Pacific Northwest Ballet Presents George Balanchine's JEWELS, 9/26

Pacific Northwest Ballet sweeps onstage and into a spectacular new season arrayed in emerald green, ruby red, and luminous white. A triple-treat for both eyes and ears, the trio of gems in George Balanchine'sJewels™ pay tribute to golden ages of music and dance: Emeralds' graceful clouds of tulle whisper French fashion and fragrance; Rubies' jazzy, sassy merger with Stravinsky mirrors the carefree candor of America; and Diamonds' glittering splendor recalls the great choreographer's heritage, so that "if the entire Imperial Russian inheritance of ballet were lost, Diamonds would still tell us of its essence" (Mary Clarke and Clement Crisp). Jewels runs fromSeptember 26 through October 5 at Seattle Center's Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Tickets and more information are available through the Pacific Northwest Ballet Box Office, 301 Mercer Street at Seattle Center, 206.441.2424, or online at

With the opening of Jewels, Pacific Northwest Ballet kicks off a year-long celebration marking the 25th Anniversary of PNB's renowned orchestra. Four programs during the 2014-15 season will feature specially-selected orchestral preludes selected by music director/principal conductor Emil de Cou. "Pacific Northwest Ballet's orchestra has long been superior...and in Emil de Cou it probably has America's finest ballet conductor." (The New York Times)

Orchestra Prelude

Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Finale from "Tema con variazioni," Orchestral Suite No. 3 in G, Op. 55

Running Time: Five minutes

Pacific Northwest Ballet salutes the mighty PNB Orchestra as it celebrates its 25th Anniversary season. Each of the mixed reps during PNB's 2014-15 season will include an orchestral selection to spotlight our amazing musicians in the pit. Look for future Orchestra Preludes during DIRECTOR'S CHOICE, THE VERTIGINOUS THRILL OF FORSYTHE, and Carmina Burana.

George Balanchine's Jewels™

Music: Gabriel Fauré, Igor Stravinsky, and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Emeralds: Fauré (from Pelléas et Melisande, 1898, and Shylock, 1889)

Rubies: Stravinsky (Capriccio for piano and orchestra, 1929)

Diamonds: Tchaikovsky (Symphony No. 3 in D major, Op. 29, 1975, first movement omitted)

Choreography: George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust

Staging: Elyse Borne

Costume Design: Karinska

Lighting Design: Mark Stanley

Premiere: April 13, 1967; New York City Ballet

PNB Premiere: June 1, 2006 (Rubies premiere: February 3, 1988)

Running Time: Emeralds: 31 minutes; Rubies: 22 minutes; Diamonds: 31 minutes

At its New York City Ballet premiere in 1967, Jewels was touted as the first "plotless full-length ballet." The story goes that Balanchine was inspired to create the ballet after a visit to the New York jeweler Claude Arpels of Van Cleef and Arpels. While each of its three ballets may not follow any definitive narrative, like real gems themselves, each can be viewed in multiple ways and from a variety of angles. The great American dance critic, Arlene Croce, described Jewels as "unsurpassed as a Balanchine primer, incorporating in a single evening every important article of faith to which this choreographer subscribed and a burst of heresy, too." Balanchine himself, in his typical noncommittal way, stated, "Of course, I have always liked jewels; after all, I am an Oriental, from Georgia in the Caucasus. I like the color of gems, the beauty of stones, and it was wonderful to see how our costume workshop, under Karinska's direction, came so close to the quality of real stones (which were, of course, too heavy for the dancers to wear!)."

Emeralds is a romantic evocation of France, the birthplace of classical ballet. It is also Balanchine's comment of the French school of dancing and its rich heritage. With a score by Gabriel Fauré and dancers dressed in Romantic-length tutus, Emeralds can also be a window on the nostalgia inherent in much late 19th-century art, with its idealized view of the Middle Ages, chivalry, and courtly love. Balanchine considered Emeralds "an evocation of France - the France of elegance, comfort, dress and perfume."

Rubies is considered the American jewel, with its Jazz Age score by Igor Stravinsky, stylized flapper costumes by Karinska, and Balanchine choreography in his sophisticated mode. A saucy leading couple plays and competes as equals, and a second, siren-like ballerina takes on the men of the corps de ballet, requiring all four of them to partner her at once.

