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 Post subject: Pacific Northwest Ballet presents the acclaimed SWAN LAKE
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:53 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 6883
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Pacific Northwest Ballet presents the acclaimed SWAN LAKE, April 9
- 19



MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Tucker, 206.441.2426 (not for publication)

CONTACT INFO FOR PUBLICATION: PNB Box Office, 206.441.2424 or

Pacific Northwest Ballet Presents KENT STOWELL'S


Made possible by the E.L. Wiegand Foundation

April 9-19, 2009
Marion Oliver McCaw Hall
321 Mercer Street, Seattle Center
Seattle, WA 98109

April 9 - 11 at 7:30 pm
April 11 at 1:00 pm
April16 - 18 at 7:30 pm
April 18 & 19 at 1:00 pm
April 19 at 7:00 pm

SEATTLE, WA - Kent Stowell's Swan Lake returns to the McCaw Hall stage as the fifth
offering of PNB's 2008-2009 season. This beloved story ballet, choreographed by
Pacific Northwest Ballet's Founding Artistic Director to P.I. Tchaikovsky's achingly
beautiful score, is classical ballet at its very best. Anticipated audience demand
has already necessitated PNB adding two additional performances to the run. Swan
Lake now runs from April 9 through 19 at Seattle Center's Marion Oliver McCaw Hall.
For tickets and more information, visit or call the PNB Box Office at

Swan Lake is considered by many across the globe 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 artistic and physical challenge of a dual
role - Odette, trapped in the body of a white swan, and Odile, the temptress
daughter of Baron Von Rothbart, who plots the downfall of Odette's true love, Prince
Siegfried. 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.

Kent Stowell's Swan Lake was made possible by the E.L. Wiegand Foundation of Reno,
Nevada, supporting sponsors Norman Archibald Charitable Foundation and UW Medicine,
and season sponsors Microsoft and The John Graham Foundation, as well as 4Culture,
ArtsFund, Scandinavian Airlines and Washington State Arts Commission.


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.

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 here the production they had first created for the
Frankfurt Ballet in 1975. 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 Lake-nearly 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. [Program notes by Doug


Kent Stowell was Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer of Pacific Northwest
Ballet from 1977 until his retirement in June, 2005. Mr. Stowell trained with
Willem Christensen at the University of Utah, later joining San Francisco Ballet.
He joined New York City Ballet in 1962 and was promoted to soloist in 1963. In
1970, he joined the Munich Opera Ballet as a leading dancer and choreographer. In
1973, Mr. Stowell was appointed Ballet Master and Choreographer of Frankfurt Ballet
and was named, with Francia Russell, Co-Artistic Director of the company in 1975.
In 1977, Mr. Stowell and Ms. Russell were appointed Artistic Directors of Pacific
Northwest Ballet. His many contributions to PNB's repertory include Swan Lake,
Cinderella, Nutcracker, Carmina Burana, Firebird, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet,
Hail to the Conquering Hero, Carmen and Silver Lining. Mr. Stowell's awards and
honors include University of Utah's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Washington State
Governor's Arts Award, the Dance Magazine Award, an Honorary Doctorate of Humane
Letters from Seattle University, the ArtsFund Lifetime Achievement in the Arts
Award, the Seattle Mayor's Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Ernst and
Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and was recognized by the King County Council
for his achievements in the arts.

Francia Russell served Pacific Northwest Ballet as Artistic Director and Director of
the School from 1977 until her retirement in June, 2005. She is responsible for the
addition to the Company's repertory of many works of George Balanchine. Born in Los
Angeles, Ms. Russell grew up in San Francisco, London, Nice and New York. Her
teachers included Felia Doubrovska, Antonina Tumkovsky, Vera Volkova, Robert Joffrey
and George Balanchine. In 1956, Ms. Russell joined New York City Ballet, where she
was promoted to soloist in 1959 and appointed Ballet Mistress in 1964. She was also
a member of the faculty of the School of American Ballet and performed with Jerome
Robbins' Ballets U.S.A. From 1975 to 1977, Ms. Russell and Kent Stowell were
Co-Artistic Directors of Frankfurt Ballet. Ms. Russell was one of the first ballet
masters chosen by George Balanchine to stage his works and has staged over one
hundred productions of Balanchine ballets throughout North America and Europe. In
1987, she staged the first Balanchine ballet in the People's Republic of China for
the Shanghai Ballet. During the 1988/89 season, she staged the historic first
authorized performance of Balanchine's work in his homeland for the Kirov Ballet in
St. Petersburg. Ms. Russell's numerous awards include the Washington State
Governor's Arts Award, the Dance Magazine Award, an Honorary Doctorate of Humane
Letters from Seattle University and the Brava Award from Women's University Club of
Seattle. In 2004, Ms. Russell received the ArtsFund Lifetime Achievement in the Arts
Award, the Seattle Mayor's Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Ernst and
Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and was recognized by the King County Council
for her achievements in the arts.

