December 10, 2014 |
Pennsylvania Ballet has undergone great change in recent months - a new artistic director, new ballet masters, new dancers, and more. One had to wonder: Would the beloved winter classic George Balanchine's The Nutcracker look different too when it opened Saturday at the Academy of Music? The once-a-year balletgoer may not notice the changes, because the Balanchine choreography must be kept as the great choreographer set it 60 years ago, only allowing for alterations he later made or would have approved.
December 1, 2014 |
Ballet or college? Many young dancers ask themselves that question. For Elizabeth Mateer, the matter was even more complicated when she received a job offer from Pennsylvania Ballet 2, the second company, as well as an acceptance to Harvard. Mateer, now 24, chose ballet. Five years later, as a member of the first company's corps de ballet, her decision is paying off in featured roles. In October, she shone in performances of Christopher Wheeldon's Liturgy and Alexei Ratmansky's Jeu de Cartes . Next she'll dance Sugar Plum in some performances of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker , opening Saturday.
November 28, 2014 |
NO MATTER how late Thanksgiving is, the winter holidays come quickly every year. And every year, the People Paper has you covered. This year's rundown lays out three dozen Philly-in-December traditions. Some - the Pops, Longwood Christmas, "The Nutcracker,"; all those light shows - you already know, and love. Others - Joybells of Melmark, Christmas Posada, City Hall's new ice rink - you really oughta give a try. Sure, you'll be busy. 'Tis the season. (Free events have an *) CITY LIGHTS Macy's Light Show,* Nov. 28-Dec.
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.