Pacific Northwest Ballet to Present SWAN LAKE, 4/10

Pacific Northwest Ballet to Present SWAN LAKE, 4/10

SEATTLE, WA - Pacific Northwest Ballet's Swan Lake, choreographed by Founding Artistic Director Kent Stowell, returns to the McCaw Hall stage as the fifth offering of PNB's 2014-15 season. This beloved story ballet, revered by audiences and dancers alike, is classical ballet at its very best. Sumptuous scenery, costumes, and lighting, and an achingly beautiful Tchaikovsky score, set the stage for the ethereal corps de ballet and the ultimate challenge for ballerinas all over the world-the dual role of Odette, trapped in the body of a white swan until the oath of her true love sets her free; and Odile, the "Black Swan" temptress. With an added performance on opening weekend, Swan Lake runs for nine performances only, from April 10 through 19 at Seattle Center's Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Tickets start at $30. For more information, contact the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424, in person at 301 Mercer Street, or online at

"Kent Stowell's enchanting choreography, with masterful staging by Francia Russell, has been bringing Seattle audiences to their feet since 1981," said PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal, in his program notes. "A milestone production for the Company, the current performances mark the 11th time we have presented this treasured work in repertory. I want to thank not only Kent and Francia, but also coach Elaine Bauer and our artistic staff for their care in bringing this work from the studio to the stage. Dance and choreography are essential, but so is light: Rico Chiarelli, an artist in his own right, brings not only light to this production, but also mood, mystery, and nuance. Add Ming Cho Lee's monumental sets and Paul Tazewell's vibrant costumes, and we have one of the finest Swan Lakes I've ever seen."



Tuesday, April 7, 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 Swan Lake, complete with video excerpts.


Thursday, April 9

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 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 Swan Lake to the stage. One hour before performances. FREE for ticketholders. (NOTE: There will be no post-show Q&A's during the run of Swan Lake.)


Friday, April 10, 7:30 pm

PNB partners with 98.1 Classical KING FM to bring listeners one of the world's most popular ballet scores, featuring the mighty Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra performing under the direction of music director/ principal conductor Emil de Cou, direct from McCaw Hall. Tune in to KING FM for a live broadcast of Swan Lake on opening night, Friday, April 10 at 7:30 pm. Only on 98.1 fm or online at

BACKSTAGE BASH: Black Swan Soiree

Friday, April 17, 10:30 pm

Join PNB's Young Patrons Circle members for a backstage after-party immediately following Swan Lake. Doors will open at 10:30 for an event filled with entertainment including acrobats, aerialists, face painting, photo booths, and an onstage DJ. YPC caters the event with appetizers and a full bar and invites PNB dancers to attend as well. Tickets ($25) are available through the PNB Box Office. (21+)


Swan Lake runs April 10 - 19 at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street. Evening showtimes are 7:30 pm April 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18, with 1:00 pm matinees on April 11, 12, 18 and 19. (Note: Curtain-times for Swan Lake matinees are earlier than PNB's usual Saturday matinees.)

Tickets ($30-$190) 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.



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


Friday, April 17

Join members of PNB's Young Patrons Circle (YPC) in an exclusive lounge for complimentary wine and coffee before the show and at intermission. YPC is PNB's social and educational group for ballet patrons ages 21 through 39. YPC members save up to 40% off their tickets. For more information, visit and search for "YPC."


All Thursday and Friday performances: April 10, 16 & 17 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 the April 10, 16 & 17 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 ID, beginning 90 minutes prior to show time at the McCaw Hall box office.


Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Op. 20, 1875-1876)
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
Original Production Premiere: February 20, 1877, Imperial Ballet, Moscow, choreography by Julius Reisinger; restaged on January 15, 1895, Imperial Ballet, St. Petersburg, choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov
Stowell/Russell Production Premiere: October 1, 1975; Frankfurt Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: April 8, 1981; new production September 25, 2003

Running Time: 3 hours

The image of a swan has come to represent the lyrical image of a dancer, and for that we have to thank composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky and choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. Tchaikovsky composed his score for Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet in 1877, but it was not until Petipa and Ivanov's St. Petersburg production of 1895 that Swan Lake took the form we know today. The ballet has since inspired countless choreographers who, in their own productions, seek to extend the ideas and meanings suggested in the work of its creators.

