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NEWS
March 1, 2013 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Culture Writer
To ring up the curtain on its 50th-anniversary celebration, Balanchine-centric Pennsylvania Ballet will mount its first complete performance of a major gem in the master's crown: George Balanchine's Jewels . Later in the 2013-14 season, it will premiere new works by important contemporary choreographers Trey McIntyre and Matthew Neenan. In a nod to its own artistic lineage, the company will bring in pieces old (Balanchine's Serenade ) and new, by former artistic directors Christopher d'Amboise and Robert (Ricky)
NEWS
December 15, 1990 | By Nancy Goldner, Inquirer Dance Critic
The lights flickered. The Christmas tree soared. The snow fell. The bed glided. The Nutcracker battled. The Mouse King died. The children pranced. The adults danced. And Marie never woke from her dream. It's Nutcracker time again. But not all Nutcrackers are the same. The production presented by the Pennsylvania Ballet, which bowed last night at the Academy of Music and will be there through Jan. 6, surely must be the most magical of all. The choreography is by Balanchine, the gentleman who turned Tchaikovsky's once-considered failure into a holiday ritual.
NEWS
October 24, 1991 | By Nancy Goldner, Inquirer Dance Critic
The Pennsylvania Ballet is the beneficiary of two grants in support of its forthcoming programs. The Knight Foundation awarded $300,000 to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington in support of the Pennsylvania Ballet's one-week residency there in October 1993. The Pennsylvania Ballet's appearance at the Kennedy Center is part of the theater's program of commissioning new work from six regional ballet companies. The Pennsylvania Ballet will be the last of six troupes to dance at the Kennedy Center under the program.
NEWS
March 9, 2014 | By Ellen Dunkel, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania Ballet gave an encore of a signature work and added another Balanchine ballet to its repertoire for its opening Thursday night at the Academy of Music. Both were part of the company's yearlong 50th anniversary celebration. Carmina Burana has been in the troupe's repertoire since 1966, when John Butler staged his 1959 work on Pennsylvania Ballet to Carl Orff's secular cantata. In 2007, choreographer-in-residence Matthew Neenan reinterpreted the ballet with new choreography, costumes, and sets.
NEWS
May 16, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Culture Writer
Pennsylvania Ballet's administrative leader is leaving. Michael G. Scolamiero, the ballet's executive director since 1997, has accepted the same post with Miami City Ballet. The announcement comes two weeks after artistic director Roy Kaiser said he would step down as soon as a replacement is found. Both changes come as the ballet puts in place a strategic plan prepared by Michael M. Kaiser (not related to Roy) to bring the company, in Scolamiero's words, "back to the top ranks of American ballet companies.
NEWS
June 2, 1990 | By Nancy Goldner, Inquirer Dance Critic
Giselle is the most perfect story ballet in existence, because dance and drama are perfectly fused. Hardly is there a moment of choreography that doesn't also further the narrative line. The story itself is also wonderful. About a count's betrayal of an innocent maiden, it touches the heart in a more direct way than the allegorical Tchaikovsky ballets, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. Even the Girl Scouts' ballet battalion could make a go of Giselle, so irresistible is the ballet.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 1993 | By Nancy Goldner, INQUIRER DANCE CRITIC
Just when you think you have Balanchine in hand, along comes a ballet that is unlike any of his others. The stranger is La Sonnambula, in its Pennsylvania Ballet premiere at the Merriam Theater, where the company is giving a program of three works through Sunday night. La Sonnambula is atypical in that it tells a story and is a period piece rather than a contemporary gloss on the 19th century. Furthermore, it is a ballet of atmosphere, with choreography merely a setting for that atmosphere.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 1998 | By Elizabeth Zimmer, FOR THE INQUIRER
The 1841 Giselle, in which the Pennsylvania Ballet displays three different sets of principal dancers performing through Oct. 24 at the Merriam Theater, is often called the quintessential Romantic ballet. Its first act, set in German wine country, has the power to move and involve us more than a century and a half after its creation by the French poet Theophile Gautier and Vernoy de Saint George. Choreographed by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot to Adolphe Adam's bland but serviceable score (conducted by Pennsylvania Ballet music director Beatrice Jona Affron on opening night)
NEWS
April 2, 1987 | By Nancy Goldner, Inquirer Dance Critic
Let's redefine some terms. Usually, a dance company's identity is defined by the specific style of choreography and/or dancing it presents. In honor of the smashing account the Pennsylvania Ballet gave of itself last night at the newly renovated Shubert Theater, let's say the company's identity is simply great dancing in great dances. The program, which will run through April 12, consists of Paul Taylor's Arden Court, George Balanchine's Western Symphony and Sylvia Pas de Deux (which will alternate with his Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux)
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 9, 2014 | By Nancy G. Heller, For The Inquirer
'We're having so much fun!" Not what you expect to hear from the composer of a new evening-length ballet for which neither the music nor the choreography was complete only two weeks before its world premiere. But, despite long days of hard work and little sleep, New Zealand's Rosie Langabeer seemed utterly sincere, remarkably relaxed, and infectiously enthusiastic when she said this at a late-June open rehearsal of BalletX's Sunset, o639 Hours , opening Wednesday. Inside the Performance Garage on Brandywine Street, while Langabeer rehearsed the musicians, choreographer Matthew Neenan worked with the company's dancers: 10 first-rate artists in shorts, tank tops, and pointe shoes.
