The Portland Ballet presents Tom Gold’s world premiere Petrushka and John Clifford’s stirring Firebird
Friday, November 29, 2019 - 1:00pm to Friday, November 29, 2019 - 2:30pm
The Portland Ballet presents Tom Gold’s world premiere Petrushka  and John Clifford’s stirring Firebird

The Portland Ballet presents Tom Gold’s world premiere Petrushka and John Clifford’s stirring Firebird for a thrilling all-Stravinsky program Thanksgiving weekend.

The PSU Orchestra, under the direction of Ken Selden, will perform live at every concert.


Tom Gold’s world premiere Petrushka and John Clifford’s stirring Firebird in all-Stravinsky program

Performed with the Portland State University Orchestra, under the direction of Ken Selden

Dates: Nov. 29-30 and Dec. 1, 2019, Thanksgiving weekend
Time: 1:00 p.m. and 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (6 performances)
Where: Lincoln Performance Hall at PSU, 1620 SW Park at Market, Portland, OR
Tickets: Start at $10 and go on sale Oct. 25.
Runtime: 80 minutes, including one intermission
Information: 503-452-8448


  • First-Show Friday: All tickets for the 1 p.m. show on Friday, Nov. 29, will be only $10.
  • Family Package: For TIER 1 pricing, when purchasing two adult and two or more youth tickets, all youth tickets will be $6 off.
  • Group Discount: 10 or more tickets will receive 10% off.
  • Good deals: Limited Arts Card and Arts for All tickets.

Special Opportunities:

  • Swag bags: Our signature gift bags will be handed out to young people.
  • Activities: The fun starts in the lobby with photo opportunities and activities.
  • Meet the cast: Audience members are invited to stay after every performance to meet the cast, take photos with them, and have their programs signed.

Tom Gold’s Petrushka, 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. This timeless story of unrequited love and heartbreak will be paired with John Clifford's stirring Firebird for a thrilling all-Stravinsky program performed live by the Portland State University Orchestra.

“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.”

Gold has packed many distinct Portland references throughout Petrushka to be discovered like surprise Easter eggs.

John Clifford’s Firebird, which has been a TPB audience favorite since 2005, 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.

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.

Six performances take place November 29, 30 & December 1, 2019, 1:00 p.m. and 5 p.m., at PSU Lincoln Hall. The whole show moves along quickly in just 80 minutes. Tickets start at only $10. or 503-452-8448.

Tom 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.

John 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.

Ken Selden was appointed conductor and music director of the Symphony Orchestra and New Music Ensemble at Portland State University in fall 2006. Under his direction, the PSU Symphony has received three awards in Adventurous Programming from ASCAP and the League of American Orchestras. He has appeared as guest conductor of the Oregon Symphony and many regional orchestras.


The Portland Ballet, a world-class dance academy in Portland, Oregon, is committed to fostering the future of ballet by building the next generation of dancers and audiences. Founded in 2001, TPB is shaped by the vision, artistic experience, and family-centered sensibility of the founding directors. Artistic Director Nancy Davis and Executive Director Jim Lane trained at the School of American Ballet and enjoyed distinguished professional careers in companies throughout the U.S. After retiring as principal dancers of the Los Angeles Ballet – where their partnership onstage led to a marriage and family off the stage – they moved to Portland, Oregon, and founded The Portland Ballet. Graduates have carried TPB’s reputation for excellence into major professional companies and conservatory programs throughout the U.S. and abroad.