Featuring PNB premieres of Jiri Kylian’s Forgotten Land and Crystal Pite’s Emergence,

plus the return of audience favorites Petite Mort and Sechs Tänze (Six Dances)

 PNB welcomes two new dancers to the company with KYLIAN + PITE.


November 8 – 17, 2013

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

321 Mercer Street, Seattle Center

Seattle, WA 98109


November 8-9 & 14-16 at 7:30 pm

November 9 at 2:00 pm

November 17 at 1:00 pm


SEATTLE, WA — Spellbinding premieres by Jiri Kylian and Crystal Pite join Kylian’s sensual Petite Mort and raucous Sechs Tänze (Six Dances) in KYLIAN + PITE, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s fascinating foursome of contemporary works. Emergence marks PNB’s debut excursion with sensational Canadian native Crystal Pite, founder and artistic director of Vancouver’s Kidd Pivot. A riveting ensemble piece, Emergence showcases Pite’s gift for provocative imagery as swarms of dancers ebb and flow against a towering hive backdrop.  PNB expands its Kylian repertory with the soulful and kinetic Forgotten Land, set to Benjamin Britten’s haunting score. The evening is rounded out by audience favorites Petite Mort, a sexy, gold-washed duel for six couples and six fencing foils, and the joyfully charming Sechs Tänze, “an 18-century court gone delightfully mad.” (The Seattle Times) Kylian + Pite runs for seven performances only, November 8-17 at Seattle Center’s Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Tickets start at $28 and may be purchased by calling 206.441.2424, online at, or in person at the PNB Box Office, 301 Mercer Street at Seattle Center.

Two dancers join PNB’s ranks with these performances of KYLIAN + PITE: New apprentice Christian Poppe was a Professional Division student with PNB School, and has recently returned from PNB’s exchange program with the Royal Danish Ballet.  He has danced in many company productions and toured with the company to Las Vegas last fall to perform in the corps of George Balanchine’s Diamonds. Corps member Raphaël Bouchard comes to PNB from Les Ballets de Monte Carlo where he danced for the past nine years.  Seattle audiences may remember him from last season when he stepped in at the last second to replace an injured dancer and perform Benvolio in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette.  PNB congratulates and welcomes Christian and Raphaël.

The line-up for KYLIAN + PITE will include:


Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Piano Concerto in A Major [Adagio] KV 488, Piano Concerto in C Major [Andante] KV 467)

Choreography:  Jiri Kylian

Staging: Roslyn Anderson

Scenic Design: Jiri Kylian

Costume Design: Joke Visser

Lighting Design: Joop Caboort

Lighting Supervision: Kees Tjebbes

Running Time: 19 minutes

Premiere: August 23, 1991: Netherlands Dance Theater

PNB Premiere: November 5, 2009


Jiri Kylian choreographed Petite Mort for the Salzburg Festival in commemoration of the second centenary of Mozart’s death. He chose as his music the slow movements of two of Mozart’s most beautiful and popular piano concertos. The choreography includes six men, six women, and six fencing foils. The foils are the men’s real dancing partners and sometimes turn out to be more stubborn and willful than a human partner. Besides light-hearted moments with the foils, Kylian also plays with black baroque dresses, which at times appear to exist separately from the dancers and at others to be molded to their bodies. Petite Mort was the first work by Jiri Kylian to be acquired by Pacific Northwest Ballet.

SECHS TÄNZE (Six Dances)

Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Sechs Deutsche Tänze [Six German Dances], KV 571, 1789)

Choreography: Jiri Kylian

Staging: Roslyn Anderson

Scenic and Costume Design: Jiri Kylian

Lighting Design:  Joop Caboort

Technical Adaptation: Erik van Houten

Running Time: 14 minutes

Premiere: October 24, 1986; Netherlands Dance Theater

PNB Premiere: September 24, 2010


Choreographer Jiri Kylian has written: “Two centuries separate us from the time Mozart wrote his German Dances—an historical period shaped considerably by wars, revolutions, and all sorts of upheavals. With this mind, I found it impossible to simply create different dance numbers reflecting merely the humor and musical brilliance of the composer. Instead, I have set six seemingly nonsensical acts, which obviously ignore their surroundings. They are dwarfed in the face of the ever present troubled world, which most of us for some unspecified reason carry in our souls. Although the entertaining quality of Mozart’s Sechs Tänze enjoys great general popularity, it shouldn’t only be regarded as a burlesque. Its humor ought to serve as a vehicle to point towards our relative values. Mozart’s ability to react upon difficult circumstances with a self-preserving outburst of nonsensical poetry is well known.”


Music: Benjamin Britten (Sinfonia da Requiem, Op. 20, 1939)

Choreography: Jiri Kylian

Staging: Roslyn Anderson

Scenic and Costume Design: Jiri Kylian

Lighting Design: Joop Caboort

Lighting Re-Design: Kees Tjebbes

Running Time: 25 minutes

Premiere: April 12, 1981; Stuttgart Ballet


Jiri Kylian, in comparison to composer Benjamin Britten, sees Sinfonia da Requiem as a work of more personal character than a political one—for it is always people who determine the political scene. It is always people and nature who turn the wheel of evolution a little further.

