PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET CONTINUES 40TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON WITH SEATTLE AND NEW YORK RUNS OF JEAN-CHRISTOPHE MAILLOT’S
Roméo et Juliette
A CONTEMPORARY INTERPRETATION OF SHAKESPEARE’S TRAGEDY
Choreography by Jean-Christophe Maillot
Music by Sergei Prokofiev (Op. 64, 1935-36)
February 1 – 10, 2013
Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street, Seattle Center
Seattle, WA 98109
February 15- 16, 2013
New York City Center, 131 W 55th Street
New York, NY 10019
SEATTLE, WA – In January 2008, Pacific Northwest Ballet brought Jean-Christophe Maillot’s masterful Roméo et Juliette to Seattle for its west coast premiere, making PNB the first American company to perform the work. This three-act interpretation of Shakespeare’s great love story was premiered in 1996 by Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, where Maillot is resident choreographer and artistic director. His contemporary interpretation has been hailed throughout the world.
Roméo et Juliette runs February 1 through 10 at Seattle Center’s Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Showtimes are 7:30 pm February 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9, with 2:00 pm matinees on February 2 and 9, and 1:00 pm matinees on February 3 and 10. Tickets start at $28 and may be purchased by calling the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424, online at Pacific Northwest Ballet’s website, or in person at the PNB Box Office at 301 Mercer St.
PNB is delighted to announce that Noelani Pantastico and Lucien Postlewaite, former principal dancers with PNB, will return for one performance of Roméo et Juliette, reprising their celebrated title roles on Saturday night, February 9. Ms. Pantastico and Mr. Postlewaite are now members of Les Ballets de Monte Carlo under the artistic directorship of Jean-Christophe Maillot, creator of Roméo et Juliette.
Following the Seattle run, PNB takes Roméo et Juliette to New York City Center for three performances, February 15 and 16 (along with one performance of Balanchine works on February 13). PNB’s full company last performed at City Center in 1996. These performances also mark the New York debut of the mighty PNB Orchestra under the direction of music director/principal conductor Emil de Cou. Roméo et Juliette runs February 15 and 16 at City Center. Showtimes are 8:00 pm on February 15 and 16, with an additional 2:00 pm matinee on February 16. Tickets to the New York performances start at $25 and may be purchased by calling CityTix at 212-581-1212, online, or in person at the City Center Box Office, 131 W 55th Street (between 6th & 7th). PNB’s New York tour is sponsored by Raisbeck Engineering.
ABOUT THE BALLET
Roméo et Juliette
Music: Sergei Prokofiev (Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64, 1935-1936)
Choreography: Jean-Christophe Maillot
Staging: Gaby Baars, Bernice Coppieters, and Giovanna Lorenzoni
Scenic Design: Ernest Pignon-Ernest
Costume Design: Jérôme Kaplan
Lighting Design: Dominique Drillot
Premiere: December 23, 1996: Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: January 31, 2008
Running Time: 2 hours, 25 minutes
From West Side Story to Twilight, Shakespeare’s great romance seems always to find new interpretation, and its tale of forbidden love has been especially enticing to the dance world. Peter Boal was so mesmerized by Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette when he attended its New York debut in 1999, that it became his first full-length acquisition for PNB as artistic director. Though Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette is firmly grounded in classical ballet, his choreography is imbued with natural and intuitive movement that feels progressive and expands margins of expression. As the famous story of star-crossed lovers unfolds, the dancers’ swimming hands, flying arms, and off-kilter balances speak for racing hearts, reckless impulses, and inner turmoil. Stage action is brought into high relief by the ballet’s spare and elegant design. Great washes of blue and gold light reflect the magnitude of Prokofiev’s dramatic score, and the piercing elation and lament of young love project like Hollywood close-ups.
Sergei Prokofiev’s glorious ballet score is frequently called his masterpiece. Its thematic melodies—by turns sweetly tender, sweepingly passionate, hotly fierce and chillingly eerie—provide counterpoint and impart eloquent support to the narrative. In his version of Roméo et Juliette, choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot has taken formal inspiration from the episodic character of Prokofiev’s classic score, structuring the action in a manner akin to cinematic narrative. Rather than focusing on themes of political-social opposition between the two feuding clans, this Romeo and Juliet highlights the dualities and ambiguities of adolescence. Torn between contradictory impulses, between tenderness and violence, fear and pride, the lovers are caught in the throes of a tragedy that exemplifies their youth and the extreme emotions and internal conflicts that characterize that time of life—a time of life when destiny, more than at any other moment, seems to escape conscious control, and when the inner turmoil occasioned by passions and ideals can sometimes have disproportionate—even fatal—consequences. In evoking this fragile and volatile state of being, scenic designer Ernest Pignon-Ernest has created a decor marked by transparency and lightness: a play of simple forms that reveals an underlying complexity of meaning.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Jean-Christophe Maillot was born in 1960 in Tours, France. He studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire National in Tours before joining Rosella Hightower’s International School of Dance in Cannes. In 1977, he won the Prix de Lausanne, and in 1978, he was invited to join the Hamburg Ballet, where director John Neumeier created principal roles for him in many works. In 1983, Maillot was appointed choreographer and director of the Ballet du Grand Theatre in Tours, subsequently one of France’s National Choreographic Centres. He choreographed some twenty ballets for this company, and in 1985, he founded the festival Le Chorégraphique. In 1992, he was awarded the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang. In 1993, H.R.H. the Princess of Hannover invited Maillot to become director of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo. As principal choreographer for a company of fifty dancers, he has created more than 28 ballets, such as Vers un pays sage (1995), Roméo and Juliet (1996), Cinderella (1999) La Belle (2001), Le Songe (2005), Altro Canto (2006), Faust (2007) and LAC (2011). Several of these works are now included in the repertoires of major international ballet companies. In 2009, he developed the content and coordinated the Centenary of the Ballets Russes in Monaco, which would see over 50 companies and choreographers pass through the Principality in one year, providing entertainment for 60,000 audience members. Roméo et Juliette is the first ballet by Jean-Christophe Maillot to enter Pacific Northwest Ballet’s repertory.
Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953) was a leading Soviet composer and brilliant pianist. He left Russia in 1918 and lived in Germany and Paris for the next sixteen years, with frequent trips to America for concert appearances. In 1934 he settled in Moscow and composed prolifically until his death. Among his best known works are the ballet scores Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and Prodigal Son; the opera The Love for Three Oranges; the children’s classic, Peter and the Wolf; the film score and cantata for Alexander Nevsky; and the Classical Symphony.
The first Soviet performance of Romeo and Juliet was given at the Kirov Theater on January 11, 1940. Preceding the first performance there were many disagreements between the choreographer, Leonid Lavrovsky, and Prokofiev. The dancers failed to understand the music; and the orchestra, in a last-ditch effort to avoid a disaster, tried to cancel the performance. Despite so little hope for success, the ballet was well received and has been popular ever since. The Lavrovsky ballet was finally presented by the Bolshoi Ballet on December 28, 1946.
TICKET & SHOWTIME INFORMATION
Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette runs February 1-10 at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street at Seattle Center. Showtimes are 7:30 pm February 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9, with 2:00 pm matinees on February 2 and 9, and 1:00 pm matinees on February 3 and 10.
Ticket range: $28 – $183. Tickets may be purchased 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)
Tickets are also available, subject to availability, 90 minutes prior to each performance at McCaw Hall, located at 321 Mercer Street.
Following the Seattle engagement, Roméo et Juliette runs for three performances February 15 and 16 at New York City Center. Showtimes are 8:00 pm on February 15 and 16, with an additional 2:00 pm matinee on February 16. Tickets to the New York performances start at $25 and may be purchased by calling CityTix at 212-581-1212, online at nycitycenter.org, or in person at the City Center Box Office, 131 W 55th Street (between 6th & 7th).
DISCOUNT OFFERS and SPECIAL EVENTS
$15 TICKETS FOR AGE 25 & UNDER
All Thursday and Friday performances: February 1, 7 & 8 at 7:30 pm
One ticket for $15 or two for $25 for patrons 25 years and younger! To purchase tickets, contact the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424 or visit 301 Mercer Street. This offer is good for February 1, 7 & 8 performances only. Offer is subject to availability and not valid on previously purchased tickets. Each attendee must present valid ID upon ticket retrieval.
PNB is a proud participant of Seattle Center’s Teen Tix program. Teen Tix members 13 to 19 years old can 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 seattlecenter.com/teentix.
STUDENT AND SENIOR RUSH TICKETS
Subject to availability, half-price rush tickets for students and senior citizens (65+) may be purchased in-person with valid ID, beginning 90 minutes prior to show time at the McCaw Hall box office.
Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For group tickets, please call 206.441.2416, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit pnb.org/Season/GroupTix.
Friday, January 25 at 6:00 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 rehearsing excerpts from Roméo et Juliette. PNB Friday Previews offer an up-close view of the Company preparing to put dance on stage. Tickets, $10 each, are available through the PNB Box Office. (This event will sell out in advance.) Friday Previews are sponsored by U.S. Bank.
BALLET PREVIEW — FREE
Tuesday, January 29, 12:00 noon
Central Seattle Public Library, 1000 Fourth Avenue, Downtown Seattle
Join PNB for a free lunch-hour preview lecture at the Central Seattle Public Library. Education Programs Manager Doug Fullington will offer insights about Roméo et Juliette complete with video excerpts. FREE.
PNB LECTURE SERIES & DRESS REHEARSAL
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Lecture 6:00 pm, Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall
Dress Rehearsal 7:00 pm, McCaw Hall
Join PNB artistic staff during the hour preceding the dress rehearsal. Attend the lecture only or stay for the dress rehearsal. Tickets are $12 for the lecture, or $30 for the lecture and dress rehearsal. Tickets may be purchased through the PNB Box Office.
Listen to the Ballet!
PNB partners with Classical KING FM 98.1 to bring listeners some of the world’s most popular ballet scores, featuring the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra direct from McCaw Hall. Tune in to KING FM for a live broadcast performance of Roméo et Juliette conducted by Emil de Cou on Saturday, February 2 at 7:30 pm. Only on 98.1 fm or online.
FORMER PNB DANCERS RETURN FOR ONE PERFORMANCE
PNB is delighted to announce that two very special guests will return for one very memorable performance during Roméo et Juliette. Noelani Pantastico and Lucien Postlewaite will reprise their celebrated title roles for the Saturday, February 9, 7:30 pm performance. Former principal dancers with PNB, Ms. Pantastico and Mr. Postlewaite are now members of Les Ballets de Monte Carlo under the artistic directorship of Jean-Christophe Maillot, creator of Roméo et Juliette.
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 Roméo et Juliette to the stage. One hour before all 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.
The 2008 PNB premiere of Roméo et Juliette was generously underwritten by Dan & Pam Baty. PNB is also grateful to Dan & Pam Baty for their leadership support to underwrite new sets and costumes for Roméo et Juliette in 2013. Media sponsors are The Seattle Times and KOMO. PNB’s 2012-2013 40th Anniversary 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.
Special thanks to Raisbeck Engineering, Principal Sponsor of PNB’s performances at New York City Center. Raisbeck Engineering was founded in 1973 and continues its long-standing tradition of improving personal, business and corporate aircraft performance through the integration of advanced technology with currently flying airplanes.