January 17, 2013

Press Releases


Featuring works by George Balanchine – Ulysses Dove – Twyla Tharp

Plus a world premiere by Paul Gibson


March 15 – 24, 2013

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

321 Mercer Street, Seattle Center

Seattle, WA 98109


March 15 & 16 at 7:30 pm

March 16 at 2:00 pm

March 21-23 at 7:30 pm

March 24 at 1:00 pm



SEATTLE, WA – MODERN MASTERPIECES,Pacific Northwest Ballet’s March mixed-bill, delivers repertory giants and a world premiere. Artistic Director Peter Boal’s desire to curate new choreographic collections paved the way for works by Ulysses Dove and Twyla Tharp to enter PNB’s repertory. In Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven, Dove’s ode to love and loss, the pairing and parting of three couples is illuminated in still pools of white light. Aerobic-clad “stompers” and ankle-socked ballerinas convene under arena-rock haze for Tharp’s In the Upper Room, an exuberant full-court assault from the 80s. Concerto Barocco, George Balanchine’s testament to the mathematical beauty of Bach, achieves flawless form via Francia Russell, one of the first ballet masters chosen by Balanchine to stage his works. And PNB’s own Paul Gibson (The Piano Dance) unveils Mozart Pieces, a new work sensitively crafted to the dancers he knows best.


MODERN MASTERPIECESruns for seven performances only, from March 15 through 24 at Seattle Center’s Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Tickets start at $28 and may be purchased by calling 206.441.2424, in person at the PNB Box Office at 301 Mercer Street, or online at Pacific Northwest Ballet’s website.


The line-up for MODERN MASTERPIECES will include:


Concerto Barocco

Music: Johann Sebastian Bach

Choreography: George Balanchine © New York City Ballet

Staging: Francia Russell
Of this landmark piece, Balanchine himself stated: “The only preparation possible is a knowledge of its music [Johann Sebastian Bach’s Double Violin Concerto in D minor], for Concerto Barocco has no ‘subject matter’ beyond the score to which it is danced and the particular dancers who execute it.” Masterfully reflecting Bach’s polyphonic structure and development of musical voices—the brilliant interplay of the two solo violins with the chamber orchestra, and with each other—Balanchine’s choreography is as complex and pure as the music itself. But, as many viewers have noted, the ballet is no literal reproduction of Bach’s great score. Rather, it is movement related so ingeniously to the music’s inner workings that it seems an extra line of counterpoint or a partner in a subtle dialogue.
Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven
Music: Arvo Part
Choreography: Ulysses Dove
Staging: Eva Safstrom

Set for three couples in white unitards and subtitled Odes to Love and Loss, Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven was choreographed for the Royal Swedish Ballet in 1993 and received its U.S. premiere in 1996 at the For the Love of Dove benefit in New York. According to New York Times dance critic Jennifer Dunning, Dove “suggests a broken flow of relationships by placing his solos and duets in a chain of white spotlights.” Dove himself explained, “To me, Arvo Pärt’s music can send souls to heaven. I want to tell an experience in movement, a story without words, and create a poetic monument over people I loved.”
The 2006 Pacific Northwest Ballet premiere of Ulysses Dove’s Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven was generously underwritten in part by Glenn Kawasaki and Winona & Robert Nilan.

In the Upper Room

Music: Philip Glass, arranged by Kurt Munkacsi

Choreography: Twyla Tharp

Staging: Shelley Washington


The collaboration of Philip Glass and Twyla Tharp united two stars of contemporary music and dance. Commissioned by Tharp for her newly structured company, Twyla Tharp Dance, In the Upper Room previewed as an untitled work-in-progress on July 7, 1986, at the Saratoga Arts Center Little Theater, where the audience’s enthusiasm and subsequent reviews immediately hailed it as a new, dynamic creation. Divided into nine segments, In the Upper Room features thirteen dancers, whose costumes evolve from black and white to dominant red, in a variety of groupings and abstract styles (some on pointe, some in sneakers) that culminates in a dazzling finale for the entire ensemble. (Notes courtesy of Twyla Tharp Productions. Used by permission.)


The 2007 Pacific Northwest Ballet premiere of Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room was generously underwritten by Glenn Kawasaki.


Mozart PiecesWorld Premiere

Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Choreography: Paul Gibson


Paul Gibson’s world premiere is generously underwritten in part by Deidra Wager and Bonnie Towne.





Tickets ($28 – $173) 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)
  • Online 24/7

Subject to availability, tickets are also available 90 minutes prior to each performance at McCaw Hall.






Monday, March 4, 2013, 5:30-7:00 pm

The Phelps Center, 301 Mercer Street, Seattle

In this 90-minute lecture-demonstration, PNB Company men discuss and demonstrate the history of men in ballet, featuring a first look at Paul Gibson’s new work for PNB. Tickets, $20 each, are on sale now.



Friday, March 8, 2013, 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 fromMODERN MASTERPIECES. PNB Friday Previews offer an upbeat and up-close view of the Company preparing to put dance on stage. Tickets, $10 each, go on sale January 14. (These events sell out in advance.) Friday Previews are sponsored by U.S. Bank.



Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 12:00 noon pm

Central Seattle Public Library, 1000 Fourth Avenue, 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 MODERN MASTERPIECES, complete with video excerpts. FREE of charge.



Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lecture 6:00 pm, Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall

Dress Rehearsal 7:00 pm, McCaw Hall

Join PNB artistic staff for an engaging discussion during the hour preceding the dress rehearsal. Attend the lecture only or stay for the rehearsal. Tickets are $12 for the lecture, or $30 for the lecture and dress rehearsal. Tickets may be purchased by calling 206.441.2424, online at or in person at the PNB Box Office at 301 Mercer Street.


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 ballet to the stage. One hour before performances. FREE for ticketholders.


Post-Performance Q&A

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.






All Thursday and Friday performances: March 15, 21 & 22 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 March 15, 21 and 22 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



Subject to availability, half-price rush tickets for students and senior citizens (65+) may be purchased in-person with 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 or visit


PNB’s 2012-2013 40th Anniversary Season is proudly sponsored by Microsoft Corporation and ArtsFund. Additional season support is provided by the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, and 4Culture – King County Lodging Tax.

Schedule and programming subject to change.

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