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 Post subject: Pacific Northwest Ballet presents DIRECTOR'S CHOICE, May 28
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:29 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 6883
Location: El Granada, CA, USA

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Tucker, 206.441.2426 (Not for publication)

CONTACT INFO FOR PUBLICATION: PNB Box Office, 206.441.2424 or

Pacific Northwest Ballet WRAPS UP THE SEASON WITH

Featuring works by
GEorge Balanchine - Jerome Robbins - christopher wheeldon

May 28-June 7, 2009
Marion Oliver McCaw Hall
321 Mercer Street, Seattle Center
Seattle, WA 98109

May 28-30 & June 4-6 at 7:30 pm
May 30 at 2:00 pm
June 7 at 1:00 pm

Seattle, WA - Pacific Northwest Ballet Artistic Director Peter Boal's yearly
DIRECTOR'S CHOICE programs highlight both the addition of new works to the repertory
and the works of the great choreographers of our time. This year's DIRECTOR'S CHOICE
program, the sixth and final repertory program of PNB's 2008-2009 season, delivers a
trio of seminal works by three of this century's most influential choreographers,
including two PNB premieres: Jerome Robbins' Dances at a Gathering, considered by
many to be the choreographer's greatest achievement in ballet; Christopher
Wheeldon's recent but already iconic After the Rain pas de deux; and George
Balanchine's Symphony in C, perhaps his greatest essay in formal classicism.
DIRECTOR'S CHOICE runs from May 28 through June 7 at Seattle Center's Marion Oliver
McCaw Hall. Tickets to DIRECTOR'S CHOICE may be purchased by calling the PNB Box
Office at 206.441.2424, online at, or in person at the PNB Box Office
located at 301 Mercer Street.

The line-up for DIRECTOR'S CHOICE will include:

Dances at a Gathering - PNB Premiere
Music: Frederic Chopin
Choreography: Jerome Robbins

Dances at a Gathering was the first ballet Jerome Robbins made for New York City
Ballet upon his return to the company in 1969, following a 12-year absence during
which he choreographed some of his best-known Broadway musicals. An hour-long suite
for ten dancers, set to solo piano works by Frederic Chopin, Dances at a Gathering
began as a pas de deux. Robbins selected more music and the ballet grew. He
invited Balanchine to see a rehearsal, asking him if the ballet wasn't a bit long.
Balanchine watched the rehearsal, and then said, "More. Make more!" Speaking
before the premiere, Robbins explained, "I'm doing a fairly classical ballet to very
old fashioned and romantic music, but there is a point to it. In a way it is a
revolt from the faddism today. I find myself feeling just what is the matter with
connecting, what's the matter with love, what's the matter with celebrating positive

Jerome Robbins dedicated Dances at a Gathering to the memory of lighting designer
Jean Rosenthal.

The PNB premiere of Jerome Robbins' Dances at a Gathering is generously underwritten
by Jeffrey & Susan Brotman.

After the Rain pas de deux© - PNB Premiere
Music: Arvo Pärt
Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon

"Spare and poignant, the duet intimates a renewal of faith, the reburgeoning of
love." (Village Voice) Christopher Wheeldon's pas de deux from After the Rain is
the second half of a two-part work, the first of which features an ensemble of three
couples dancing to Arvo Pärt's Tabula Rasa. The following pas de deux is performed
to Pärt's spare and tender duet for piano and violin, Spiegel im Spiegel. The
ballerina is dressed in pink and her partner is bare-chested. In a series of
unfolding partnering movements, the dancers explore the shifting emotions of their
relationship. After the Rain pas de deux is the fourth work by Christopher Wheeldon
to enter PNB's repertory.
The PNB premiere of Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain pas de deux is generously
underwritten by Ernest & Diane Burgess.

Symphony in C
Music: Georges Bizet
Choreography: George Balanchine © The School of American Ballet

Bizet composed his Symphony in C major when he was a 17-year-old pupil of Charles
Gounod at the Paris Conservatory. The manuscript was lost for decades, and was
published only after it was discovered in the Conservatory's library in 1933.
Balanchine first learned of the long-vanished score from Stravinsky. In only two
weeks, he choreographed the work as Le Palais de Cristal for the Paris Opera Ballet,
where he was serving as a guest ballet master in 1947. When he revived the work the
following year for the first performance of New York City Ballet, he simplified the
sets and costumes and changed the title to Symphony in C.