Diamonds is Balanchine's homage to his native St. Petersburg. Echoes of Petipa's Swan Lake and Raymondaabound, and the centerpiece of the ballet is an intimate pas de deux, potent in its chivalrous reserve, for the ballerina and her cavalier. At its end, the entire cast joins the principal couple for a gloriously spirited polonaise.

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, George Balanchine (1904-1983) is regarded as the 20th century's foremost choreographer in the world of ballet. He came to the United States in late 1933, at the invitation of arts patron Lincoln Kirstein. At Balanchine's behest, the School of American Ballet was founded in 1934, and in the years that followed, several ballet companies directed by Balanchine and Kirstein were created and dissolved, while Balanchine found other outlets for his choreography. In 1948, New York City Ballet was formed and Mr. Balanchine served as its ballet master and principal choreographer from that time until his death. George Balanchine's more than 400 dance works include Serenade (1934), Concerto Barocco (1941), Le Palais de Cristal, later renamed Symphony in C (1947), Agon (1957), Symphony in Three Movements (1972), Stravinsky Violin Concerto (1972), Vienna Waltzes (1977) and Mozartiana (1981). He also choreographed for films, operas, revues, and musicals. As a major artistic figure of the twentieth century, Mr. Balanchine revolutionized the look of classical ballet and asserted 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. [Copyright © 2002 The George Balanchine Foundation. Reprinted by permission.]

Tickets ($28-$179 advance) 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)

Tickets are also available (subject to availability) 90 minutes prior to each performance at McCaw Hall, located at 321 Mercer Street at Seattle Center.

Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For group tickets, please call 206.441.2416, email juliej@pnb.orgor use PNB's online contact form at


All Thursday and Friday performances: September 26 and October 2 & 3 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 September 26 and October 2 & 3 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 Teen Tix, whose 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 valid ID, beginning 90 minutes prior to show time at the McCaw Hall box office.



The Phelps Center, 301 Mercer Street, Seattle

Diamonds, featuring Jacques d'Amboise: Wednesday, August 20, 5:30 pm

Emeralds, featuring Violette Verdy and Mimi Paul: Thursday, September 11, 5:30 pm

Rubies, featuring Edward Villella: Monday, September 22, 5:30 pm

Join Pacific Northwest Ballet for a studio rehearsal and conversation with ballet legends and originators of roles in George Balanchine's Emeralds, Rubies, and Diamonds including Jacques d'Amboise, Violette Verdy and Mimi Paul, and Edward Villella. Tickets are $25 for each event and can be purchased by calling the PNB Box Office at206.441.2424, online at or in person at the PNB Box Office at 301 Mercer Street. Space is limited.


Friday, September 19, 6:00pm

The Phelps Center, 301 Mercer Street, Seattle

Join us for an hour-long preview led by Artistic Director Peter Boal and PNB artistic staff, featuring PNB dancers rehearsing excerpts from Jewels. PNB's popular Friday Previews offer an up-close view of the Company preparing to put dance on stage. Tickets are $12 each and may be purchased through the PNB Box Office. (These events usually sell out.) Friday Previews are sponsored by U.S. Bank.


Tuesday, September 23, 12:00 noon

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 Jewels, complete with video excerpts. FREE of charge.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

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

7:00 pm Dress Rehearsal, McCaw Hall

Join Artistic Director Peter Boal and special guest Edward Villella during the hour preceding the dress rehearsal to discuss PNB's production of Jewels. Attend the lecture only or stay for the dress rehearsal. Tickets ($12 lecture; $30 lecture and dress rehearsal) may be purchased through the PNB Box Office.

FIRST LOOK, PNB's Opening Gala After-Party
Friday, September 26

McCaw Hall
Celebrate PNB's 2014 season opening, and salute the 25th Anniversary of the PNB Orchestra, with a glamorous onstage after-party. Join PNB backstage as we celebrate with a sumptuous dessert buffet, hosted bar, and DJ entertainment. First Look after-party tickets start at $45. (Performance tickets sold separately. The First Look pre-show gala is sold out.) HSBC is the Title Sponsor of First Look. Additional sponsors include The Boeing Company, Lane Powell, PJ Hummel & Co., and Seattle Met. To purchase tickets, contact Special Events at206.441.2429 or


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.


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.

Photo Credit: Angela Sterling

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