This year marks the 50th anniversary of Pennsylvania Ballet, which was founded in 1963 by Barbara Weisberger, a protégé of George Balanchine's. Weisberger had established the School of Pennsylvania Ballet a year earlier to train dancers for the company.
Pennsylvania Ballet held its first local performance in the spring of 1964 at the Irvine Auditorium of the University of Pennsylvania. Since then, the ballet has performed and forged relationships with other companies across the country, and appeared on television, most notably in PBS's Dance in America series.
Balanchine, the famed choreographer and cofounder of the New York City Ballet, served as Pennsylvania Ballet's first artistic adviser. Between 1972 and 1994, the company was overseen by three artistic directors, Benjamin Harkarvy, Robert Weiss, and Christopher d'Amboise. In 1994, Roy Kaiser became the ballet's first artistic director to have come up through its ranks as a dancer.