Pacific Northwest Ballet presents the stars of tomorrow, on stage today!

April 25, 2011

Ballet, Ballet News, Press Releases

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Pacific Northwest Ballet presents the stars of tomorrow, on stage today!

Saturday, June 18, 2011: A DAY OF DANCE

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

321 Mercer Street, Seattle Center

The 30th Annual PNB School Performance

Featuring George Balanchine’s Western Symphony and the world premiere of Menuet & Allegros by Paul Gibson

1:30 pm

 

NEXT STEP

(The performance formerly known as Choreographers’ Showcase)

Eight world premieres created by PNB Company dancers for PNB School Professional Division students 7:00 pm

And between the performances: The Third Annual PNB School Celebration Dinner

Both performances will also feature Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of conductor Stephen Rogers Radcliffe

SEATTLE, WA —While Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 2010-2011 season draws to a close with the Season Encore Performance on June 12, audiences don’t have to go into dance withdrawal for at least another week. On Saturday, June 18, Pacific Northwest Ballet presents two full programs of dance, featuring the talented students of the Pacific Northwest Ballet School. The 30th Annual School Performance will be presented at 1:30 pm, featuring students of all levels performing original works by PNB School faculty, designed to showcase the students’ skills and accomplishments over the past year. PNB School’s most advanced students will perform George Balanchine’s Western Symphony. Music for Western Symphony will be performed live by the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of conductor Stephen Rogers Radcliffe. Audiences will also see the world premiere of Menuet & Allegros, choreographed by PNB Ballet Master Paul Gibson to six Mozart symphonies. Later that evening, PNB continues its tradition of innovation and commitment to nurturing and presenting new choreography with NEXT STEP (formerly Choreographers’ Showcase), presented at 7:00 pm. This program features eight world premieres choreographed by PNB Company dancers and performed by PNB School’s Professional Division students. Music for select pieces in NEXT STEP will also be performed live by the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra. In between, for audience members taking full advantage of the two-performance Day of Dance and needing nutritional sustenance, PNB School will hold its Third Annual School Celebration Dinner at Prelude restaurant in McCaw Hall.  The Celebration Dinner honors and commemorates the successes of PNB School students over the past year. All three events take place at Seattle Center’s Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Tickets may be purchased from the PNB Box Office: 206.441.2424, online or in person at 301 Mercer Street.  (See TICKET & SHOWTIME INFORMATION below for more details.)

“School Performance offers the opportunity to see the extraordinary range of accomplishment from our gifted students of all ages,” says PNB School director Peter Boal. “The simplest of movements are executed with the utmost precision by our youngest, while the top tier performs complicated choreography with ease and brio.”

“This is the first time, perhaps anywhere, that a world-class orchestra training program has partnered with a world-class dance training program to co-present staged productions,” adds Stephen Rogers Radcliffe, Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra music director. “The bridging of these two previously distinct training programs will enrich the outstanding educational offerings at PNB and SYSO, deepen understanding and appreciation for both creative disciplines, and work to build future audiences for both symphonic music and dance.”

30th Annual Pacific Northwest Ballet School Performance

Pacific Northwest Ballet School’s 30th Annual School Performance features Levels I–VIII and DanceChance students performing programs designed to showcase their skills and accomplishments over the past year. The performance will also feature Professional Division students performing the world premiere of Menuet & Allegros by PNB Ballet Master Paul Gibson, and George Balanchine’s Western Symphony. Created in 1954 to a specially commissioned score of popular American tunes, Western Symphony was George Balanchine’s first “American” ballet—his first classical treatment of American subject matter. Balanchine choreographed a formal ballet danced by cowboys and saloon girls, a rollicking neo-classical hoe-down showing indisputably that the venerable ballet vocabulary could be inflected with the brash spirit of the American frontier.

“It’s completely exhausting. The only way to get through it is to dance like hell, as though the floor were on fire.” – Violette Verdy, former NYCB dancer

Western Symphony

Music: Hershy Kay
Choreography: George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust
Staging: Peter Boal, assisted by Marisa Albee and Dana Hanson
Scenic Design: John Boyt
Costume Design: Karinska
Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli

 

Menuet & Allegros - World Premiere

Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Choreography: Paul Gibson
Costumes: Larae Hascall and PNB Costume Shop
Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli

Third Annual PNB School Celebration Dinner

Planning to attend both the School Performance and NEXT STEP and need a bite to eat between the two? Join us for the Third Annual PNB School Celebration Dinner, beginning immediately following the School Performance with a cocktail reception at 4:30 pm in Prelude restaurant at McCaw Hall. This celebratory event will commemorate the successes of PNB School and its students over the past year.

NEXT STEP (formerly Choreographers’ Showcase)

PNB furthers dance innovation with NEXT STEP, featuring eight new works by the next generation of choreographers. PNB School’s Professional Division students will take the stage once more, in a program of choreography created for them by PNB Company dancers: Andrew Bartee, Kiyon Gaines, Barry Kerollis, Margaret Mullin, Seth Orza, Sean Rollofson, Price Suddarth, and Ezra Thomson. Select works will feature the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra.  (See ABOUT THE ARTISTS below for choreographers’ bios.)

TICKET & SHOWTIME INFORMATION

All three events take place on Saturday, June 18, 2011 at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street at Seattle Center.

