Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 40th Anniversary Line-Up

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 40th Anniversary Line-Up

Special Early-Bird Sale: NO SERVICE FEES thru August 10th


September 2012 – June 2013

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

321 Mercer Street, Seattle Center

Seattle, Washington

40th Season to feature six world premieres including works by Mark Morris and Christopher Wheeldon; Other highlights include the return of audience-favorites Cinderella, Roméo et Juliette and Swan Lake. (And Nutcracker, too!)


SEATTLE, WA – Pacific Northwest Ballet opens the box office for ticket sales to its 2012-2013 40th Anniversary Season on Monday, July 23. To celebrate, PNB is offering a special three-week money-saving deal: Pay no service fees on tickets purchased between July 23 and August 10.


“Pacific Northwest Ballet is a jewel in the crown of American ballet and a rightful source of Northwest pride,” said artistic director Peter Boal in announcing the season line-up. “We’re celebrating this 40th Anniversary milestone by honoring our past and leaping forward with six new works by choreographers ranging from promising fledglings to the best in the business.


“We’ll recognize Founding Artistic Director Kent Stowell’s unparalleled contribution to our organization (that is, unparalleled except, of course, by Founding Artistic Director Francia Russell) by kicking off our anniversary season with the return of his glorious Cinderella.  Opening night will feature an added treat: A one-night-only performance of Stravinsky’s charming Circus Polka, choreographed by Jerome Robbins, with a special guest Ringmaster, former PNB principal dancer Patricia Barker.


“November brings four world premieres by Andrew Bartee, Kiyon Gaines, Margaret Mullin, and – the piece de resistance – the inimitable Mark Morris.


“Jean-Christophe Maillot’s intoxicating Roméo et Juliette returns in February after a four-year absence, followed by a program of modern masterpieces by George Balanchine (Concerto Barocco), Ulysses Dove (Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven) and Twyla Tharp (In the Upper Room), along with a world premiere by PNB Ballet Master Paul Gibson.


“Kent Stowell’s magnificent Swan Lake makes a welcome return to the stage in April, followed by a world premiere by Christopher Wheeldon, and Francia Russell’s crystalline staging of Balanchine’s seminal Agon.  And we’ll close out the Ruby Anniversary with another Balanchine jewel, Diamonds. I hope you’ll join us for this stellar celebration season.”


Subscriptions and single tickets may be purchased through the PNB Box Office, either by phone (206.441.2424), online via Pacific Northwest Ballet’s website or in person at 301 Mercer Street. Discounted subscription rates are available for seniors, students, and children. All programming and dates are subject to change.


2012-2013 SEASON LINE-UP:


6:00 pm, Sunday, September 16, 2012 (Note new date.)

(Not part of PNB’s subscription season.)


A futuristic extravaganza of music, dance, video, song, and celebrities! The mighty Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, under the baton of music director/principal conductor Emil de Cou, performs music from “Back to the Future,” “Lost in Space,” and “The Pink Panther” paired with Stravinsky, Bizet, Dvorak, and Beethoven. NASA astronauts and special guests are joined by PNB dancers in this multimedia celebration of PNB’s 40th Anniversary and the 50th Anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair.




September 21 – 30, 2012

Music: Sergei Prokofiev

Choreography: Kent Stowell

Scenic Design: Tony Straiges

Costume Design: Martin Pakledinaz

Lighting Design: Randal G. Chiarelli


Circus Polka (Opening Night only)

Music: Igor Stravinskly

Choreography: Jerome Robbins

Staging: Judith Fugate


To launch the 40th Anniversary Season and honor Founding Artistic Director Kent Stowell, PNB’s wondrous Cinderella returns to McCaw Hall. Choreographer Stowell conjures rare enchantment from this best-loved fairy tale by recalling Cinderella’s long-lost mother in a tender memory scene and then returning her in the guise of the Fairy Godmother. As if stepping between the pages of a beloved storybook, the ballet’s breathtaking beauty, in union with Prokofiev’s evocative score, vividly illustrates the familiar narrative and supports a rich array of character roles—from silly step-sisters to tiny dancing pumpkins to a gentle, handsome prince. And when her ivory carriage rolls to a stop at the entrance to a magnificent golden ballroom and Cinderella takes her first, shy steps into the midst of swirling, scarlet-clad dancers, all hearts go with her into this dream come true.


