TRICOLORE Performances in Seattle - PNB

BENJAMIN MILLEPIED MUST NOT SLEEP—how else could he be such a force in the world of dance? After a career as a principal dancer and choreographer for New York City Ballet, he directed and choreographed for the Paris Opera Ballet. He also directs (with help from Carla Körbes!) the LA Dance Project. Ben’s a big fan of PNB and returns to set his Appassionata. We are reviving his urban chic Three Movements and completing the program with a Balanchine masterpiece: Symphony in C, created for the Paris Opera Ballet. Rep 1 is a fine French feast; aperitif, entrée, and elegant dessert. Bon appetit!
-Peter Boal


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Program Notes

3 Movements

(L-R) Pacific Northwest Ballet corps de ballet dancers Christian Poppe, Guillaume Basso, Henry Cotton, and soloist Matthew Renko in Benjamin Millepied’s 3 Movements. PNB presents 3 Movements as part of TRICOLORE, September 23 – October 2, 2016. Photo © Angela Sterling.

PNB Company Dancers in TRICOLORE  © Angela Sterling.

Music: Steve Reich (Three Movements for Orchestra, 1986)
Choreography: Benjamin Millepied
Staging: Anne Dabrowski
Scenic Design: Benjamin Millepied
Costume Design: Isabella Boylston, assisted by Larae Theige Hascall
Lighting Design: Brad Fields
Duration: 15 minutes
Premiere: November 6, 2008; Pacific Northwest Ballet

The 2008 world premiere of Benjamin Millepied’s 3 Movements was commissioned in part by The Joyce Theater’s Stephen and Cathy Weinroth Fund for New Work and Mr. & Mrs. Robert W. Cremin.

Choreographed in 2008, 3 Movements is Benjamin Millepied’s first work for Pacific Northwest Ballet. The dance features a large ensemble performing to Steve Reich’s massive and driving Three Movements for Orchestra.

Notes by Doug Fullington.


Benjamin Millipied and PNB Company Dancers in Studio © Lindsay Thomas

Benjamin Millipied and PNB Company Dancers in Studio © Lindsay Thomas

Music: Ludwig van Beethoven (Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57, “Appassionata”, c. 1804-1806)
Choreography: Benjamin Millepied
Staging: Sebastien Marcovici and Janie Taylor
Scenic and Lighting Design:  Lucy Carter
Costume Design: Alessandro Sartori
Lighting Supervision: Emma Jones
Duration: 24 minutes
Premiere: February 5, 2016; Paris Opera Ballet (originally titled La nuit s’achève)
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: September 23, 2016 (renamed Appassionata)

Benjamin Millepied’s Appassionata was choreographed for Paris Opera Ballet and premiered in February 2016 with the title La nuit s’achève (“The night ends”). For Pacific Northwest Ballet’s staging, Millepied has renamed the ballet in reference to Beethoven’s iconic, late-classical piano sonata to which the dance for three couples is set.

Sonata No. 23 in F minor is one of three celebrated sonatas from Beethoven’s middle period. The music is some of his most technically challenging and the mood is tempestuous; the sonata was composed just after he came to terms with his inevitable hearing loss in 1803. The title “Appassionata” (meaning “passionate” in Italian) was not given to the work during Beethoven’s lifetime, but rather was a label added by the publisher of a four-hand arrangement in 1838.

Appassionata is the second work by Benjamin Millepied to enter Pacific Northwest Ballet’s repertory. The 2016 PNB premiere of Benjamin Millepied’s Appassionata is generously underwritten by Jeffrey & Susan Brotman.

Notes by Doug Fullington.

Symphony in C

Carrie Imler in Symphony in C © Angela Sterling

Carrie Imler in Symphony in C © Angela Sterling

Music: Georges Bizet (Symphony No. 1 in C Major, 1855)
Choreography: George Balanchine © The School of American Ballet
Staging: Victoria Simon
Costume Design: Mark Zappone
Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli
Premiere: July 28, 1947, Paris Opera Ballet (originally titled Le Palais de Cristal); March 22, 1948, New York City Ballet (renamed Symphony in C)
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: March 25, 1987; new staging September 23, 2016

The works of George Balanchine performed by Pacific Northwest Ballet are made possible in part by The Louise Nadeau Endowed Fund.

Bizet composed his Symphony in C Major when he was a 17-year-old pupil of Charles Gounod at the Paris Conservatory. The manuscript was lost for decades and was published only after it was discovered in the Conservatory’s library in 1933. Balanchine first learned of the long-vanished score from Stravinsky. In only two weeks, he choreographed the work as Le Palais de Cristal for the Paris Opera Ballet, where he was serving as a guest ballet master in 1947. Each movement of that original production featured the name of a precious stone, with costumes colored to match, a conceit to which Balanchine would return in 1967 with Jewels. The first movement was Emerald, the second Black Diamond, the third Ruby, and the fourth Pearl. When Balanchine revived the work the following year for the first performance of New York City Ballet, he simplified the scenery and costumes and changed the title to Symphony in C.

Following the structure of the symphony, the ballet is in four movements, each featuring a different ballerina, cavalier, and corps de ballet. The first movement is formal and regal. The second movement features one of Balanchine’s greatest pas de deux, and its ballerina role is considered one of the most privileged in all the Balanchine repertory. The third and fourth movements feature bravura allegro dancing. The entire cast of 48 dancers gathers for the impressive finale.

Notes by Doug Fullington.


*First Time in Role
Guest Artist

Casting subject to change.

Running Time

TRICOLORE is approximately 2 hours and 4 minutes including two intermissions

The Program

3 Movements  (Steve Reich / Benjamin Millepied)
Appassionata (Ludwig van Beethoven / Benjamin Millepied)
Symphony in C (Georges Bizet / George Balanchine © The School of American Ballet)

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