Music: Greg Haines
Choreography: David Dawson
Staging: Rebecca Gladstone
Set Design: John Otto
Lighting Design: Bert Dalhuysen
Costume Design: Yumiko Takeshima
Duration: 24 minutes
Premiere: June 17, 2015; Dutch National Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: March 17, 2017
The 2017 Pacific Northwest Ballet premiere of David Dawsons’s Empire Noir is generously supported by Chap & Eve Alvord, Katharyn Alvord Gerlich, David & Cheryl Hadley, Sharon Lee, and Jodi Wong.
The world of Empire Noir is a ballet designed as a blast of graphic energy—fast-paced and relentless in its own journey through the darkness of the night, the color black, the void of madness. Performed as a pure-dance event, Empire Noir works to allow each of its ten dancers to shine as individuals, but also to present themselves as a team. This dance is contained inside an architectural illusion created by John Otto, who as set designer manages to create simplicity in building a structural surprise. Completed with a upbeat original score by Greg Haines, an over-exposed light design by Bert Dalhuysen, and costumes that behave as a second skin by Yumiko Takeshima, Empire Noir is a force unto itself. An observed entertainment played at its fullest force aiming to leave its audience breathless.
Notes reprinted by permission of dawsonarts.net.
Music: George Frideric Handel (from Concerti grossi, Op. 6, 1736-1741), Luciano Berio (selections from Duetti per due Violini, Vol. 1, 1979-1983), and Johann Sebastian Bach (Allemande, from Partita in B minor for solo violin, BWV 1002, 1720)
Choreography: William Forsythe
Staging: Laura Graham (Handel and Berio duets), assisted by Oleg Klymyuk (Bach duet)
Scenic and Lighting Design: William Forsythe
Costume Design: William Forsythe and Yumiko Takeshima
Duration: 25 minutes
Premiere: February 25, 2012; Dresden Semperoper Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: March 13, 2015
The 2015 Pacific Northwest Ballet premiere of William Forsythe’s New Suite was generously underwritten by Jeffrey & Susan Brotman.
Rosyln Sulcas writes: “The fact that the first work choreographed by Forsythe was a duo and that he was always interested in the duo as a form—Herman Schmermann or Of Any If And, The The, Duo, and Approximate Sonata, just to name a few of the most obvious examples—tells us a lot about the very human element in his work. Forsythe may not be interested in emotional contents in the narrative sense, but he is definitely interested in the relationships and emotions that are created through physical interaction.”
New Suite is made up of a series of pas de deux, which William Forsythe has rearranged or created for the Dresden Semperoper Ballett and in 2015, with some differences from the Dresden version, for Pacific Northwest Ballet. All underlying works were created around the nineties for Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt. The Handel is from a 1995 Forsythe choreography with the promising, absurd title, Invisible Film. The Bach, in turn, uses material that was developed for Kammer/Kammer—a largely performative piece that premiered in 2000 in the Bockenheimer Depot, Frankfurt. Finally, the Berio is based on the first part of Workwithinwork (1998).
Notes courtesy of Forsythe Productions. Used by permission.
Her Door to the Sky
Music: Benjamin Britten (Simple Symphony, Op. 4, 1933-1934)
Choreography: Jessica Lang
Scenic Design: Jessica Lang
Costume Design: Bradon McDonald
Lighting Design: Nicole Pearce
Assistant to the Choreographer: Clifton Brown
Duration: 21 minutes
Premiere: August 24, 2016 (Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Becket, Massachusetts)
Her Door to the Sky © Hayim Heron
Her Door to the Sky was commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Her Door to the Sky premiered at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival on August 24, 2016. Major support for the Seattle premiere is provided by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, with additional support from Aya Stark Hamilton, Deidra Wager, and Leslie & Tachi Yamada.
2017 marks the centennial celebration of legendary American painter Georgia O’Keeffe’s first solo exhibition in New York. Her Door to the Sky is inspired by O’Keeffe’s Patio Door series that she painted between 1946-1956.
Program notes by Jessica Lang.