May 15, 2015 |
Eight corporate and civic leaders have joined H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, owner and publisher of The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com, to serve on a board of directors for the Philadelphia media company. Philadelphia Media Network L.L.C., the corporate parent of the news operations, announced the formation of the board Wednesday. Lenfest said the board would meet quarterly and provide him with guidance on the management of the company. The new members range from a former newspaper publisher to one of the region's leading philanthropists, from the Philadelphia founder of a top venture-capital fund to two leaders of prominent city law firms.
May 10, 2015 |
On the Town was nominated for four Tony Awards last week. The ballet on which the Broadway show (and Gene Kelly movie) was based opened Thursday night at the Academy of Music as part of Pennsylvania Ballet's "Tribute to Jerome Robbins. " Choreographed in 1944, Fancy Free was Robbins' first ballet and a collaboration with then-on-the-brink-of-success composer Leonard Bernstein. It is the story of three young sailors who dance and show off in unsuccessful but valiant bids to win over two girls.
April 1, 2015 |
Justin Peck, Liam Scarlett, Wayne McGregor, Christopher Wheeldon: They're among the hottest young choreographers in ballet today. And Pennsylvania Ballet will dance their works and more next year in a blockbuster-packed season, artistic director Angel Corella announced Monday. This is the sort of world-class programming that dance fans anticipated when Corella was hired in the fall. "I was incredibly lucky to have danced with all these companies around the world," he said in a recent interview, naming American Ballet Theatre, the Royal Ballet, La Scala, the Australian Ballet, and others.
March 25, 2015 |
The annual "Shut Up & Dance" show gives the dancers of Pennsylvania Ballet a chance to stretch their wings, to do something new, to play. At this year's performance, Saturday at the Forrest Theater, some tried their hand at choreography, while others danced front and center for a change. They and some of their friends in the dance community were there to raise money for the nonprofit Manna - which delivers free meals to those with life-threatening illnesses - while doing what they do best.
March 8, 2015 |
When a sensational dancer first steps onstage, it's as exciting for me as for an astronomer discovering a nova. Zachary Hench gave such a moment when he flashed his star quality stepping out as Prince Siegfried in Christopher Wheeldon's production of Swan Lake in 2004. Newly commissioned by Pennsylvania Ballet, it was a million-dollar gamble I hope has paid off in real money as much as it does in artistic quality and innovation. I reviewed that premiere, but looking back on it, I did not fully appreciate its value.
March 7, 2015 |
David Gray, who has been serving as interim executive director of the Pennsylvania Ballet since last summer, has had his interim status removed and will manage the company going forward, ballet board chair David Hoffman announced Thursday. Hoffman touted Gray's "strong leadership style and breadth of experience in ballet, nonprofit, and financial communities" in making the announcement. Gray, 55, who began in the press office of the New York City Ballet and then became a certified financial planner and consultant to many nonprofits facing change, has also been executive director of the American Repertory Ballet, New Jersey's largest dance organization.
February 14, 2015 |
Betty K. Musser, 91, of Newtown Square, a philanthropist, died Tuesday, Feb. 3, of respiratory failure due to pneumonia at Bryn Mawr Hospital. Mrs. Musser, whose maiden name was Umstad, was born in Pittsburgh. She lived in Villanova and earned a bachelor's degree in biology at Ursinus College. She was married for 43 years to Warren V. "Pete" Musser, a venture capitalist and major philanthropist in the Philadelphia area. He was founder and CEO of the Wayne-based Safeguard Scientifics Inc. The two divorced; he survives.
February 8, 2015 |
Excitement filled the Merriam Theater on Thursday night as the Pennsylvania Ballet presented a program featuring a world premiere by resident choreographer Matthew Neenan and a trio of rising stars. Mayara Pineiro, who joined the corps last fall, was outstanding in Neenan's Shift to Minor . Brand-new soloist Oksana Maslova distinguished herself - with the superb Ian Hussey as her partner - in Christopher Wheeldon's Polyphonia . And Alexander Peters, a Pennsylvania Ballet apprentice just three years ago, was a revelation in the title role of George Balanchine's Prodigal Son . Set to a piano score by György Ligeti played by the excellent Martha Koeneman, Polyphonia was an impressive opener.
December 29, 2014 |
Jordan Matter is a one-man flash mob - with a camera. On a frosty Monday in early December, Matter and two dancers from the Pennsylvania Ballet and one from BalletX are pinballing around downtown, politely commandeering Santa's seat in City Hall's courtyard, an entire block of Addison Street, and a divider in the middle of South Broad Street - during rush hour. See it. Feel it. Shoot it. That's how Matter works. The eye behind the lens of Dancers Among Us , a 2012 New York Times best seller and an Oprah Magazine best book, says his process "relies on serendipity.
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.