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 13, 2016 |
The little girl appeared out of nowhere, materializing at Tawanda Jones' side so suddenly that she drew Jones' attention away from the members of her drill team, the Camden Sophisticated Sisters, as they rehearsed in the low-ceilinged union hall. "Hi, honey," Jones said, startled. "Did your mom bring you? Did she come in?" "She just dropped me off," the girl said softly. "OK," Jones said, resting her hand on the child's shoulder. "Well, let's take off your jacket. " Jones had not seen her in eight months.
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 11, 2016 |
There's nothing like watching a flamenco performance close up. And the three Tablao Philly performances presented thus far, in an intimate space at the Asian Arts Initiative, let patrons clearly see the subtlest facial expressions, hand movements, and footwork of a changing roster of first-rate dancers, singers, and musicians. The fourth and final Tablao Philly began Thursday night and runs through Saturday. This time, the program features guest artist Raquel Heredia (a.k.a. "La Repompilla")
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 14, 2016 |
T he desert comes alive when the sun goes down, and so does MOMIX's Opus Cactus , which opened at the Prince Theater Wednesday night. A favorite show from the company's vault, Opus Cactus hadn't toured for 12 years. Time to clear out the tumbleweeds - and, indeed, the performance starts with a glow-in-the-dark homage to this rolling symbol of the American West. The show is a series of nightscapes about desert life. Dancers represent snakes, lizards, birds, Gila monsters, flowers - and, of course, cacti.
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.
April 17, 2016 |
The festivalization of the arts has long been one way for audiences to see artistic works from other places. And whether it's a dance or theater company, if spectacle is a hallmark, you can bet Los Angeles-based Diavolo will be at the top of the list of festival programmers around the world. Thursday evening at the Merriam Theater, as part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA), they performed a show titled Architecture in Motion , comprising two gigantic works, L'Espace du Temps and Cubicle . They were to have had a two-night run but were cut down to one, which may have accounted for the excited overflow audience.
April 13, 2016 |
The Brooklyn company Gallim Dance, nearly a decade old, made its Philadelphia debut Sunday evening at the Kimmel Center's PIFA festival at Verizon Hall. Titled Attack Point , the world premiere, choreographed by Gallim founding director Andrea Miller, took place in collaboration with organists from the Curtis Institute of Music and Choral Arts Philadelphia. The concept of the collaboration is "a night of dance listening and organ watching. " So, with the grand Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ looming relâche above us, a smaller organ reigned on stage, where we could watch the organist's feet at the pedals for the nondance works.