On opening night of Cinderella, kick off PNB’s 40th Anniversary Season at the 2012–2013 Gala: The Dream Continues—a festive evening of performances plus dining, music, and dance. (Gala tickets sold separately.)




November 2 – 11, 2012


World Premiere

Music: Barrett Anspach

Choreography: Andrew Bartee

Costume Design: Mark Zappone

Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli


World Premiere

Music: Dan Coleman

Choreography: Margaret Mullin

Costume Design: Alexis Mondragon

Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli


World Premiere

Music: Paul Hindemith

Choreography: Mark Morris

Costume Design: Mark Zappone

Lighting Design: Michael Chybowski


World Premiere

Music: Igor Stravinsky

Choreography: Kiyon Gaines

Costume Design: Pauline Smith

Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli


A four-pack of world premieres underscores the deep commitment to dance innovation and the encouragement of emerging choreographers which has been central to PNB’s mission from its inception. In 1978, young Seattleite Mark Morris choreographed a short work for PNB’s Summer Inventions series, an early choreographic showcase. Morris, recognized as his generation’s dance pioneer and considered the most musical choreographer in the world, sets his first commissioned ballet for PNB to a cello concerto by Paul Hindemith (The Four Temperaments). Artistic Director Peter Boal developed the NEXT STEP choreographers’ showcase to cultivate PNB’s current crop of young dance-makers. NEXT STEP veteran and Company soloist Kiyon Gaines debuts his second ballet for the mainstage, Sum Stravinsky, an homage to inspirations George Balanchine and Kent Stowell. Another pair of NEXT STEP alumni, Company corps de ballet dancers Margaret Mullin and Andrew Bartee, take a professional leap forward with their first works for PNB’s repertory.



Stowell & Sendak NUTCRACKER

December 7 – 29, 2012

(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 joyful magic quite like Pacific Northwest Ballet’s famous Stowell & Sendak Nutcracker at McCaw Hall. Praised by The New York Times as “original and exciting,” this marvelously imagined production, created by PNB Founding Artistic Director Kent Stowell and author/illustrator Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are), features over 200 roles danced by PNB’s professional dancers and students, gigantic moving sets, a snowfall every performance, and—the magical sound of the season—Tchaikovsky’s beloved score performed by the mighty PNB Orchestra.


“From the absolute charm of seeing all the adorable kids in velvet dresses and shiny shoes to the mouth dropping awe of the truly magnificent set, we were as swept away as the 8-year-olds. Nutcracker is all the good parts of Christmas…It’s a great holiday date for couples, obviously a delight and treat for children and a wholly elegant way to deck the halls. It’s never too late to start a tradition and we seriously suggest you go.” —




February 1 – 10, 2013


Music: Sergei Prokofiev

Choreography: Jean-Christophe Maillot

Staging: Bernice Coppieters, Giovanna Lorenzoni, Gaby Baars

Scenic Design: Ernest Pignon-Ernest

Costume Design: Jérôme Kaplan

Lighting Design: Dominique Drillot


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 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.


March 15 – 24, 2013

Concerto Barocco

Music: Johann Sebastian Bach

Choreography: George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust

Staging: Francia Russell

Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli


Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven

Music: Arvo Pärt

Choreography: Ulysses Dove

Staging: Eva Safstrom

Scenic and Costume Design: Jorge Gallardo

Original Lighting Design: Björn Nilsson


In the Upper Room

Music: Philip Glass

Choreography: Twyla Tharp

Staging: Stacy Caddell

Scenic Design: Santo Loquasto

Costume Design: Norma Kamali

Lighting Design: Jennifer Tipton


World Premiere

Choreography: Paul Gibson


March’s ideally balanced mixed-bill delivers three repertory giants and a world premiere. 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. PNB’s own Paul Gibson (The Piano Dance) unveils a new work set to Mozart for the Company, sensitively crafted to the dancers he knows best.