East Anglia, a coastline of England slowly submerging under the sea, is the birthplace of Benjamin Britten. The image of land taken over by the sea—together with a painting by Edvard Munch—became the primary inspiration for Kylian’s choreography of Forgotten Land: land—the basis and centre of human existence—is in itself always subject to the eternal metamorphosis and mutation; land, from ancient times bearing the imprints of generations; lands within the memories of human beings, that had to be forgotten because of political struggle; lands destroyed by nature or human negligence; wishful lands that have only emerged in our dreams; lands of promise and illusion. (Notes courtesy of the Kylian Foundation. Used by permission.)  

Principal support for the Pacific Northwest Ballet premiere of Jiri Kylian’s Forgotten Land is generously provided by Patty Edwards. 

Music: Owen Belton (2009)
Choreography: Crystal Pite

Staging: Hope Muir

Scenic Design: Jay Gower Taylor

Costume Design: Linda Chow

Lighting Design: Alan Brodie

Running Time: 32 minutes

Premiere: March 4, 2009; National Ballet of Canada (Toronto)


Crystal Pite is known as one of the most innovative and exciting choreographers at work in Canada today. National Ballet of Canada commissioned Pite to create an original work for the National Ballet’s 2008-09 season as part of Innovation, a program of new work by Canadian choreographers. The result, Emergence, brought audiences to their feet after every performance and went on to win four Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Production, Outstanding New Choreography, Outstanding Performance and Outstanding Sound Design/Composition by Owen Belton.

A riveting dark-hued work that casts a swarming, scurrying group of dancers, insect-like, in an eerily subterranean universe, Emergence dramatizes through its mesmerizing choreographic attack the ways in which the instinct for creating social forms seems hard-wired into life itself. Pite’s inspiration for the work came from reading Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities and Software by American popular science theorist Steven Johnson and considering parallels between the social organization of bees and the hierarchical nature of classical ballet companies.

Johnson’s statement that “simple agents following simple rules could generate amazingly complex structures” became a touchstone for the piece. Pite was interested in individual expression and in collective problem solving through movement, often favoring the visual and kinesthetic appeal of the eccentric over the mundane and the grotesque over the beautiful. Pite rarely works with dancers en pointe and was attracted not only to the dancers’ ease of movement but also to the potential for a creature-like effect. Sometimes fragmented and gestural, with traces of the isolation and popping techniques of hip hop, Pite’s choreographic method was a catalyst for change in the dancer’s bodies.

Key to Pite’s vision for Emergence was her collaboration with composer Owen Belton. Also from the west coast, Belton uses both acoustic and electronic instruments, often in combination with computer processing techniques such as granular synthesis, to arrive at atmospheric palettes of sound and tone. Pite and Belton have incorporated drone-like sounds of bees along with sounds of marching to signify the power and ominous presence of the body politic. (Excerpted notes courtesy of National Ballet of Canada.)

Principal support for the Pacific Northwest Ballet premiere of Crystal Pite’s Emergence is generously provided by Marcella McCAffray.




Tickets to KYLIAN + PITE ($28-$174) are available 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 hours a      day, seven days a week)

Tickets are also available, subject to availability, 90 minutes prior to each performance at McCaw Hall, located at 321 Mercer Street.



All Thursday and Friday performances: November 8, 14, 15 at 7:30 pm
One ticket for $15 and 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 November 8, 14 and 15 performances only. Offer is subject to availability and not valid on previously purchased tickets. NOTE: Each attendee must present valid I.D. upon ticket retrieval. 



PNB is a proud participant of Seattle Center’s Teen Tix program. Teen Tix 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 



Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For group tickets, please call 206.441.2416, email [email protected] or visit



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. Subject to availability.





Friday, November 1, 2013, 6:00 pm

The Phelps Center, 301 Mercer Street, Seattle
Join PNB for an hour-long dance preview led by Artistic Director Peter Boal and featuring PNB dancers rehearsing excerpts from KYLIAN + PITE. PNB Friday Previews offer an upbeat and up-close view of the Company preparing to put dance on stage. Tickets, $10 each, may be purchased through the PNB Box Office. (This event will sell out in advance.) Friday Previews are sponsored by U.S. Bank.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 12:00 pm

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 KYLIAN + PITE, complete with video excerpts..



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Lecture 6:00 pm, Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall

Dress Rehearsal 7:00 pm, McCaw Hall

Join PNB artistic director Peter Boal in conversation with choreographer Crystal Pite. Attend the lecture only or stay for the dress rehearsal. Tickets, $12 for the lecture or $30 for the lecture and dress rehearsal, 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 ballet to the stage. One hour before performances. FREE for ticketholders.


Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall

Skip the post-show traffic and enjoy a Q&A with Artistic Director Peter Boal and PNB dancers immediately following each performance. FREE for ticketholders.




Jiri Kylian was born in Prague in 1947. He began his dance studies at the School of the National Ballet, and was accepted at the Prague Conservatory at age fifteen. With a grant from the British Council in 1967, he went to the Royal Ballet School in London and came in contact with recent developments in contemporary choreography. In 1968, John Cranko, a major choreographer of this period and director of the Stuttgart Ballet, offered him a contract and encouraged Kylian’s ambition to create his own dance works. His first work, Paradox, was choreographed for the Noverre Society. After creating three ballets for Netherlands Dance Theater, Kylian became artistic director of the company in 1975, and in 1978, he put NDT on the international map with Sinfonietta. That same year, he founded NDT II, which serves to give young dancers the opportunity to develop their skills and talents. He also initiated NDT III in 1991, for mature dancers. After an extraordinary record of service, Kylian handed over the artistic leadership in 1999, but remained associated to the dance company as house choreographer. Kylian’s work is performed all over the world by more than 80 companies and schools. In the course of his career Kylian’s many international awards and honours include Officer of the Royal Dutch Order of Orange-Nassau, honorary doctorate of the Juilliard School in New York, three Nijinsky Awards in Monte Carlo (best choreographer, company and work), Benois de la Danse in Moscow and Berlin, Honorary Medal from the President of the Czech Republic, and Chevalier du Légion d’Honneur in France. In 2008 he received the Golden Lion at Venice Biennale and the Medal for Art and Science of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix.

Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite has created works for Netherlands Dance Theatre, Cullberg Ballet, Ballet Frankfurt, The National Ballet of Canada, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal (Resident Choreographer 2001–04), Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, Alberta Ballet, and several independent dance artists, most recently Louise Lecavalier. Ms. Pite is a former company member of Ballet British Columbia and in 1996, she joined Ballet Frankfurt in Germany under the directorship of William Forsythe. She was involved in the creation of Forsythe’s CD-ROM Improvisation Technologies, and has participated as both performer and creator in Forsythe’s works. In 2001, she formed her own company, Kidd Pivot, and continues to create and perform in her own work. Kidd Pivot tours nationally and internationally with productions that include The Tempest Replica (2011),The You Show (2010), Dark Matters (2009), Fault (2008), Lost Action (2006), Uncollected Work (2002) and Double Story (2004), created with Richard Siegal. Ms. Pite is Associate Choreographer of Netherlands Dance Theater and Associate Dance Artist of National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and is the recipient of the Banff Centre’s Clifford E. Lee Award (1995), the Bonnie Bird North American Choreography Award (2004), and the Isadora Award (2005). Her work has received several Dora Mavor Moore Awards (2009, 2012), and a Jessie Richardson Theatre Award (2006). She is the recipient of the 2008 Governor General of Canada’s Performing Arts Award, Mentorship Program. Most recently, she was awarded the 2011 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, the inaugural Lola Award in 2012, and the Canada Council’s 2012 Jacqueline Lemieux Prize.


Owen Belton studied composition and graduated from Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts in 1993. When he studied computer music, he was introduced to granular synthesis, an important element in many of his compositions. His compositions incorporate a wide range of acoustic and electronic instruments as well as every day and found sounds. Mr. Belton has been writing music for dance since 1994 when he created the score for Crystal Pite’s Shapes of a Passing, shortly followed by scoring the critically acclaimed film short, A Hollow Place. Since then, he has created scores for numerous dance companies including, Kidd Pivot, National Ballet of Canada, Stuttgart Ballet, Ballet BC, Ballet Frankfurt, Netherlands Dance Theatre, and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. In 2009, Mr. Belton won the Dora Mavor Moore award for best dance score for Crystal Pite’s Emergence, performed by National Ballet of Canada. Currently, he continues to compose for dance, theater, and film, as well working as recording engineer for other composers and musicians, and performing as a singer/songwriter with the band Lost Hombre.





The 2009 PNB premiere of Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort was generously underwritten by Jeffrey & Susan Brotman and Peter & Peggy Horvitz. The 2010 PNB premiere of Jiri Kylian’s Sechs Tänze (Six Dances) was generously underwritten by Jeffrey & Susan Brotman. Principal support for the Pacific Northwest Ballet premiere of Jiri Kylian’s Forgotten Land is generously provided by Patty Edwards. Principal support for the Pacific Northwest Ballet premiere of Crystal Pite’s Emergence is generously provided by Marcella McCAffray.
Media sponsor for KYLIAN + PITE is KUOW 94.9 FM. Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 2013-2014 Season is proudly sponsored by ArtsFund and Microsoft Corporation. The season is also sponsored in part by 4Culture, and Office of Arts & Culture Seattle.


Schedule and programming subject to change.

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