NEWS
June 15, 2014 | By Ellen Dunkel, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania Ballet closes its 50th anniversary season as a company in transition. Artistic director Roy Kaiser will leave once a new director can be found. Executive director Michael Scolamiero is off to a new job. The ballet's 50th anniversary finale program, which opened Thursday night at the Merriam, is a rather serious celebration, but the dancing - much of it duets set to piano music played by Martha Koeneman - impressed. The cast of dancers has changed more than usual in the last year or two, as well, and presumably will change even more under a new director.
NEWS
June 2, 2014 | BY TOM DI NARDO, For the Daily News
BALLERINAS need vacations, too. (Incredibly well-deserved ones.) But as the big companies wind down their seasons, some innovators break out novel, refreshing programming to tide over us over during the beachgoing months. The Tap-Ballet Project, June 6. Six tap dancers and four ballet dancers, backed by a jazz quartet, thunder out the collaborative work "Meet Us at the Corner," created by Elisabeth Holowchuk (from Suzanne Farrell Ballet) and Dorothy Wasserman (as seen in the movie "Tap")
NEWS
May 16, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Culture Writer
Pennsylvania Ballet's administrative leader is leaving. Michael G. Scolamiero, the ballet's executive director since 1997, has accepted the same post with Miami City Ballet. The announcement comes two weeks after artistic director Roy Kaiser said he would step down as soon as a replacement is found. Both changes come as the ballet puts in place a strategic plan prepared by Michael M. Kaiser (not related to Roy) to bring the company, in Scolamiero's words, "back to the top ranks of American ballet companies.
NEWS
May 11, 2014 | By Merilyn Jackson, For The Inquirer
Departing artistic director Roy Kaiser, who has brought 90 new works to the Pennsylvania Ballet during his 19-year tenure, brings two more to the Academy of Music stage in this weekend's "Director's Choice. " In the world premiere of choreographer Trey McIntyre's The Accidental , John Hoey's lighting left dark shadows that made it difficult to see the six dancers in Andrea Lauer's drably mottled costumes. Yet, Patrick Watson's kicky Rufus Wainwrightlike songs weren't on the dark side.
NEWS
May 9, 2014 | By Nancy G. Heller, For The Inquirer
'I'm such a nerd," said Julie Diana, a principal dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet, who recently saddened fans by announcing that she would retire after Sunday's performance of the ballet's "Director's Choice" program at the Academy of Music. Nerd is hardly the term that comes to mind. Diana is well known for her portrayals of the quintessentially romantic heroines in Romeo and Juliet and La Sylphide. She is also a versatile and exceptionally intelligent dancer who excels in sizzling, Broadway-style roles (as in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue )
NEWS
May 2, 2014
A story about the Pennsylvania Ballet in Wednesday's Inquirer misstated the number of new works presented during Roy Kaiser's tenure as artistic director. The company added 90 new works to its repertoire, including 34 world premieres and 56 company premieres. The "Photo of the Day" in some editions Wednesday was published with the caption for a different photo. The correct caption for the photo above is: Robert Williams, known professionally as the rapper Meek Mill, arrives at the federal courthouse at Sixth and Market Streets, where his lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia over an arrest is being heard.
NEWS
May 1, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Culture Writer
Roy Kaiser, Pennsylvania Ballet's artistic director for two decades, is stepping down. The former dancer, who started his career with the company 35 years ago, will stay on until a successor is found. A search committee will be assisted by outgoing Kennedy Center president Michael M. Kaiser (not related), who is also the author of a plan designed to raise the ballet's artistic and institutional ambitions. Roy Kaiser, 56, joined the company in 1979, and danced his last role - Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet - before becoming full-time ballet master in 1992.
NEWS
March 16, 2014 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
DON'T EXPECT to see Mayor Nutter in tights and ballet slippers when he makes a one-time walk-on appearance at the Pennsylvania Ballet tomorrow. Hizzoner will be joining the cast of "Coppelia!" for a matinee performance at the Academy of Music. Nutter press secretary Mark McDonald said that for 30 to 35 minutes, and for one performance only, Nutter will appear on stage in a nonspeaking role as "the mayor. " He'll greet villagers gathering in a 19th-century village square as they meet a mysterious toymaker who names his doll "Coppelia.
NEWS
March 16, 2014 | By Bob Warner, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA There will be no tights. That's the word from Mayor Nutter's office as the mayor prepares for his first appearance with the Pennsylvania Ballet, scheduled for Sunday afternoon at the Academy of Music. The city's 56-year-old chief executive has a one-performance-only role as "The Mayor" in Coppélia , a production described by the company as "ballet's greatest comedy. " Nutter will be on stage about 35 minutes, wearing a dark shirt, dark slacks, a top hat, and a cape, his press secretary, Mark McDonald, said.
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