Pacific Northwest Ballet Presents DIRECTOR'S CHOICE, 3/14-23

Pacific Northwest Ballet Presents DIRECTOR'S CHOICE, 3/14-23

For DIRECTOR'S CHOICE, the fourth program of Pacific Northwest Ballet's 2013-2014 season, Artistic Director Peter Boal selects from his roster of acquisitions and increases them by one: The captivating mixed-bill program will feature a much-anticipated world premiere by Alejandro Cerrudo, resident choreographer of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. The program also reprises audience favorites TAKE FIVE...More or Less, Broadway-darling Susan Stroman's sunny slice of jazz-infused Dave Brubeck fun; and Susan Marshall's distinctive aerial duet, Kiss. Rounding out the lineup is Molissa Fenley's State of Darkness, a tour-de-force solo performance set to Stravinsky's riot-inducing The Rite of Spring. DIRECTOR'S CHOICE runs for seven performances only, March 14 through 23 at Seattle Center's Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Tickets start at just $28 and may be purchased by calling the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424, online at, or in person at the PNB Box Office, 301 Mercer Street.

"DIRECTOR'S CHOICE offers four examples of sublime expression and emotion through movement and music. These four works have no real connection, but each exemplifies the varied and rewarding effects of great choreography," says Mr. Boal. "I've been looking forward with great excitement to the upcoming world premiere by Alejandro Cerrudo since he first stepped into the studio with our dancers last summer. His work is filled with fresh perspective, crisp musicality, and a hint of mischievous humor. What a treat it will be to hum along with Susan Stroman's TAKE FIVE...More or Less and to revisit the tranquility of Susan Marshall's Kiss. The real tour de force of this program promises to be Molissa Fenley's State of Darkness to Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. One of the greatest challenges for any performer results in one of the most exhilarating experiences for an audience."

The line-up for DIRECTOR'S CHOICE will include:

TAKE FIVE...More or Less

Music: Dave Brubeck (Blue Rondo a la Turk and Strange Meadow Lark, 1959), and Paul Desmond (Take Five, 1959), orchestrated by Doug Besterman
Choreography: Susan Stroman
Costume Design: William Ivey Long

Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli

Running Time: 14 minutes

Premiere: April 17, 2008; Pacific Northwest Ballet (Laugh Out Loud! Festival)

Peter Boal invited Tony Award-winning Broadway choreographer Susan Stroman to create a new work for the Company's Laugh Out Loud! Festival in April 2008. She accepted and the result was TAKE FIVE...More or Less, an ensemble piece for eleven dancers set to the famous jazz scores of Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond. Stroman's starting point was the idea that artists never really "take five." Their art is always with them, even when they are asleep ? witness the "nighttime" section of the ballet, featuring a ballerina dancing over the heads of the "sleeping" dancers.


Music: Arvo Pärt (Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, 1977)

Choreography: Susan Marshall
Staging: Kristen Hollinsworth and Luke Miller

Original Lighting Design: Mitchell Bogard
Lighting Design: Peter Bracilano

Original Harness and Rigging Design: John Redman
Running Time: 7 minutes

Premiere: December 3, 1987; Dance Theater Workshop (New York)
PNB Premiere: February 2, 2006

Set to the profound, minimal music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, Kiss is a brief yet mesmerizing aerial pas de deux that explores the balance of human love and emotion. Susan Marshall's choreography sets two dancers suspended in harnesses above the stage floor. Dressed casually in street clothes, they move together, separate and return to one another in a series of gentle, sweeping movements that embody both the pleasure and torment of being in love.

Kiss was choreographed in 1987 during a residency at Jacob's Pillow, Massachusetts, and was premiered that year in New York by Dance Theater Workshop. The Boston Herald referred to Kiss as "a case study for making the perfect aerial dance," and the Oakland Tribune observed, "The miracle of the piece is that it captures in concrete dance terms the almost palpable feeling of swimming in love, of being suspended in eternity."

State of Darkness

Music: Igor Stravinsky (Le Sacre du Printemps [The Rite of Spring], 1911-1913)
Choreography: Molissa Fenley
Lighting Design: David Moodey
Running Time: 39 minutes

Premiere: June 23, 1988; American Dance Festival (Durham, North Carolina)

PNB Premiere: May 31, 2007

Choreographer and performer Molissa Fenley grew up in Nigeria, lived in Spain, and returned to the U.S. where she received a degree in dance from Mills College in 1975. She moved to New York City that year and formed Molissa Fenley and Dancers in 1977. Her 37-year career of choreographing and presenting her work has developed in cycles. During her first ten years (1977-1987) she focused on presenting group works, performed by her and an ensemble of dancers. In the second ten years (1987-1997) her work shifted to solo performances created in collaboration with contemporary visual artists and composers. Now, in a third cycle, she is once again exploring the dynamics of ensemble work.

Her intensely dynamic solo, State of Darkness, is set to Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. Commissioned by the American Dance Festival, State of Darkness was first performed by Fenley herself, who received a Bessie Choreography award for her work. Peter Boal received a Bessie Performance award for his revival performance of State of Darkness in 2000.

World Premiere

Music: TBA

Choreography: Alejandro Cerrudo
Costume Design: Mark Zappone
Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli
Premiere: March 14, 2014; Pacific Northwest Ballet

"Alejandro Cerrudo is not only an eye-catching dancer with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, he's also their resident choreographer," says Mr. Boal. "Having created twelve works for the company and two for Ballet Arizona, with works in a half dozen companies around the world, you'd think he was kind of old. Wrong: young, charming, and talented too. He's been a wonder to watch in the studio as he moves with quixotic ease around the room like a breeze. His work is fresh and clever, with a hint of humor. We are honored to have him create for PNB."


SPECIAL SEMINAR: All About Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring"
Saturday, March 1, 2014, 3:00 pm

The Phelps Center, 301 Mercer Street, Seattle
Fresh off its hundredth birthday, Stravinsky's notorious Rite of Spring continues to fascinate audiences around the world. Learn about the riotous Paris premiere of this great work and how it has inspired dozens of subsequent productions, watch excerpts from the 1988 reconstruction of the original for the Joffrey Ballet, and chat with PNB dancers who will perform Molissa Fenley's solo interpretation, State of Darkness, on PNB's DIRECTOR'S CHOICE program. Tickets, $25 each, may be purchased through the PNB Box Office.

Friday, March 7, 2014, 6:00 pm

The Phelps Center, 301 Mercer Street, Seattle

PNB's popular Friday Previews are hour-long studio rehearsals hosted by Artistic Director Peter Boal and featuring dancers rehearsing excerpts from DIRECTOR'S CHOICE. Friday Previews offer an upbeat and up-close view of the Company preparing to put dance on stage. Tickets, $12 each, may be purchased through the PNB Box Office. (This event will sell out in advance.)Friday Previews are sponsored by U.S. Bank.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 12:00 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 DIRECTOR'S CHOICE, complete with video excerpts.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

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

Dress Rehearsal 7:00 pm, McCaw Hall

Join PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal and choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo in conversation during the hour preceding the dress rehearsal for DIRECTOR'S CHOICE. Attend the discussion only or stay for the dress rehearsal. Tickets, $12 for the lecture or $30 for the lecture and dress rehearsal, may be purchased through the PNB Box Office.


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 all performances. FREEfor ticketholders.

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