Following the structure of the symphony, the ballet is in four movements, each
featuring a different ballerina, cavalier, and corps de ballet. The first movement
is formal and regal. The second movement features one of Balanchine's greatest pas
de deux, and its ballerina role is considered one of the most privileged in all the
Balanchine repertory. The third and fourth movements feature bravura allegro
dancing. The entire cast of dancers from all four movements gathers for the
impressive finale.


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 late 1933, at the age of 29, accepting the invitation of the young
American arts patron Lincoln Kirstein (1907-96), whose great passions included the
dream of creating a ballet company in America. At Balanchine's behest, the School
of American Ballet was founded in 1934, the first product of the Balanchine-Kirstein
collaboration. Several ballet companies directed by the two were created and
dissolved in the years that followed, while Balanchine found other outlets for his
choreography. Eventually, with a performance on October 11, 1948, the New York City
Ballet was born. Balanchine served as its ballet master and principal choreographer
from 1948 until his death in 1983.

Balanchine's more than 400 dance works include Serenade (1934), Concerto Barocco
(1941), Le Palais de Cristal, later renamed Symphony in C (1947), Orpheus (1948),
The Nutcracker (1954), Agon (1957), Symphony in Three Movements (1972), Stravinsky
Violin Concerto (1972), Vienna Waltzes (1977), Ballo della Regina (1978), and
Mozartiana (1981). His final ballet, a new version of Stravinsky's Variations for
Orchestra, was created in 1982. He also choreographed for films, operas, revues,
and musicals. Among his best-known dances for the stage is Slaughter on Tenth
Avenue, originally created for Broadway's On Your Toes (1936). The musical was later
made into a movie.

A major artistic figure of the twentieth century, Balanchine revolutionized the look
of classical ballet. Taking classicism as his base, he heightened, quickened,
expanded, streamlined, and even inverted the fundamentals of the 400-year-old
language of academic dance. This had an inestimable influence on the growth of dance
in America. Although at first his style seemed particularly suited to the energy and
speed of American dancers, especially those he trained, his ballets are now
performed by all the major classical ballet companies throughout the world.
(Copyright © The George Balanchine Foundation. Reprinted by permission.)

Jerome Robbins (1918-1998) is world renowned for his work as a choreographer of
ballets as well as his work as a director and choreographer in theater, movies and
television. His Broadway shows include On the Town, Billion Dollar Baby, High
Button Shoes, West Side Story, The King and I, Gypsy, Peter Pan, Miss Liberty, Call
Me Madam, and Fiddler on the Roof. His last Broadway production in 1989, Jerome
Robbins' Broadway, won six Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Director.
Among the more than 60 ballets he created are Fancy Free, Afternoon of a Faun, The
Concert, Dances at a Gathering, In the Night, In G Major, Other Dances, Glass Pieces
and Ives, Songs, which are in the repertories of New York City Ballet and other
major dance companies throughout the world. His last ballets include A Suite of
Dances created for Mikhail Baryshnikov (1994), 2 & 3 Part Inventions (1994), West
Side Story Suite (1995) and Brandenburg (1996). In addition to two Academy Awards
for the film West Side Story, Mr. Robbins received four Tony Awards, five Donaldson
Awards, two
Emmy Awards, the Screen Directors' Guild Award, and the New York Drama Critics
Circle Award. Mr. Robbins was a 1981 Kennedy Center Honors Recipient and was
awarded the French Chevalier dans l'Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur.

Christopher Wheeldon is considered one of the leading ballet choreographers in the
world today. He was born in Somerset, England, and trained at The Royal Ballet
School until 1991, when he became a company member and also won the Gold Medal at
the Prix de Lausanne competition. Mr. Wheeldon danced with New York City Ballet
from 1993 to 2000 and has since focused completely on choreography. He became New
York City Ballet's first artist-in-residence in 2000, during which time he created
Polyphonia and Variations Sèrieuses, and, since 2001, has been the company's
resident choreographer. In 2007, Mr. Wheeldon founded his own dance troupe:
Morphoses, the Wheeldon Company.


Tickets to DIRECTOR'S CHOICE range in price from $25 to $155 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, Seattle (Mon.-Fri. 10am-6pm;
Sat. 10am-5pm)
* Online 24/7 at
* 90 minutes prior to each performance at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street at Seattle
Center, subject to availability.


25 & Under for $15: 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 DIRECTOR'S
CHOICE (May 29 and June 5, 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 ID upon
ticket retrieval. Good only for tickets to the May 29 and June 5 performances. The
25 & Under offer is subject to availability and no valid on previously purchased

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


Friday, May 22, 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 DIRECTOR'S CHOICE. PNB $5 Fridays
offer an upbeat and up-close view of the Company preparing to put dance on stage.
(This event is SOLD OUT.)

