DIRECTOR'S CHOICE Performances in Seattle - PNB


Program Notes

Ezra Thomson World Premiere

Music: Francis Poulenc (Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in D minor, FP 61, 1932)
Choreography: Ezra Thomson
Costume Design: Larae Theige Hascall and Ezra Thomson
Lighting Design: Reed Nakayama
Premiere: March 16, 2018; Pacific Northwest Ballet

Red Angels

Music: Richard Einhorn (Maxwell’s Demon, 1988-1990)
Choreography: Ulysses Dove
Staging: Peter Boal
Costume Design: Holly Hynes
Lighting Design: Mark Stanley
Duration: 14 minutes
Premiere: May 9, 1994; New York City Ballet (Diamond Project)
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: September 17, 2005

Red Angels is a ballet of intense dramatic impact that is calculated to charge all the senses. Dressed in scarlet leotards and bathed in white and red hot light, four dancers perform with powerful athleticism to a riveting score for electric violin. Ulysses Dove commented on working with the dancers of New York City Ballet: “I wanted to deal with aspects of the Balanchine aesthetic I find appealing: the speed, legginess, the formality. As for the title, I think the dancers are angelic. And for me, the angels of the senses are red.” Composer Richard Einhorn has described Maxwell’s Demon as “a conscious attempt…to transmute American popular music into art…with a nod towards direct expression and to an audience steeped in American rock ‘n roll.”

Notes compiled by Doug Fullington.

Slingerland Duet

Music: Gavin Bryars (String Quartet No. 1, “Between The National and The Bristol“)
Choreography: William Forsythe
Staging: Stefanie Arndt
Lighting Design: William Forsythe
Duration: 6 minutes
Premiere: November 25, 1989; Ballett Frankfurt
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: March 13, 2015 (New Suite)

One Flat Thing, reproduced

Music: Thom Willems (2000)
Choreography: William Forsythe
Staging: Ayman Harper, Jill Johnson, and Richard Siegal
Scenic and Lighting Design: William Forsythe
Costume Design: Stephen Galloway
Duration: 17 minutes
Premiere: February 2, 2000; Ballett Frankfurt
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: March 13, 2008

The 2008 PNB premiere of William Forsythe’s One Flat Thing, reproduced was generously underwritten by Jeffrey & Susan Brotman.

William Forsythe’s recent One Flat Thing, reproduced caused a stir when it premiered at Pacific Northwest Ballet in March 2008. Set to a rumbling sound construction by the choreographer’s frequent collaborator, composer Thom Willems, and performed by fourteen dancers on and around twenty metal tables, One Flat Thing thrilled some, angered others, and, for some, called into question the definitions of “ballet” and “dance.”

Forsythe’s eclectic, intellectual starting point was a consideration of the risk and adventure of Robert Frost’s arctic expeditions, during which explorers relied on each other for survival, juxtaposed with his own interest in the idea of a “baroque machinery,” an ornamental, highly organized construct that runs like clockwork. The melding of these thoughts manifested itself in the collaborative development of a movement vocabulary involving high-speed choreography performed within the confines of a tightly spaced set of tables with the requirement that the dancers play off each other, rather than a musical score, in timing their moves. The result is a thrilling sequence of team choreography, a “baroque machinery” running dangerously close to reckless abandon.

Notes by Doug Fullington.

© Angela Sterling

© Angela Sterling

PETER BOAL’S ANNUAL SELECTION offers audiences a riveting duet, a favorite work, a little controversy, and a world premiere by PNB dancer Ezra Thomson. The limbs of a bonded pair sculpt open air in Slingerland Duet, and pure athleticism surges like reverb from Red Angels‘ electric violin. Audiences have another chance to debate William Forsythe’s contrapuntal One Flat Thing, reproduced, as the dancers take cues from each other on, under, and around 20 tables.


Friday Preview

March 9th | The Phelps Center

PNB’s popular Friday Previews are hour-long studio rehearsals hosted by Artistic Director Peter Boal and PNB artistic staff, featuring Company dancers in excerpts from upcoming ballets.

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PNB Conversations & Dress Rehearsal

March 15th | McCaw Hall

PNB Conversations offers in-depth interviews with choreographers, stagers, designers, dancers, and other artists during the hour preceding dress rehearsal reveal the creative process involved in the development of a ballet.

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Ballet Talk

Free for Ticketholders

Join PNB Education Programs Manager Doug Fullington or guest speakers for an engaging 30-minute introduction to each performance, including discussions of choreography, music, history, design, and the process of bringing ballet to the stage.

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Meet the Artist

Free for Ticketholders

Ever want to ask what it’s like to dance a masterpiece, participate in the creation of a new work, or wear pointe shoes? Here’s your chance. Skip the post-show traffic and join Artistic Director Peter Boal or a member of PNB’s artistic staff with PNB Company dancers for a lively question-and-answer session following each performance.

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