March 17 – 23, 2013

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


Music: Oscar Nedbal

Choreography: Bruce Wells

Scenic Design: Edith Whitsett

Costume Design: Pacific Northwest Ballet Costume Shop

Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli


A narrated, hour-long ballet for family audiences, Hansel & Gretel features PNB School students and special guest Ariana Lallone, former principal dancer with the Company. Created for young audiences, the ballet is based on the classic fairy tale of a brother and sister who become lost in the forest only to stumble upon a house made of delicious confections and a welcoming witch. Perfectly timed for children, Bruce Wells’ Hansel & Gretel is a wonderful opportunity to introduce young children to the magic of live performance.




April 12 – 21, 2013

Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Choreography: Kent Stowell

Staging: Francia Russell (after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov)

Scenic Design: Ming Cho Lee

Costume Design: Paul Tazewell

Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli


Revered by audiences and dancers, Swan Lake is widely considered the greatest of all classical ballets. In 1981, Founding Artistic Directors Kent Stowell and Francia Russell judged their young company ready for a major challenge and mounted PNB’s first Swan Lake. In 2003, the production was magnificently re-designed for the grand opening of McCaw Hall. Swan Lake’s tale of young maidens under the spell of an evil sorcerer offers its lead ballerina an exceptional dual role—Odette, trapped in the body of a white swan until the oath of a faithful man sets her free—and Odile, the “Black Swan” temptress, whose deception snares Siegfried, Odette’s true love. Ultimately, Swan Lake’s haunting beauty stems from its pure union with Tchaikovsky’s sublime score—most completely realized when twenty-four perfect swans emerge from the mist and move as one through the moonlight.




May 31 – June 9, 2013                 


Music: Igor Stravinsky

Choreography: George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust

Staging: Francia Russell

Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli


World Premiere

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon



Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Choreography: George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust

Staging: Elyse Borne

Costume Design: Karinska

Lighting Design: Mark Stanley


PNB’s 40th Anniversary Season comes to a close with a tribute to George Balanchine, whose works have been vital to the Company’s history. This triple-bill also features a world premiere from Christopher Wheeldon, frequently cited as today’s best contemporary ballet choreographer and often compared to “Mr. B” for his prolific versatility and capacity to update tradition. Agon returns, expertly staged by Francia Russell (an original New York City Ballet cast member) and as startlingly avant-garde as at its 1957 premiere. The program’s dazzling grand finale is Diamonds, the crowning gemstone of Balanchine’s three-part Jewels, added to PNB’s repertory by Peter Boal in 2006.




June 9, 2013

(Not part of PNB’s subscription season. Tickets to this event go on sale in 2013.)


Pacific Northwest Ballet wraps up its 40th Anniversary season with the annual Season Encore Performance, a crowd-pleasing evening of some of the year’s greatest hits.




June 14, 2013

(Not part of PNB’s subscription season. Tickets to this event go on sale in 2013.)


PNB continues its commitment to bringing new works to the McCaw Hall stage with NEXT STEP, a one-night-only showcase featuring world premieres created by Company dancers and performed by PNB School’s Professional Division students.



32nd Annual PNB School Performance

June 15, 2013

Featuring Twyla Tharp’s Sweet Fields

(Not part of PNB’s subscription season. Tickets to this event go on sale in 2013.)


PNB School’s 32nd Annual School 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.





Tickets go on sale Monday, July 23. Pay no service fees on tickets purchased July 23 – August 10. Money-saving season subscriptions are available now.


Tickets may be purchase through the PNB Box Office:

  • Phone: 206.441.2424 (Mon.-Fri. 10am–5pm)
  • In Person: 301 Mercer Street, Seattle (Mon.-Fri. 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 the website.


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 Programming Subject to Change.


Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 2012-2013 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. Media sponsors for Nutcracker at KOMO 4 and The Seattle Times.