Tchaikovsky longed for a successful revival of his first ballet. The original Moscow production, now generally regarded as a failure, actually achieved mild success and saw more performances over more years than most ballets premiered on the Moscow stage. The choreography by the otherwise unknown German ballet master Julius Reisinger was admittedly undistinguished. Anti-German sentiment fueled opinions against both the dance and the story, which was thought to have originated in Germanic legend. Tchaikovsky's score was admired but considered unsuitable for ballet-not sufficiently danceable.

Tchaikovsky died in 1893. A memorial concert in St. Petersburg the next year included a revival of Swan Lake Act II, the first lakeside scene, with new choreography by Lev Ivanov, ballet master Marius Petipa's assistant. The performance was a success and plans were laid for a revival of the entire ballet in 1895. Ivanov choreographed Act IV, the second lakeside scene, and Petipa supplied dances for Acts I and III. Tchaikovsky's brother, Modeste, labored to streamline the story, while conductor Riccardo Drigo took on the unenviable task of editing the sometimes unwieldy musical score.

Their efforts paid off. While not an unqualified hit, Swan Lake was a solid success. And although Petipa succeeded with his choreographic contribution, Ivanov's "white" acts provided the images by which Swan Lake has become iconic. Movements and poses suggest swan wings, necks, and bodies and offer images of flying, swimming, and preening in a purely stylized way that has enabled the choreography to transcend the particular aesthetics of its time and become immemorially expressive.

The 1895 revival of Swan Lake has served as the basis for nearly every production since then. The dual role of Odette/Odile remains a coveted challenge for ballerinas and is broad enough in concept to sustain an endless variety of interpretations. Tchaikovsky's score, his first attempt to compose for ballet, came into its own during the 20th century, as dance and dance production developed to embrace it as Swan Lake's motivating force. But, as George Balanchine once commented, "Swan Lake is always changing. That is as it should be." Nineteenth-century tradition allowed choreographers carte blanche when approaching existing work. Total or partial revision of staging and choreography was standard, as was re-writing of the scenario, and liberties were taken with the musical score.

Following tradition, choreographers in our own century often have re-visited Swan Lake, for the ballet lends itself generously to new stagings and new interpretations. Pacific Northwest Ballet's Swan Lake dates from 1981, when Mr. Stowell and Ms. Russell mounted the production they had first created for the Frankfurt Ballet in 1975. Preserving the best of the St. Petersburg original as it has come down to us through England's Royal Ballet, Ms. Russell researched and staged what has long been regarded as the soul of Swan Lake-nearly all of Ivanov's Act II, and Petipa's Act I pas de trois and Act III Black Swan pas de deux. To enhance the story, Mr. Stowell made important changes in the order of the musical numbers. He also re-choreographed most of Act I, the national dances in Act III, and all of Act IV, rescuing the usually forgotten last act with a radiant pas de deux and giving the conclusion dramatic power and unity.

Pacific Northwest Ballet's 1981 production was a significant milestone as the first full-length ballet re-created for the Company. The current production of Kent Stowell's Swan Lake, in a revised staging and featuring new scenic, costume and lighting designs by Ming Cho Lee, Paul Tazewell and Randall G. Chiarelli (respectively), premiered to critical acclaim in 2003 to open PNB's inaugural season in Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. [Program notes by Doug Fullington.]


Kent Stowell was Artistic Director and principal choreographer of Pacific Northwest Ballet from 1977 until his retirement in June 2005. Mr. Stowell began his dance training with Willem Christensen at the University of Utah, later joining San Francisco Ballet. He joined New York City Ballet in 1962 and was promoted to soloist in 1963. In 1970, he joined the Munich Opera Ballet as a leading dancer and choreographer. In 1973, Mr. Stowell was appointed ballet master and choreographer of Frankfurt Ballet, and he was named, with Francia Russell, Co-Artistic Director of the company in 1975. In 1977, Mr. Stowell and Ms. Russell were appointed Artistic Directors of PNB. His many contributions to the repertory include Swan Lake, Cinderella, Nutcracker, Carmina Burana, Firebird, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, Hail to the Conquering Hero, Carmen, and Silver Lining. In 2001, the University of Utah honored Mr. Stowell with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Stowell's other awards and honors include the Washington State Governor's Arts Award, the Dance Magazine Award and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Seattle University. In 2004, Stowell received the ArtsFund Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award, the Seattle Mayor's Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and was recognized by the King County Council for his achievements in the arts. On June 12, 2010, Mr. Stowell was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts from the University of Washington.

