Pacific Northwest Ballet Announces 39th Season Line-Up

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Pacific Northwest Ballet Announces 39th Season Line-Up

PNB Box Office Opens for 2011-2012 ticket sales on Monday, July 18

Special One Week Offer: NO SERVICE FEES July 18 – 24!

September 2011 – June 2012

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

321 Mercer Street, Seattle Center

Seattle, Washington
Season to feature American premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Don Quixote. Other highlights include world premieres by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and Victor Quijada; PNB premieres by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and David Dawson; and the return of audience-favorites Coppélia and Carmina Burana.

(And Nutcracker, too!)

SEATTLE, WA – Mark your calendars! Pacific Northwest Ballet opens its box office for the 2011-2012 season ticket sales on Monday, July 18.  To celebrate, PNB is offering a special one-week money-saving deal: Pay no service fees on tickets purchased between July 18 and 24. (Or don’t wait, and save even more by purchasing a season subscription, available now!)

The highlight of PNB’s 2011-2012 season will no doubt be the American premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s new production of Don Quixote. Created for Dutch National Ballet in 2010, PNB will be the second company to present this winning production. “I was pleased to see Don Q unveiled in Amsterdam to a well-deserved roaring ovation,” said PNB artistic director Peter Boal. “Alexei has a beautiful reverence for tradition, a sly penchant for humor, and a gift for storytelling that is rare. With the explosion of color and clever design by set and costume designer Jérôme Kaplan (Roméo et Juliette), this production is spectacular.”

Other season highlights include the return of Kent Stowell’s magnificent Carmina Burana paired with one of George Balanchine’s earliest triumphs, Apollo; company premieres of works by Jerome Robbins, Balanchine, and David Dawson; a program dedicated to the works of Christopher Wheeldon; world premieres from Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Victor Quijada; and the return of PNB’s enchanting new production of George Balanchine’s Coppélia. In addition to the six-part season line-up, there’s the holiday classic, Kent Stowell and Maurice Sendak’s Nutcracker, as well as the Family Matinee production of Snow White, both of which also go on sale Monday, July 18.

Subscriptions and single tickets may be purchased through the PNB Box Office, either by phone (206.441.2424), online ( or in person at 301 Mercer Street. Subscriptions may be purchased now, and single tickets go on sale July 18. Discounted subscription rates are available for seniors, students, and children.  All programming and dates are subject to change.  For more information, visit

2011-2012 SEASON LINE-UP


September 23 – October 2, 2011


Carousel (A Dance) 

Music: Richard Rodgers 

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon

Staging: Damian Smith and Jackie Barrett

After the Rain pas de deux 

Music: Arvo Pärt 

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon

Staging: Damian Smith


Music: Gyorgy Ligeti 

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon

Staging: Jason Fowler

Variations Sérieuses 

Music: based on Felix Mendelssohn, adapted and orchestrated by Mack Schlefer 

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon

Staging: Jason Fowler

PNB’s season-opening mixed bill confirms the scope of Christopher Wheeldon’s prodigious talent as well as his artistic influences. An all-dance synopsis of the famous musical, Carousel (A Dance) pays homage to composer Richard Rodgers and to Jerome Robbins’ love of Broadway. A large ensemble cast rotates around the ill-fated lovers, who reach for each other in a tender duet “so enriching that one hungers for more” (New York Times). Another study of intimacy unfolds in After the Rain pas de deux, the couple’s tangible physicality acting as metaphor for deeply nuanced emotion. Sleek and technical, Polyphonia’s cool abstraction suggests George Balanchine’s influence, especially the pure lines of its centerpiece, a sinuously sustained duet. The ingenious set design by Ian Falconer (author/illustrator of the Olivia series of children’s books) in Variations Sérieuses, turns comedic tables on ballet—both literally and figuratively—by offering the audience a view from the wings. The interplay of an hysterical and hilarious cast of characters, on and offstage, evokes Wheeldon’s unerring instinct for entertainment. “As much a theater piece as a dance work…filled with intricate personalities” (The Seattle Times).


November 4 – 13, 2011

Divertimento from “Le Baiser de la Fée” – PNB Premiere

Music: Igor Stravinsky

Choreography: George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust

Staging: Peter Boal

Afternoon of a Faun – PNB Premiere 

Music: Claude Debussy

Choreography: Jerome Robbins

Staging: Bart Cook

Balcony pas de deux from Roméo et Juliette

Music: Sergei Prokofiev

Choreography: Jean-Christophe Maillot                                                                                               

Staging: Bernice Coppieters, Giovanna Lorenzoni and Gaby Baars

Black Swan pas de deux from Swan Lake

Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Choreography: Kent Stowell

Staging: Francia Russell after Petipa/Ivanov

Aurora’s Wedding from The Sleeping Beauty

Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Choreography: Ronald Hynd after Marius Petipa                                                                               

