July 17, 2016 |
Ballet flats are easy and sweet. And lace-up pumps may be seductive. The trendlet But women who are choosing the lace-up-ballet-flat combo are having a comfortably chic time walking the city squares and cobblestones in skinny slacks, sarongs, skirts, and simple jeans and T-shirts. Where does it come from? Ballet flats have been a serious part of the modern women's shoe game since 1954, when Salvatore Ferragamo designed a pair especially for Audrey Hepburn. Hepburn wore the flats in 1957, paired with cigarette pants, in Funny Face . And, like that, pointy-toed pumps weren't alone in making classy looks classic.
July 10, 2016 |
SOME PEOPLE travel far afield for their summer vacations. But when BalletX cofounder and choreographer Matthew Neenan went to New Zealand in August 2013, it wasn't for play. He and composer Rosie Langabeer were researching the pioneering Trans-Pacific aviator Edwin Musick, who died en route between Hawaii and New Zealand in 1938. Their ballet about Musick and the ill-fated flight, "Sunset, o639 Hours," debuted in 2014 at the Wilma Theater. BalletX will dance it again July 20 to 24 when the company makes its main-stage debut at the prestigious Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in the Berkshires.
July 9, 2016 |
Ballet X ends its 10th anniversary season at the Wilma Theater with two world premieres: Matthew Neenan's Identity Without Attribute and Bonzi , by the Colombo-Belgian choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. Both works feature video design by Klip Collective, a Philadelphia-based group known for its large-scale visual projections. Identity reaffirms Neenan's choreographic inventiveness. Here, he contrasts meditative movements for lead dancer Caili Quan with quick, jittery motions and unexpected segues - from entrechats to jazzy hip circles, plus gloriously quirky duets.
June 16, 2016 |
Arantxa Ochoa, the director of the School of Pennsylvania Ballet, is the latest to announce that she is leaving the ballet. Hers has been one of the most-recognizable faces of the company for the last 20 years, and her departure, announced Tuesday in a letter from executive director David Gray, is an exclamation point on a tumultuous year. Ochoa will be moving to Florida in August to work at the Miami City Ballet School. Two others from Pennsylvania Ballet recently joined Miami City Ballet as dancers: former principal dancer Lauren Fadeley and corps de ballet dancer Amir Yogev.
June 12, 2016 |
Pennsylvania Ballet is saying goodbye to more than 40 percent of its dancers on a somewhat unfinished note. Balanchine and Beyond opened Thursday night at the Merriam Theater, and it would have been a quiet finale to any season, since three of the four ballets were smaller group works. But this year, many contracts were not renewed and other dancers chose to leave as artistic director Angel Corella transitions the company into his vision. None of the dancers leaving has a sizable role.
June 10, 2016 |
Edythe Celestine DeGraffenriedt Porterfield loved many things. She loved entertaining friends and family and attending social events, and she loved going on outings to the theater, her family said. But her greatest love was reserved for her three children, to whom she devoted her life and served as a steady and vocal champion. Mrs. Porterfield, a retired federal employee, active church member and family matriarch known as Celeste to family and friends, died Saturday, May 21. She was 92 and lived in West Philadelphia.
May 29, 2016 |
Lauren Fadeley was a much-beloved principal dancer at the Pennsylvania Ballet before she left last week. She is already dancing with another company, Miami City Ballet, in her native Florida. On Wednesday, Fadeley, 31, launched a podcast, Rediscovering the Dream (on iTunes and Google Play), about the next steps of her career. She is a versatile dancer whose big breakout was the double role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake in 2011, when she was still a member of the corps de ballet.
May 15, 2016 |
I n 1934's Serenade , the first ballet George Balanchine created after arriving in the United States, he wanted to make a statement against Hitler's fascism. Even with 20 or more lovely creatures in blue tulle, their pink tights peeking through, these beauties, gently raising their arms to the right in unison salute, recalled the Nazi era Thursday evening at the Academy of Music. Serenade fit artistic director Angel Corella's brilliantly planned bill, A Program of Firsts. Even before curtain up, conductor Beatrice Jona Affron set a simmeringly sonorous tone with the Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings and kept raising the bar throughout the evening with fine music.
April 28, 2016 |
Change is constant in the dance world. But the suddenness and scope of the roster changes announced Monday for Pennsylvania Ballet stunned many in that world and out of it. Angel Corella, the company's artistic director and an international ballet superstar, said 17 of 43 dancers - nearly 40 percent - would be leaving the company. Twelve were let go and five are leaving on their own, including favorites such as Lauren Fadeley, who is going to to Miami City Ballet as a soloist; and Elizabeth Mateer, who will be joining the corps of the San Francisco Ballet.
April 27, 2016 |
In a move unprecedented in Pennsylvania Ballet's 53-year history, nearly 40 percent of the dancers will be replaced for the 2016-17 season, artistic director Angel Corella said Monday. Of 43 dancers, 12 were let go and five are leaving on their own. Others, dancers say, are thinking of leaving. Pennsylvania Ballet, like most ballet companies, offers dancers one-year contracts. The rosters are always in flux, but it is less common to replace so many dancers at once. "It's always a difficult process for everyone" when contracts are not renewed, Corella said.