Pacific Northwest Ballet School’s 30th Annual School Performance will be presented at 1:30 pm. Tickets to the School Performance are $25-$65 for adults, $15-$65 for youths (17 and younger.)

The Third Annual PNB School Celebration Dinner begins immediately following the School Performance with a cocktail reception at 4:30 pm. Tickets are $65 for adults and $45 for youths and PNB School students. Patrons can also sponsor a PNB School scholarship student to attend the benefit dinner held in their honor for just $150 (includes one adult admittance). For more information about this event, contact Clare Hausmann at 206.441.3593 or chausmann@pnb.org.

NEXT STEP will be presented at 7:00 pm. Tickets to NEXT STEP are a steal at $10-$20.

Be sure to ask the Box Office for information about TEEN NIGHT, our teen-exclusive event on Wednesday, May 4 for an up-close preview of the cutting-edge new works being created for NEXT STEP.  Tickets are only $5 and there will be Trophy cupcakes!  Attendees must be 13-19.

Tickets may be purchased through the PNB Box Office:

  • Phone: 206. 441.2424 (Mon.-Fri. 9am–6pm; Sat. 10am–5pm)
  • In person: 301 Mercer St. (Mon.-Fri. 10am–6pm; Sat. 10am–5pm)
  • Online at Pacific Northwest Ballet’s website (24/7)
  • 90 minutes prior to each performance (subject to availability) at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street.

ABOUT THE SCHOOL

Founded in 1974, Pacific Northwest Ballet School is recognized as one of the top ballet training institutions in the United States. Under the direction of Peter Boal, the School offers a complete, professional curriculum to more than 900 students. The School’s Open Program attracts 600 teens and adults who wish to pursue recreational dance instruction in a supportive and encouraging setting. With two locations—The Phelps Center in Seattle and The Francia Russell Center in Bellevue—the School maintains a faculty of over 20 instructors, each with extensive performing backgrounds, and professional piano accompanists.

PNB School is divided into three divisions that are designed to challenge students with each year of study: Creative Movement and Pre-Ballet students (ages 5-7) are introduced to music, movement and group interaction. The Student Division offers eight levels of instruction. Auditions are required for admission and placement is based on age, strength, and physical development. The School’s Professional Division offers advanced instruction for students planning a professional dance career. This intensive dance instruction includes all aspects of classical ballet technique as well as modern, jazz, and character dance. The Professional Division program is complemented by courses in dance, history, music, choreography, special conditioning, and other related subjects. Students also receive physical and nutritional guidance from the School’s staff and professional consultants.

Students benefit from the close ties with Pacific Northwest Ballet’s professional Company, half of which received training in the School. Professional Division students often perform with the Company, and apprentices are drawn from the Professional Division. In addition to the School Performance, the annual production of Nutcracker gives students of all ages valuable performing experience.

In 1994, PNB School launched the DanceChance program with four partner schools, and has since been able to offer classical ballet training on full scholarship to over 950 elementary school children. The goal of the program is to discover talented youngsters and provide them with an opportunity that they might not otherwise have had.  Currently, DanceChance has 21 partner schools in Seattle and Bellevue. This year, 122 third and fourth grade students enrolled in DanceChance, selected from auditions of 1,600 students in the partner schools. DanceChance students are integrated into PNB School beginning at Level III. Currently, 35 DanceChance graduates are enrolled in Levels III through Professional Division. In the Fall of 2008, Eric Hipolito became the first DanceChance graduate to join Pacific Northwest Ballet as a corps member; currently four graduates have gone on to professional ballet careers.

To learn more about Pacific Northwest Ballet School, please visit the school’s website.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

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, Kirstein was also prepared to support the formation of an American academy of ballet that would eventually rival the long-established schools of Europe. This was the School of American Ballet, 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. 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.

Paul Gibson joined PNB in 1994 and was promoted to Principal in 1996. Upon his retirement in 2004, he was named Assistant Ballet Master. His choreographic work includes ballets for PNB and PNB School, San Francisco Ballet School, the San Francisco Ballet Choreographic Workshop, Allegheny Ballet Company and the New York Choreographic Institute. Originally from Altoona, Pennsylvania, Mr. Gibson trained at Allegheny Ballet Academy and the School of American Ballet. He won a scholarship at San Francisco Ballet School and joined San Francisco Ballet in 1988, where he rose to the rank of soloist. Mr. Gibson assists the Artistic Director in teaching, rehearsing and the scheduling the Company and rehearsing PNB School students in their roles for Company productions.

Special thanks to the Talented Students in the Arts Initiative, a collaboration of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Glenn Kawasaki, NEXT STEP Presenting Sponsor The Boeing Company, and the Surdna Foundation, and to our education supporters: Ameriprise Financial, Bellevue Arts Commission, Freed of London, Harvest Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, Lockwood Foundation, MetLife Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Northwest Danish Association, PEMCO Foundation, PONCHO, Puget Sound Energy Foundation, Safeco Insurance Foundation, scan|design Foundation by Inger & Jens Bruun, Union Bank Foundation, Washington State Arts Commission, William Randolph Hearst Foundation, BNSF Foundation, Creag Foundation, D.V. and Ida J. McEachern Charitable Trust, Eulalie Bloedel Schneider Foundation, Fales Foundation Trust, Harold L. Wyman Foundation, Horizons Foundation, Key Foundation, Peg & Rick Young Foundation, U.S. Bancorp Foundation, Anonymous, and members of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Education Committee.

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