Ming Cho Lee is widely regarded as one of the foremost and influential set designers
in America today. Over two decades he established a rich collaborative relationship
with Kent Stowell and the production department of PNB, designing sets for The
Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet (1987), Firebird (1989), Carmina Burana (1993), Silver
Lining (1998) and Swan Lake (2003). Mr. Lee was principal designer for New York
Shakespeare Festival (1962-1973) and Juilliard Opera Theatre/American Opera Center
(1964-1970), professor of design and co-chair of the Design department at Yale
University's School of Drama (1969-present). Designs for American dance companies
include Martha Graham, American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, Eliot Feld Ballet
and José Limón. Internationally, Mr. Lee has designed productions for Covent
Garden, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Teatro Colon, Royal Danish Ballet, Cloud Gate Dance
Theatre, the Hong Kong Cultural Center, and Buhnen Graz. His awards and
distinctions include a Tony Award, an Obie for sustained achievement, New York Drama
Desk and New York and Los Angeles Outer Circle Critics Awards, three honorary
doctorates, membership in the Theatre Hall of Fame, and NYC Mayor's Award for Arts
and Culture.

Paul Tazewell has 17 years of freelance experience, designing for both on- and
off-Broadway shows, as well as for regional and international theater, dance and
opera productions. Mr. Tazewell received Tony Award nominations for Bring in 'Da
Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk and The Color Purple. His awards include the 1999
Jefferson Award in Chicago, The Princess Grace Fellowship Award, and three Helen
Hayes Awards, among others. Mr. Tazewell's extensive Broadway resume includes work
on Caroline, or Change, A Raisin in the Sun, Drowning Crow, Elaine Stritch at
Liberty, Def Poetry Jam, On the Town and The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm. In
2002, Pacific Northwest Ballet commissioned Mr. Tazewell to design costumes for the
world premiere of Donald Byrd's Seven Deadly Sins.

Randall G. Chiarelli served as PNB's lighting designer and technical director from
1979 to 2005. He served as technical director of San Francisco Ballet from 2005 to
2006 and returned to PNB in November 2006. He has created the lighting designs for
most of PNB's repertory, including Kent Stowell's full-length Swan Lake, Firebird,
The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, Carmina Burana, Cinderella, and Carmen, and
re-created the lighting designs for PNB's entire Balanchine repertory. His scenic
designs for PNB include Les Biches, Divertimento No. 15, Capricious Night, and
Carmen. Student and apprentice to pioneer lighting designer Thomas R. Skelton, Mr.
Chiarelli is a Seattle native and received painting and sculpture degrees from the
University of Washington.


Swan Lake runs April 9 - 19 at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street. Evening showtimes are
7:30 pm April 9-11 and 16-18, and 7:00 pm on April 19. The production will also
have three 1:00 pm matinees on April 11, 18 and 19. (Note: Curtain-times for all
Swan Lake matinees are earlier than PNB's usual Saturday matinee showtimes.)

Tickets range in price from $25 to $160 and may be purchased:
* By calling the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424 (Mon.-Fri. 9am-6pm; Sat. 10am-5pm)
* In person at the PNB Box Office, 301 Mercer St. (Mon.-Fri. 10am-6pm; Sat. 10am-5pm)
* Online at
* 90 minutes prior to each performance at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street at Seattle
Center, subject to availability.


PNB is pleased to once again offer single tickets priced at $15 for patrons 25 and
under (two for $25) for the Friday performances of Swan Lake (April 10 and 17, 7:30
pm). To purchase tickets call PNB's Box Office at 206.441.2424 or visit 301 Mercer
St. Each attendee must present valid I.D. upon ticket retrieval. Good only for
tickets to the April 10 and 17 performances. The 25 & Under offer is subject to
availability and not valid on previously purchased tickets.

