January 26, 2013
Spring 2013 promises to be a great one for dance and dance lovers. On the local scene, Pennsylvania Ballet reopened its school in the fall and moved into new Center City studios this month. The company, which marks its 50th birthday next season, dances four packed programs this spring, with choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, Forsythe & Kylian, and, of course, Balanchine. Among the visiting companies, I am particularly eager to see Dance Theatre of Harlem, which began performing again this season after an eight-year hiatus.
April 22, 2012 |
So far, 2012 is being very, very good to Michaela DePrince. The 17-year-old dancer — born in Sierra Leone and raised in Cherry Hill — appears in the April issue of Marie Claire and will be the subject of a spread in a forthcoming Teen Vogue. She's a major part of the award-winning documentary First Position, about talented young ballet dancers competing at the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix, that opens nationwide on May 11. And on Tuesday night, she'll appear on ABC's Dancing With the Stars, performing a pas de deux with Adé Chiké Torbert — who came in fourth in the seventh season of So You Think You Can Dance — as British pop star Natasha Bedingfield sings "Wild Horses.
March 22, 2012 |
BULGARIAN ballerina Polina Kadiyska had just finished dancing in a side job when she was struck down by a hit-and-run vehicle on South Broad Street earlier this week. The 22-year-old, a student at the Rock School for Dance Education in South Philly, was elated that her performance at a bar had gone well, a friend said Wednesday. So she called her boyfriend, Nick, to let him know while she waited in a Chinese takeout for food, said the friend, who did not want her name published.
May 7, 2012 |
‘Don't be nervous," Pennsylvania Ballet artistic director Roy Kaiser told the 23 girls and two boys with their left hands on the barre, wearing solemn expressions and numbers pinned to their neat dance clothes. "Relax and work hard. " The first of two groups of 12- to 14-year-olds followed principal dancer Arantxa Ochoa through an hour of pliés, tendus, jetés, and pirouettes last Sunday morning in the company's East Falls studios. "She's my teacher's wife!" one girl squealed on the way out of the audition, referring to Ochoa, a calm, gentle instructor with a striking presence.
October 24, 2009 |
Not everything went swimmingly when the dance troupe BodyVox opened Water Bodies at the Annenberg's Zellerbach Theatre on Thursday night. There were technical difficulties and mistakes nearly from the start: Video wouldn't play; sound volume and quality were inconsistent; dancers missed steps. But the Portland, Ore., group's suite of modern dances paying homage to H2O is so charming, funny, and inventive that the flaws hardly mattered. The evening opens with co-artistic director Jamey Hampton testing the waters and dancing in a bathtub.
October 17, 2007 |
At rest, their feet looked like those of ordinary fourth graders - standing on a scuffed linoleum floor in orange sneakers and sturdy black loafers and sparkly pink shoes. But once the jingly piano music began and the dozen schoolchildren brought their legs together, feet pointing in opposite directions, for first position, they were dancers. Every Tuesday and Thursday, the crime and poverty of Kensington and North Philadelphia surrounding Sheppard Elementary School matters a little less, principal Jim Otto said proudly.
March 21, 2012 |
When Polina Kadiyska danced, other dancers felt inspired. Off stage, it was no different. Kadiyska, a Bulgarian ballerina, 22, who had been studying at Philadelphia's Rock School for Dance Education until she was fatally injured in a hit-and-run accident, was remembered Tuesday for her poise, her kindness, and her ever-present smile. "She was loved by everybody," said Stephanie Wolf Spassoff, director of the school. "She was the sweetest person, the friendliest, the warmest.
May 16, 2004 |
Just as the arrival of the Lilac Fairy brings joy to Princess Aurora in Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty, so the recent performance of the classic by ballet company Pages to Pirouettes brought smiles to the faces of children and adults at the Christ Lutheran Community Church After-School Program fund-raiser. The dance, which premiered in St. Petersburg in 1890, was shortened from more than three hours to less than one by Pages to Pirouettes, a nonprofit organization that shares the ballet experience with young children.
March 12, 2008 |
Ballet is not often rained out. But after dozens of "Don Quixote" variations and a passel of "Paquitas," the Youth American Grand Prix regional semifinals had to be postponed Saturday night when heavy rain and high winds knocked out the power at the Swarthmore College competition site. The semifinals are the gateway to next month's YAGP finals in New York, where regional winners from dance programs around the world will compete for prizes and opportunities to study at the schools of ballet's top companies.
December 10, 2002 |
Moments before a recent Pennsylvania Ballet rehearsal, the Nutcracker Prince - Shawn Sebastian, age 15 - was hanging out in the hall, munching on a Dunkin' Donut and chatting with friends. Just your average Jersey kid, except for ballet shoes instead of Nikes. But then came his time to dance. Shawn drew himself up into an elegant ballet stance. Then, in movements fluid and sure, he glided across the floor with his Marie, bestowing a princely bow on the Sugar Plum Fairy before regaling her with a rousing pantomime of his victorious battle with the evil Mouse King.