Francia Russell was Artistic Director of Pacific Northwest Ballet and Director of Pacific Northwest Ballet School from 1977 until her retirement in June 2005. She is responsible for the addition to the Company's repertory of many works of George Balanchine. Ms. Russell joined New York City Ballet in 1956 and was promoted to soloist in 1959. She retired from the company in 1961, danced for a year with Jerome Robbins' Ballets USA, and taught on the faculty of the School of American Ballet in 1962-1963. In 1964, Balanchine appointed her ballet mistress of NYCB. Ms. Russell was one of the first ballet masters chosen by Balanchine to stage his works. She has staged more than 100 productions of Balanchine ballets throughout North America and Europe. In 1987, she staged the first Balanchine ballet in the People's Republic of China for the Shanghai Ballet, and in 1988-1989, she staged the historic first authorized performance of Balanchine's work in his homeland for the Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg. From 1975 to 1977, Ms. Russell and Kent Stowell were Co-Artistic Directors of Frankfurt Ballet. Ms. Russell's numerous awards include the Washington State Governor's Arts Award, the Dance Magazine Award, an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Seattle University, and the Brava Award from Women's University Club of Seattle. In 2004, Ms. Russell received the Arts Fund Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award, the Seattle Mayor's Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and was recognized by the King County Council for her achievements in the arts. On June 12, 2010, Ms. Russell was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts from the University of Washington.

Ming Cho Lee is one of the foremost set designers in America today. His extensive credits include work in opera, theatre, and dance. Born in Shanghai, Mr. Lee attended Occidental College and UCLA. In collaboration with Kent Stowell and the production department of Pacific Northwest Ballet, he designed sets for The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet (1987), Firebird (1989), Carmina Burana (1993), Silver Lining (1998), and Swan Lake (2003). He has worked with other leading American dance companies such as Martha Graham, American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, Eliot Feld Ballet, and José Limón. From 1962 through 1973, he was the principal designer for Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival, and has designed sets for opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and San Francisco Opera. He has designed for Arena Stage, Mark Taper Forum, Guthrie Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, and Broadway and internationally for Covent Garden, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Teatro Colon, Royal Danish Ballet, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, the Hong Kong Cultural Center, and Buhnen Graz. His numerous awards and distinctions include a Tony Award, Obie and Irene Scharaff awards for sustained achievement, New York Drama Desk, and New York and Los Angeles Outer Circle Critics Awards, three honorary doctorates, awards for long-term achievement from six major theater and opera organizations, membership in the Theatre Hall of Fame, and the Mayor's Award for Arts and Culture from New York City. His work has been shown in two separate retrospectives at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and in Taipei, as well as a 2011 exhibit at the Shanghai Art Museum. As an architectural consultant, Mr. Lee designed theatres for Joseph Papp's Public Theatre and the State University of New York at Purchase. He holds the Donald Oenslager Chair in Design and is a professor in the design department at the Yale University School of Drama.

Paul Tazewell has over 20 years of freelance experience designing for both on- and off-Broadway shows, as well as for regional and international theater, dance, and opera productions. His extensive resume includes work on a number of Broadway shows, such as Caroline, or Change, A Raisin in the Sun, Drowning Crow, Elaine Stritch at Liberty, Def Poetry Jam, On the Town, The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm, and Hot Feet. Mr. Tazewell has received Tony Award nominations for Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk, The Color Purple, In the Heights, Memphis, and A Street Car Named Desire. His awards include the 1999 Jefferson Award in Chicago, The Princess Grace Fellowship Award, and three Helen Hayes Awards, among others. In 2002, Pacific Northwest Ballet commissioned Paul Tazewell to design costumes for the world premiere of Donald Byrd's Seven Deadly Sins. Mr. Tazewell is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts and NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He is currently a resident artist and associate Professor of Costume Design at Carnegie Mellon University.

Randall G. Chiarelli served as Pacific Northwest Ballet's lighting designer and technical director from 1979 to 2005. He served as technical director of San Francisco Ballet from 2005 to 2006 and returned to PNB in November 2006. He has created the lighting designs for most of PNB's repertory, including Kent Stowell's full-length Swan Lake, Firebird, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, Carmina Burana, Cinderella, Nutcracker, and Carmen, and re-created the lighting designs for PNB's entire Balanchine repertory. His scenic designs for PNB include Les Biches, Divertimento No. 15, Capricious Night, and Carmen. Student and apprentice to pioneer lighting designer Thomas R. Skelton, Mr. Chiarelli is a Seattle native and received painting and sculpture degrees from the University of Washington.