Discounted group rates are available for audience members to gather ten or more of
their friends, family and co-workers to see any performance and save up to 20%. For
group tickets, please call 206.441.2416, email or use PNB's Online
Group Builder at Additionally, day-of-show senior and student rush
discounted tickets are available. PNB is also a proud participant of Seattle
Center's Teen Tix program. Young people 13 to 18 years old can join Teen Tix and
purchase tickets to PNB performances and other music, dance, theater and arts events
for only $5. To join Teen Tix or view a list of participating organizations, visit


SWAN Takes to the Air(waves): For the first time ever, 98.1 Classical KING FM 98.1
will broadcast a performance of Pacific Northwest Ballet's Swan Lake, performed by
the PNB Orchestra under the direction of Music Director/Conductor Stewart Kershaw at
7:30 pm on Saturday, April 11. For more details and programming schedule, visit

Friday, April 3, 6:00 - 7:00 pm
The Phelps Center, 301 Mercer Street, Seattle
Join us for an hour-long dance preview led by Artistic Director Peter Boal and
featuring PNB dancers performing excerpts from Kent Stowell's Swan Lake. PNB $5
Fridays offer an upbeat and up-close view of the Company preparing to put dance on
stage. (This event is SOLD OUT. Tickets to PNB's popular $5 Fridays go on sale
eight weeks before each event.)

Sunday, April 5, 2:00 - 3:00 pm
Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S. Main Street, Seattle
PNB's Sunday afternoon series features an hour-long discussion about Kent Stowell's
Swan Lake with principal dancers Carrie Imler, Louise Nadeau, and Kaori Nakamura in
the casual atmosphere of the Elliott Bay Book Company reading room. All
Conversations with PNB are FREE of charge.

Tuesday, April 7, 12:00 noon - 1:00 pm
Central Seattle Public Library, 1000 Fourth Avenue, Seattle
Join PNB for a free lunchtime preview lecture at the Central Seattle Public Library.
Education Programs Manager Doug Fullington will offer insights about Kent Stowell's
Swan Lake, complete with video excerpts. FREE of charge.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Lecture 6:00-6:50 pm, Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall
Dress Rehearsal 7:00-9:30 pm, McCaw Hall
Join Founding Artistic Director and choreographer Kent Stowell and Technical
Director and Lighting Designer Randall G. Chiarelli for an engaging conversation
during the hour preceding the dress rehearsal. Attend the lecture only or stay for
the dress rehearsal. Tickets are $10 for the lecture, or $20 for the lecture and
dress rehearsal. Tickets may be purchased by calling the PNB Box Office at
206.441.2424, online at or in person at the PNB Box Office at 301 Mercer

Pre-Performance Lectures
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 Swan Lake to the stage. One hour before performances. FREE for

Please Note: There will be no Post-Performance Q&As during the run of Swan Lake.


Pacific Northwest Ballet presents Kent Stowell's Swan Lake.

Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
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
Running Time: Three (3) hours including two intermissions

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: 1975; Frankfurt Ballet

PNB Premiere: April 8, 1981; new production September 25, 2003

When: 7:30 pm April 9-11 and 16-18 and 7:00 pm on April 19.
1:00 pm matinees on April 11, 18 & 19.

Where: Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street, Seattle, WA 98109

Tickets: Tickets range in price from $25 to $160 and may be purchased:
* By calling the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424 (Mon.-Fri. 9am - 6pm; Sat. 10am - 5pm)
* In person at the PNB Box Office, 301 Mercer Street (Mon.-Fri. 10am-6pm; Sat.
* Online at
* 90 minutes prior to each performance at McCaw Hall at 321 Mercer Street
* Discounts of up to 20% available for groups of 10 or more by calling 206.441.2416
or emailing

Plus: Visit for a complete list of special events and offers
in conjunction with Swan Lake.

Before the Ballet: Pre-Performance Lectures - FREE for ticketholders
One hour prior to all performances, Nesholm Family Lecture Hall, 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 Swan Lake to the stage. (PLEASE NOTE: There will be no
Post-Performance Q&As during the run of Swan Lake.)

Programming subject to change. For further information, please visit:<>.

# # #

Gary D Tucker
Media Relations Manager
Ph. 206.441.2426
Pacific Northwest Ballet
301 Mercer Street
Seattle, WA 98109<blocked::>

Kent Stowell's
April 9 - 19

May 28 - June 7

A Celebration of Louise Nadeau
June 7

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