Sunday, May 17, 2:00 - 3:00 pm
Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S. Main Street, Seattle
PNB's Sunday afternoon series features a discussion about Jerome Robbins' Dances at
a Gathering with artistic director Peter Boal and principal dancer Miranda Weese in
the casual atmosphere of the Elliott Bay Book Company reading room. All
Conversations with PNB are FREE of charge.

Tuesday, May 26, 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 DIRECTOR'S
CHOICE, complete with video excerpts. FREE of charge.

Wednesday, May 27
Lecture 6:00 - 6:50 pm, Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall
Dress Rehearsal 7:00 - 9:30 pm, McCaw Hall
Join PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal for an engaging interview with Founding
Artistic Director Francia Russell during the hour preceding the dress rehearsal.
Attend the lecture only or stay for the dress rehearsal. Tickets are $10 for the
lecture only, 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 Street.

Pre-Performance Lectures
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 ballet to the stage. One hour before performances in the
Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall. FREE for ticketholders.

Post-Performance Q&A
After the show, skip the traffic and enjoy a post-performance Q&A with Artistic
Director Peter Boal and PNB dancers. Immediately following each performance in the
Norcliffe Room at McCaw Hall. FREE for ticketholders.

DIRECTOR'S CHOICE is made possible in part thanks to Presenting Sponsor PONCHO.
Special thanks to season sponsors Microsoft and The John Graham Foundation, as well
as 4Culture, ArtsFund, the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Scandinavian
Airlines and Washington State Arts Commission.

# # #


Pacific Northwest Ballet wraps up its 2008-2009 season with DIRECTOR'S CHOICE.

Dances at a Gathering - PNB Premiere
Music: Frederic Chopin (Mazurka, Op. 63, no. 3; Waltz, Op. 69, no. 2; Mazurka, Op.
33, no. 3; Mazurka, Op. 6, no. 4; Mazurka, Op. 7, no. 5; Mazurka, Op. 7, no. 4;
Mazurka, Op 24, no. 2; Mazurka, Op. 6, no. 2; Waltz, Op. 42; Waltz, Op. 34, no. 2;
Mazurka, Op. 56, no. 2; Etude, Op.25, no. 4; Waltz, Op. 34, no. 1; Waltz, Op. 70,
no. 2; Etude, Op 25, no. 5; Etude, Op. 10, no. 2; Scherzo, Op. 20; Nocturne, Op. 15,
no. 1)
Choreography: Jerome Robbins
Staging: Susan Hendl and Ben Huys
Costume Design: Joe Eula
Lighting Design: Jennifer Tipton
Duration: 58 minutes
Premiere: May 22, 1969; New York City Ballet

After the Rain pas de deux© - PNB Premiere
Music: Arvo Pärt (Spiegel im Spiegel, 1978)
Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
Staging: Damian Smith
Costume Design: Holly Hynes
Lighting Design: Mark Stanley
Duration: 9 minutes
Premiere: January 22, 2005

Symphony in C
Music: Georges Bizet (Symphony No. 1 in C Major, 1855)
Choreography: George Balanchine © The School of American Ballet
Staging: Francia Russell
Costume Design: Mark Zappone
Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli
Duration: 35 minutes
Premiere: July 28, 1947, Paris Opera Ballet (originally titled Le Palais de
Cristal); March 22,1948, New York City Ballet (renamed Symphony in C)
PNB Premiere: March 25, 1987

7:30 pm Thursdays - Saturdays May 28-30 and June 4-6; matinees at 2:00 pm on
Saturday, May 30 and 1:00 pm on Sunday, June 7.

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street, Seattle

Tickets range in price from $25 to $155 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 24/7 at
* 90 minutes prior to each performance at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street
* Discounts available for groups of 10 or more by calling 206.441.2416 or emailing

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 DIRECTOR'S CHOICE to the stage.

After the Ballet: Post-Performance Q&A - FREE for ticketholders
Immediately following each performance, Norcliffe Room, McCaw Hall
After the show, skip the traffic and enjoy a post-performance Q&A with Artistic
Director Peter Boal and PNB dancers.

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

# # #

Gary D Tucker
Media Relations Manager

Pacific Northwest Ballet
301 Mercer Street
Seattle, WA 98109<>

May 28 - June 7, 2009

A Celebration of Louise Nadeau
Sunday, June 7, 2009

See the Stars of Tomorrow, on Stage Today!*
PNB School 28th Annual SCHOOL PERFORMANCE at 2:30 pm
*That is, Saturday, June 13, 2009

PNB School Summer Course
July 6 - August 7, 2009

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