PNB’s season opener salutes France

PNB dancers in the company’s 2008 world premiere of Benjamin Millepied’s 3 MovementsPacific Northwest Ballet will raise the curtain on its 44th season with TRICOLORE, a balletic ode to all things French, on September 23 – October 2 at Seattle Center’s Marion Oliver McCaw Hall.


The program will open with the company’s chic 3 Movements, commissioned by PNB in 2008 and choreographed by Benjamin Millepied, artistic director of LA Dance Project and former artistic director of Paris Opera Ballet. A fan of PNB, Millepied has returned to set his Appassionata on the company as well. The program will close with George Balanchine’s Symphony in C, originally created in 1947 for the Paris Opera Ballet.


PNB dancers in the company’s 2008 world premiere of Benjamin Millepied’s 3 Movements3 Movements features music composed by Steve Reich, lighting designed by Brad Fields and costumes created by American Ballet Theatre Principal Isabella Boylston, with assistance by Larae Theige Hascall. The 16-minute ensemble work is only half the length of Millepied’s Appassionata, which runs 32 minutes in total.


Appassionata, coming to PNB for the first time, is set to a challenging piano sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven. Staged by Sebastien Marcovici and Janie Taylor, it will feature scenic and lighting design by Lucy Carter, plus costume design by Alessandro Sartori. The work was originally titled La nuit s’achève (“The night ends”) for its world premiere on February 5 at Paris Opera Ballet. The new title Appassionata means “passionate” in Italian.


Symphony in C by George BalanchineSymphony in C, named for its music by Georges Bizet, is a 36-minute Balanchine work that has been a part of PNB’s repertory since late March 1987. The ballet unfolds in four movements, with each featuring a different ballerina, cavalier and corps de ballet. While the first movement is very formal and regal, the third and fourth movements feature bravura allegro dancing. The second presents one of Balanchine’s greatest pas de deux. The massive finale fills the stage with the entire cast of 48 dancers.


For more information on the program TRICOLORE, contact the PNB Box Office at 206-441-2424, in person at 301 Mercer Street, or online at Tickets start at $30.


Photo (top): PNB dancers in the company’s 2008 world premiere of Benjamin Millepied’s 3 Movements. Photo (left): James Moore, William Lin-Yee, Jerome Tisserand and Sokvannara Sar in 3 Movements. Photo (right): Principals Lindsi Dec, Lesley Rausch and Laura Tisserand in Symphony in C by George Balanchine, © The George Balanchine Trust. All photos by Angela Sterling.