine (1904-1983) is regarded as the foremost contemporary choreographer in the world of ballet. He came to the United States in 1933, accepting the invitation of the young American arts patron Lincoln Kirstein. Together, Balanchine and Kirstein founded the School of American Ballet in 1934, and New York City Ballet in 1948. Balanchine served as NYCB’s ballet master and principal choreographer, creating more than 400 dance works, until his death in 1983. 

Francia Russell was Artistic Director of PNB and Director of the PNB School from 1977 until her retirement in 2005. During her tenure, Russell oversaw the development of the community education program DanceChance. Russell danced for New York City Ballet and Jerome Robbins’ Ballets USA. Upon retiring from dancing, Russell joined the faculty of the School of American Ballet in 1962 and in 1964 was appointed ballet mistress of NYCB by George Balanchine. Russell was one of the first to be chosen by Balanchine to stage his works. She is responsible for the addition of many Balanchine works to PNB’s repertory and has staged 246 Balanchine ballets worldwide. From 1975 to 1977, Ms. Russell and Kent Stowell were Co-Artistic Directors of Frankfurt Ballet.

Martin Pakledinaz was an award-winning costume designer for stage, television, and film. He won Tony Awards for Thoroughly Modern Millie and the 2000 revival of Kiss Me Kate, which also earned him the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design. His extensive design credits include work for Broadway, off-Broadway, leading regional theaters in the United States and for the Royal Dramatic Theatre of Sweden. His designs for opera include works at the New York Metropolitan Opera and the New York City Opera, as well as opera houses in Seattle, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Sante Fe, Houston, Toronto, Salzburg, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Helsinki, and Gothenburg, among others. Mr. Pakledinaz’s dance credits include work for such diverse choreographers as George Balanchine, Eliot Feld, Deborah Hay, Mark Morris, Daniel Pelzig, Helgi Tomasson, and Lila York. In addition to his work on PNB’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mr. Pakeldinaz designed costumes for Kent Stowell’s Cinderella (1994) and Zirkus Weill (1995). Mr. Pakledinaz passed away in 2012 at the age of 58.

Randall G. Chiarelli has devoted a career to lighting for dance, much of it at Pacific Northwest Ballet, and also for American Ballet Theatre, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Houston Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet, among others. His collaborators include choreographers Mark Dendy, Kent Stowell, Susan Stroman, Twyla Tharp, and Christopher Wheeldon. In addition to lighting for dance, Mr. Chiarelli has created scenic and concert designs for many productions and artists.


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The works of George Balanchine performed by Pacific Northwest Ballet are made possible in part by The Louise Nadeau Endowed Fund. Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 2022-2023 50th Anniversary season is proudly sponsored by ArtsFund and Microsoft. Special thanks also to 4Culture, National Endowment for the Arts, and The Shubert Foundation. PNB’s digital season is made possible by Katherine Graubard and William Calvin. PNB media sponsorship provided by The Seattle Times.

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Lucien Postlewaite posted to Facebook and IG:


I’ll be dancing the Fairy King
4/15 7:30
4/20 7:30

And Divertimento Pas de Deux with @letasucci
4/15 2:00

More shows will be announced next week.

He's a fantastic Oberon, as you'll be able to see from the performance clip from his solo, and this means Leta Biasucci will be back.

I've been trying to find more IG accounts to get more clues, to no avail, but I did find this stunning photo of Amanda Morgan on her IG account -- it looks to be from the official portraits photo shoot:


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From PNB's IG, with video:


We caught PNB Principal dancer Leta Biasucci receiving the warmest acclamation from her colleagues during her first full company rehearsal since having a baby last year. We’re not crying, you’re crying!

For this run of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Leta will be performing the role of Hermia (seen here) and the Divertissement pas de deux with frequent partner @lucienpost. Welcome back to the stage, Leta!



Definitely crying. 

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12 hours ago, Helene said:

From PNB's IG, with video:


We caught PNB Principal dancer Leta Biasucci receiving the warmest acclamation from her colleagues during her first full company rehearsal since having a baby last year. We’re not crying, you’re crying!

For this run of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Leta will be performing the role of Hermia (seen here) and the Divertissement pas de deux with frequent partner @lucienpost. Welcome back to the stage, Leta!



Definitely crying. 

Oh, this is lovely!

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