Staging: Ronald Hynd, Annette Page and Amanda Eyles

Ballet ponders love’s many moods with a mixed bill that adds Balanchine and Robbins works to PNB’s repertory. George Balanchine’s buoyant Divertimento from “Le Baiser de la Fée, was created for New York City Ballet’s legendary 1972 Stravinsky Festival. Its charismatic choreography contains notable solos for the male and female leads as well as hints of an enigmatic attraction between the pair. Afternoon of a Faun, Jerome Robbins’ reconsideration of Vaslav Nijinsky’s 1912 ballet, portrays an innocent exchange between two dance students. Holding their gazes toward the audience as if seeing their reflections in a studio mirror, the couple carefully appraises each movement in their tentative partnership. In Jean-Christophe Maillot’s balcony pas de deux from Roméo et Juliette, the ecstasy of love “unfolds as a series of chases, of catches, of rapture…as if happily drowning in a pool of sensation” (The Seattle Times). The fiery Black Swan pas de deux from Kent Stowell’s resplendent Swan Lake is classical ballet’s most famous depiction of seduction and betrayal, as well as a show-stopping technical accomplishment. For a very grand finale, Aurora’s Wedding from Ronald Hynd’s eminently English The Sleeping Beauty fills the stage with splendor. “In a word, lovely. A lavish production for the eyes and ears, a testament to the company’s depth of skill and talent” (

Stowell/Sendak NUTCRACKER

November 25 – December 27, 2011

(Not part of PNB’s subscription season.)


Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

                Choreography: Kent Stowell

                Scenic & Costume Design: Maurice Sendak

                Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli

Nothing fills hearts with cheerful magic quite like PNB’s cherished Nutcracker, the Northwest’s favorite holiday tradition and the most festive event of the season.  Created by PNB Founding Artistic Director Kent Stowell and world-famous author and illustrator Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are), this masterful Nutcracker production is like no other in the world.  Featuring the live music of the PNB Orchestra magnificent sets and costumes, and over 200 roles danced by PNB’s professional dancers and students.

Rep 3DON QUIXOTE – PNB Premiere

February 3 – 12, 2012

Music: Ludwig Minkus

Choreography: Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky with additional choreography and staging by Alexei


Staging: Sandrine Leroy, Sonja Marchiolli, and Judy Maelor Thomas

Scenic and Costume Design: Jérôme Kaplan

Lighting Design: James Ingalls

PNB is proud to present the American premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s full-length Don Quixote. Created for Dutch National Ballet in 2010, the Russian-born choreographer blends historical segments with his own fluent and inventive classical technique for “the best version of this classical ballet…a display of exciting and hot-blooded dance. At the premiere, the audience roared with enthusiasm” (De Telegraaf). Based on an episode from Cervantes’ famous novel, Don Quixote de la Mancha, the story follows its title hero, a middle-aged country gentleman absorbed with tales of chivalry and a dream-lover, Dulcinea. With his squire Sancho Panza, Don Quixote ventures to the legendary city of Barcelona and discovers spirited young lovers Kitri and Basilio. When Kitri’s father plots her marriage to a wealthy fool, the couple hides with a troupe of actors. Kitri is eventually discovered and feigns a broken heart when Basilio pretends to stab himself in despair. Don Quixote intervenes for the lovers so persuasively that Kitri’s father must give his consent, and all celebrate the wedding as the Don resumes his quest.  

Don Quixote’s bravura classical dances showcase soloist virtuosity as dramatically as its mime and humor reveal accomplished character players. At the center of the ballet’s passionate Castilian heart, Ludwig Minkus’ rousing score endows each scene with rich atmosphere, deepened by Jérôme Kaplan’s (Roméo et Juliette) vibrant costumes and amber-washed sets. All elements combine with Ratmansky’s innately expressive movement to treat theater-lovers of all ages to a first look at this smash hit. (Note: All matinees of Don Q are at 1:00 pm.)


March 16 – 24, 2012

A Million Kisses to My Skin – PNB Premiere

Music: Johann Sebastian Bach

Choreography: David Dawson

Staging: Tim Couchman

Cylindrical Shadows – World Premiere

Music: Allessandro MarCello, Johann Sebastian Bach, Henry Purcell and David van Bouwel

Choreography: Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

World Premiere

Music: Jasper Gahunia

Choreography: Victor Quijada

This all-premiere line-up presents a pair of hot-ticket European choreographers and a second commission from dance-fusion pioneer Victor Quijada (Suspension of Disbelief). “A dazzling work that succeeds in making Bach’s Concerto No 1 in D minor sing…the sheer joy of movement” (Dominion Post), British choreographer David Dawson’s A Million Kisses to My Skin is his tribute to the complete bliss a dancer sometimes experiences in their work, a feeling “just like that—a million simultaneous kisses to your skin.” Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s poignant Cylindrical Shadows extends the scope of an earlier piece she created in homage to the unexpected death of a close friend, a reflection on emotions linked to instantaneous loss. Victor Quijada, founder of RUBBERBANDance Group, combines his street-dancing roots with modern dance, classic and contemporary ballet, and “a combination of many influences, including capoeira, yoga, martial arts, and even theatrical improve ”to forge an original work that promises a living demonstration of his essential goal, “to make a new dance language, one that can tell new stories.”


March 17, 18 and 25, 2012

(Part of PNB’s “Fairy Tales” subscription package.  Call the PNB Box Office for details.)


