October 19, 2014 |
The Pennsylvania Ballet opened its season - and the next chapter in its 51-year existence - Thursday night at the Academy of Music with Press Play: The Directorial Debut of Ángel Corella . It's less than two months since the Spaniard Corella, a former principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre and an international star, took over as artistic director amid a tsunami of changes at the company. His influence has already made improvements. The program opened with Balanchine's "Allegro Brillante," set to Tchaikovsky.
October 18, 2014
The Pennsylvania Ballet opened its season Thursday night with many staffing changes - including one big one that slipped by with little mention or fanfare: Zachary Hench retired from dancing. The much-loved former principal dancer was named ballet master in August, along with his wife, Julie Diana , who retired as principal dancer in May. Hench planned to multitask as both dancer and coach. But being ballet master of a company in much transition (including a new artistic director, Ángel Corella )
October 14, 2014
Pennsylvania Ballet has named the following to its board of trustees: Michael Lillys , director at RBC Capital Markets, Philadelphia; David Schellenberg , CEO of LinguiSearch, Philadelphia, and Danna Vetter , vice president of marketing and consumer insights at Aramark, Philadelphia. Bob Dever , an international business consultant in Philadelphia, has been named treasurer. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has named four members to its Economic Advisory Council, which advises the Fed on regional business conditions and economic issues: Madeline Bell , president and chief operating officer of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; Varsovia Fernandez , president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Maria Rodale , chairman and CEO of Rodale Inc., and Lynn M. Utter , president and chief operating officer of Knoll Office, a unit of Knoll Inc. Sarah L. Bentzel , a regional marketing coordinator with Reed Smith L.L.P., has been selected to serve on the board of the Young Friends of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania . The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association Foundation has named April Dunn to its board.
October 13, 2014 |
'Keep your elbows lifted, even when your arms are crossed over your chest - as though you're in a bar, having a drink. " So said the Pennsylvania Ballet's new artistic director, Ángel Corella, as he taught a recent company class in preparation for the dancers' debut under his leadership this week. His unexpected suggestion, whimsical but clear, is typical of his style. It achieved the intended result. For 90 minutes, Madrid-born Corella led 40 dancers in exercises that gave them ample opportunity to display their distinctive bodies and impressive abilities.
September 8, 2014 |
At the gala opening of the spectacular new FringeArts building on Columbus Boulevard on Friday night, the air was charged with so much electricity I was glad the place was no longer in use as a pumping station. Though there was no danger of electrocution, the crowd, there to see the Pennsylvania Ballet in new works, could have crushed you. What I Learned About Outer Space , a co-creation of Pennsylvania Ballet, Curtis Institute of Music, and FringeArts, turned out, overall, to have the contrived feeling these sorts of commissioned collaborations often do - not quite shotgun wedding, but more "Let's make this relationship work.
August 29, 2014 |
With a single swing of the ax, the new leadership of Pennsylvania Ballet has cleared out the longtime artistic pillars of the company. Jeffrey Gribler is gone. The energetic personification of the company, who arrived in 1975 as an apprentice and quickly worked his way through the corps to become principal dancer and ballet master, was let go after nearly four decades. Tamara Hadley, who joined the same year and was much loved as principal dancer in the major classical roles, has been dismissed as ballet mistress.
August 11, 2014 |
Having left thriving artistic careers in Cuba, ballet dancers John White and Margarita de Saá landed in a rundown room above a Narberth movie theater. The space, in need of renovation, represented a radical change from the days when the couple danced on the world's biggest stages as part of the National Ballet of Cuba. It was in 1964 that White and de Saá gave up career, family, and, in de Saá's case, country, to flee the Fidel Castro regime. They eventually chose the tiny Montgomery County borough, 2,000 miles from Havana, as the place to start over, opening their ballet school in 1974.
July 28, 2014 |
Philadelphia in the Rockies? "It'll be so beautiful there!" Amy Aldridge says, thinking of dancing with a tall, dark stranger among the pines. Aldridge and nearly every other Philadelphia professional ballet dancer will be dancing outdoors in Colorado this week at the Vail International Dance Festival. The Pennsylvania Ballet and BalletX were invited to perform in one of the season's most prestigious summer dance festivals, which opens Sunday night. "It's sort of our Philadelphia story," says Damian Woetzel, artistic director of the festival and a retired star from the New York City Ballet.
July 26, 2014 |
Philadelphia is loaded with small dance companies, as anyone who has ever been to Fringe knows. These troupes rarely get to perform in fancy theaters, and it takes a lot of motivation for audiences to trek out to dingy performance spaces and sit on uncomfortable folding chairs all night. For the second year, Koresh Dance Company invited its colleagues to perform in the Suzanne Roberts Theatre in the Come Together Dance Festival. Over five days, which began Wednesday night, 24 companies have their 15 or so minutes of fame.
July 25, 2014 |
The Pennsylvania Ballet, once a major national dance company, turned 50 this year and was in need of a makeover. It got an immediate jolt Tuesday when it named Angel Corella its new artistic director, effective in September. Corella, 38, a former principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, is an international star who has performed with every major company around the globe. He's modeled for Rolex watches and appeared in ads for champagne with Gwyneth Paltrow. Most recently, he ran his own company, Corella Ballet Castilla y León, which became the Barcelona Ballet but which has since folded.