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Portland Ballet, PSU orchestra perform 'Petrushka' by Tom Gold and 'Firebird' by John Clifford, Nov. 29-Dec. 1

COURTESY PHOTO - The Portland Ballet will present the world premiere of Tom Gold's 'Petrushka,' 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Nov. 29-Dec. 1 at Lincoln Performance Hall.The Portland Ballet is celebrating Stravinsky and Portland with its latest show.

The ballet will present Tom Gold's world premiere "Petrushka" and John Clifford's "Firebird" for an all-Stravinsky program this week, and dancers will be accompanied by the Portland State University Orchestra.

The performances are 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, at Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 S.W. Park Ave.

Tickets start at $10 at

Gold's "Petrushka" was created about Portland for Portland, as a special gift to the city. Set during Thanksgiving dinner at an iconic historic hotel in the glamorous 1950s, immigrant busboy Petrushka is in love with a dazzling lounge singer, who in turn is in love with a dashing doorman.

"I hope to create a wonderful gift to the people and city of Portland that will endure for many years to come," Gold said. "'Petrushka' and I go way back starting when I was 7 and invited to be a child performer in the Joffrey's revival starring Rudolph Nureyev. Since then it has been on my radar, but I always thought it needed a modern twist."

Clifford's "Firebird" has been a TPB audience favorite since 2005, and returns to the stage with its dynamic choreography and riveting tale of love and vengeance. Based on Russian fairy tales, the spirited Firebird and a royal prince team up to break an enchanting spell by an evil magician.

When Artistic Director Nancy Davis and Executive Director Jim Lane were principal dancers with the Los Angeles Ballet, they danced the lead roles about 75 times nationwide.

Gold is founder and director of Tom Gold Dance and performed for 21 years with the New York City Ballet, where he rose to the rank of soloist. In demand internationally as a guest artist, choreographer, and instructor, he has created more than a dozen original works for Tom Gold Dance, Vassar College, the Bermuda Arts Festival, Oregon Ballet Theatre, the New York City Ballet Choreographic Institute, and many other dance academies, companies, festivals, television shows, and special events.

Clifford, TPB artistic advisor who works regularly with TPB students, is best known as founder and artistic director of the original Los Angeles Ballet, and a principal dancer and choreographer with New York City Ballet. He is widely considered to be George Balanchine's choreographic protégé.

TPB and the PSU Orchestra, under the direction of Ken Selden, celebrate 11 years of collaborating to produce what has become a Portland holiday tradition, with original choreography, staging, sets, costumes, and lighting.

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