Music: Jules Massenet

                Choreography: Bruce Wells

                Scenic Design: Bruce Wells and Randall G. Chiarelli

Costume Design: Larae Theige Hascall

                Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli

This narrated, hour-long performance is danced by students of Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and is the perfect opportunity to introduce young children to the magic of live performance.


April 13 – 22, 2012


Music: Igor Stravinsky

Choreography: George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust                                            

Staging: Peter Boal

Carmina Burana

Music: Carl Orff

Choreography: Kent Stowell

From Greek gods to 13th century monks, this blockbuster double-bill reaches through centuries to resonate with powerful impact. Apollo, George Balanchine’s oldest surviving ballet, was his first international success as well as the start of his remarkable collaboration with Igor Stravinsky. The depiction of “a wild, half-human youth who acquires nobility through art” (Balanchine), Apollo is instructed by three Muses: Terpsichore, muse of dance and song; Polyhymnia, muse of mime; and Calliope, muse of poetry. Considered “worth every accolade ever bestowed upon it” (DanceView Times), Apollo “has acquired a mythical aura of its own” (New York Times).

Kent Stowell’s magnificent Carmina Burana, which has played to sold-out audiences since its 1993 premiere, realizes Carl Orff’s vision of a theatrical masterpiece that would surmount all artistic boundaries. The famous cantata’s poems about the fickleness of fortune, the joy of renewal, and the perils of sin come vividly to life in the shadow of Ming Cho Lee’s colossal 26-foot golden wheel as Stowell’s evocative choreography, a 72-voice chorale, and live orchestra draw the audience into an exhilarating communal experience that is “unashamedly expressive” (Seattle Weekly). 


June 1 – 10, 2012                            

Music: Léo Delibes

Choreography: Alexandra Danilova and George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust (after Petipa)

Staging: Judith Fugate and Garielle Whittle

Scenic and Costume Design: Roberta Guidi di Bagno

Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli

 Audiences and critics were captivated when the curtain rose on PNB’s premiere of its exquisite, wisteria-hued production of George Balanchine’s Coppélia in June of 2010: “The audience actually gasped when the curtain went up” (Journal Newspapers). Originally created in 1870, Balanchine and famous ballerina Alexandra Danilova drew on source material and memory for 1974’s New York City Ballet version. The story, inseparable from Delibes’ superbly melodic score, is a lighthearted comedy about vivacious young Swanilda, her impetuous suitor Franz, and the eccentric toymaker Dr. Coppelius. Though Franz loves Swanilda, he is swept away by Coppélia, a life-sized doll whom he believes is real. When Swanilda steals into Dr. Coppelius’ workshop and discovers the truth about Coppélia, she dresses up as her rival and amuses herself by tricking both toymaker and her lover. All ends well in the final act’s splendid wedding festivities, revised by Balanchine and enhanced by the addition of 24 enchanting “baby” ballerinas. Beautifully detailed by Italian designer Roberta Guidi di Bagno’s lavish sets and costumes, this production is a complete delight for all ages. “Coppélia…demands repeat viewing” (


June 10, 2012

(Not part of PNB’s subscription season. Tickets to this event go on sale in early 2012.)

Pacific Northwest Ballet wraps up its 2011-2012 season with the annual Season Encore Performance, a crowd-pleasing evening of some of the year’s greatest hits.


June 16, 2012

(Not part of PNB’s subscription season. Tickets to these events go on sale in early 2012.)


The 31st Annual PNB School Performance


See the stars of tomorrow, on stage today! PNB School’s annual performance features students of all levels performing original works by PNB School faculty, designed to showcase the students’ skills and accomplishments over the past year.  Later that evening, PNB continues its tradition of innovation and commitment to nurturing and presenting new choreography with NEXT STEP. This program features world premieres choreographed by PNB Company dancers and performed by PNB School’s Professional Division students.


Tickets ($28-$168) go on sale Monday, July 18. Pay no service fees on tickets purchased July 18 – 24. Money-saving season subscriptions starting at $168 are currently available. Subscribers receive a 15% discount on Nutcracker tickets when added to their season subscriptions by July 17.

Tickets may be purchase through the PNB Box Office:

  • Phone: 206.441.2424 (Mon.-Fri. 9am–6pm; Sat. 10am–5pm)
  • In Person: 301 Mercer Street, Seattle (Mon.-Fri. 10am–6pm; Sat. 10am–5pm)
  • Online: (24 hours a day, seven days a week)

Tickets are also available 90 minutes prior to each performance at McCaw Hall, located at 321 Mercer Street, subject to availability.

For information on discount offers including 25-and-under tickets, Teen Tix, and Group Sales, visit While there, sign up on PNB’s email list, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter, and be among the first to learn about PNB news, casting and performance updates, ticket offers, and more.

PNB offers a variety of free or affordably-priced special events for most of its productions, including previews, conversations, lectures, and Q&As.  For more information, visit and click on “Events & Offers” under each specific production’s listing.

Schedule and All Programming Subject to Change.

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 2011-2012 Season is proudly sponsored by Microsoft Corporation. Additional season support is provided by Artsfund, the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, and 4Culture – King County Lodging Tax.

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