Original Music and Adaptations: Michael Wall
Additional Music: Jean-Philippe Goude (Fermer les yeux voir), Hugues Le Bars (DeRap), Erik Satie, Camille Saint- Saëns, Stephen Foster
Choreography: Penny Saunders
Sound Design: Penny Saunders
Costume Design: Melanie Burgess
Lighting Design: Trad A Burns
Assistant to the Choreographer: Pablo Piantino
Christopher D’Ariano Angelica Generosa Elle Macy
Elizabeth Murphy Lucien Postlewaite Yuki Takahashi
Dylan Wald Genevieve Waldorf
Premiere: November 12, 2020; Pacific Northwest Ballet (digital release)
The 2020 world premiere of Penny Saunders’ Wonderland is principally supported by the Jane Lang Davis New Works Fund and Glenn Kawasaki, with additional support by T.R. Ko.
Wonderland pays homage to the marvel and magic of live theater – a love letter to the immense power and delight one finds within those walls – and the shared experience so many of us are profoundly missing at the moment.
Program notes by Penny Saunders.
Music: 20th-century bagatelles (Mickey Hart: The Hunt)
Choreography: Twyla Tharp
Staging: Shelly Washington
Scenic & Costume Design: Santo Loquasto
Lighting Design: Jennifer Tipton
Madison Rayn Abeo Guillaume Basso Ryan Cardea Dammiel Cruz
Mark Cuddihee Kyle Davis Luther DeMyer Joshua Grant
Steven Loch Clara Ruf Maldonado Miles Pertl
Jerome Tisserand Sarah Villwock
Premiere: April 30, 1994; Boston Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere; November 2, 2006
The 2006 Pacific Northwest Ballet premiere of Twyla Tharp’s Waterbaby Bagatelles was generously underwritten in part by Aya Stark Hamilton and Carl & Renee Behnke.
Bagatelles are short and unpretentious musical compositions. Twyla Tharp’s array of ballet bagatelles is danced on the pristine surface of a stage overhung and aqueously lighted by rows of fluorescent light tubes, like those that might illuminate an aquarium. The mostly bare-chested men and the sometimes bathing-capped women reinforce the dance’s swimming or water connection. Riding on the music’s pulse and the dance’s momentum, they occasionally scoot in and out as if jogging, backwards as often as forward. Taking inspiration from a musical range that goes from 12-tone innovator Anton Webern through Tango man Astor Piazzolla, Tharp’s dances curvet over the stage as if the dancers were schools of fish.
Composer: Luis Resto
Choreography: Susan Marshall
Staging: Luke Miller & Darrin Michael Wright
Lighting Design: Mark Stanley
Original Lighting Design: Mitchell Bogard
Miles Pertl Leah Terada
Premiere: 1984; Performance Space 122, New York City, NY
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: November 12, 2020; Pacific Northwest Ballet (digital release)
The 2020 PNB premiere of Susan Marshall’s Arms is supported by Sharon Lee.
In 1984, Arms helped signal Susan Marshall as a major artist and innovator in the history of contemporary dance when it premiered at PS 122 in New York City. The Village Voice called it “a small masterpiece.”
Arms, a five-minute duet performed most often by Marshall with company member Arthur Armijo,was a game-changer in the New York “downtown dance” scene and an important early example of Marshall’s innovations in expanding the formal structures of post-modernism to include everyday gestures and theater experiments. This was a departure from the cool-headedness of the Judson Dance Theater era of the 1960s and 70s, and the spectacle of the 1980s. That set Marshall’s work apart was her ability to calibrate repetitive minimalist structures to imbue everyday gestures with emotional resonance.
“This duet became a signature work for our company. It was one of my earliest collaborations with two very important figures in my work, dancer Arthur Armijo and composer Luis Resto. Oddly enough, this one brief work charted the direction of the rest of my choreographic inquiries.”
