Monday, December 13, 2010

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker





Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreography: Kent Stowell
Scenic and Costume Design: Maurice Sendak
Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli
Stowell/Sendak Premiere: December 13, 1983, PNB

November 26-December 27, 2010
Marion Oliver McCaw Hall
321 Mercer Street, Seattle Center
Seattle, WA 98109


Pacific Northwest Ballet corps de ballet dancer Andrew Bartee as the Nutcracker in the fight scene from PNB'sStowell/Sendak Nutcracker. Photo © Angela Sterling 


Over 115 props are used in Nutcracker. Pacific Northwest Ballet School students in Nutcracker.
Photo © Angela Sterling

SEATTLE, WA — For many families, the holiday season begins the day after Thanksgiving, when
the Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker, the Northwest’s most cherished holiday tradition, returns to light
up Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall. Pacific Northwest Ballet can proudly lay claim to one of the
world's most recognized and celebrated productions of Nutcracker. Combining creator Kent
Stowell’s charming and dramatic choreography with magnificent sets and costumes by renowned
children’s book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are), the production
also features the live magic of the PNB Orchestra performing Tchaikovsky’s famous score and
more than 200 roles danced by PNB’s professional dancers and students.

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker runs for 36 performances November 26 thru December 27at
Seattle Center’s Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Tickets may be purchased by calling the PNB Box
Office at 206.441.2424, online at, or in person at the PNB Box Office at 301 Mercer St.
A limited number of tickets are also available at select Ticketmaster outlets, by calling 206.292-
ARTS or online at No other ticket outlets are authorized to sell Pacific
Northwest Ballet Nutcracker tickets.

The brilliant result of close collaboration between Kent Stowell and Maurice Sendak, Pacific
Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker premiered to national acclaim on December 13, 1983. (Newsweek
raved, “Forget the Space Needle, forget the Ring Cycle, forget Mt. Rainier – this Nutcracker alone
is worth a trip to Seattle.”) Drawing on E.T.A. Hoffman’s The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,
Stowell and Sendak delved deeply into the original story and infused the ballet with a drama and
strength that fully complements Tchaikovsky’s classic score. The following year saw the publication
of Nutcracker, a new edition of the original Hoffman story with illustrations by Sendak, that
remained on The New York Times’ Best Seller List for eight weeks. In 1986 a feature-length film of
the Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker was released nationwide. In addition to annual Seattle
performances, PNB has performed Nutcracker in Vancouver, Portland, and Minneapolis.

For the Nutcracker story and a complete listing of Nutcracker activities and events, please visit PNB’s website at

For discounts visit – Info on Nutcracker Family Four-Packs; 15% off coupons for select performance can be picked up at QFC, Ivar’s or Kidd Valley. Food donations to NW Harvest- 15% off select Nutcracker performances.


  1. stopping by from the monday blog hop, i am your newest follower

  2. Are there any copies of the film of the performance available publicly?

  3. Here is the official response from PNB's PR Department on the availability of a film from the performance.

    Sorry, no. If anyone finds it on DVD, it’s probably a copy off of an old VHS, so the quality is going to be bad.

    "PNB does not own the rights to the movie version of our Nutcracker* and the company that currently owns it has – so far – stated that they have no plans to release it on DVD. It does pop up on TV or cable now and then during the holidays, so your reader’s best bet is to wait and tape it…! *General consensus around PNB is that we’re not all that wild about the movie – I know it has its fans, but it wasn’t shot very well, especially when compared with more recent examples of dance on film. I never actually saw the film until after I’d started working here at PNB and I was sorely disappointed by it. Doesn’t really hold a candle to the excitement of the live production."