Music: Robert Schumann (Ghost Variations, 1854, Theme, Variations II & V; Lierderkreis, Op. 39, No. 5 “Mondnacht”, 1840, arranged by Clara Schumann, 1872-1874) and Clara Schumann (Three Romances, Op. 11, 1839, I. Andante; Scherzo No. 2 in C minor, Op. 14, after 1840)
Choreography: Jessica Lang
Creative Associate: Kanji Segawa
Costume Design: Jillian Lewis
Lighting Design: Reed Nakayama
Christina Siemens Piano
Leta Biasucci Kyle Davis Angelica Generosa Elle Macy
Elizabeth Murphy Lucien Postlewaite
Jerome Tisserand Dylan Wald
Premiere: November 12, 2020; Pacific Northwest Ballet (digital release)
The 2020 world premiere of Jessica Lang’s Ghost Variations is principally supported by Bob Benson and Deidra Wager, with additional support by H. David Kaplan.
Ghost Variations was composed by Robert Schumann in 1854, the last work he ever wrote, just prior to being committed to an asylum for insanity. Schumann believed he was being haunted by composers from the grave who were dictating the theme to him—forgetting he had already written it himself. The work was dedicated to his wife Clara, who guarded this final score and would not allow the theme and five variations to be published until finally they appeared in 1939.
This ballet to the same title weaves Robert Schumann’s “ghost” theme and two of the variations with Clara Schumann’s own piano compositions: her Andante movement from Three Romances and her Scherzo No. 2 in C Minor. The final movement of the ballet is a lieder entitled Mondnacht, written by Robert and arranged for solo piano by Clara, marking their indelible collaboration of life, love, and music.
Ghost Variations was created in August 2020 during the global pandemic. Keeping to the protocols of two pods of four dancers, donned in masks, physically distanced, and never touching (unless cohabitating), sometimes behind plexiglass, with covers on Zoom in other studios, this is a ballet created for the stage with costumes and theatrical lighting. It was my intention to create a ballet for the stage that was filmed and broadcast as opposed to making a “dance film.” Even though our only way to experience this world premiere is on a screen right now, Ghost Variations will seamlessly transfer to the stage for live performancewhen it is safe for all of us to gather in theaters again.
Program notes by Jessica Lang.
Technical Director: Norbert Herriges
Resident Lighting Design Coordinator: Reed Nakayama
Production Stage Manager: Sandra Barrack
Stage Manager: Alexandria Wommack
Stage Manager (Ghost Variations): Leigh’Ann Andrews
Master Carpenter: Greg Davis
Master of Properties: Jeffrey Stebbins
Master Electrician: Michael Grogan
Flyman: Alan Hiskey
Assistant Carpenter: Cole Erin Guinn
Properties Assistants: Jay Gosselin, Kevin Krist
Production Electrician: Jonathan Hackett
Assistant Electricians / Follow Spot Operators: Jim Austin, Kate Takata
Lighting Technician: Dominic Iacono
Sound Engineer: Toby Basiliko
Costume Shop & Wardrobe:
Costume Shop Manager: Christine Joly de Lotbiniere
Wardrobe Manager: Madeleine DeGracia
Wardrobe Assistant / Lead Dresser: Pat Stovall
Wardrobe Assistant: Sherri Thompson
Assistant Costume Shop Manager: Meleta Buckstaff
Drapers: Luna Pham, Mark Zappone
First Hand: Pauline Smith
Costume Technician: Rob Newton
Dyer/Painter/Crafts: Wendy Oberlin
Lead Maintenance: Jenn Oaster
Dressers: Kate Hartman, Carrie Steficek
Videography: Jack Taylor, Lindsay Thomas, Seattle Center Studios
Video Editing: Noel Pederson, Lindsay Thomas
“5 Minute Call” created by Dylan Wald @waldylan
The Dancers and Stage Managers of Pacific Northwest Ballet are members of AGMA—the American Guild of Musical Artists, AFL-CIO.
Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra is represented by the PNB Orchestra Players Union.
Stage Crew is represented by I.A.T.S.E., Local #15.
Wardrobe Attendants are represented by Theatrical Wardrobe Union #887, I.A.T.S.E.