March 16, 2014 |
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.
March 16, 2014 |
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.
March 15, 2014 |
Coppelia is a thoroughly enjoyable family-friendly ballet, the silly story of a love triangle among a girl, a boy, and a doll. Pennsylvania Ballet made it as fresh and funny as it deserves to be when it began a two-performance run at the Academy of Music on Saturday. The evening cast featured Lauren Fadeley as Swanilda, and her acting was spot-on - charming, naive, playful, a little naughty. Her real-life husband, Francis Veyette, played her boyfriend, Franz, who would flirt with anything on two feet - even if that anything turned out to be Coppelia, a doll sitting in the window of Dr. Coppelius, the toymaker.
March 9, 2014 |
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.
March 4, 2014 |
WHEN Edwin Huntingdon Parker's Philadelphia apartment was robbed, he shrugged and said, "They probably needed it more than me. " That sounded like Parker. He was generous and forgiving almost to a fault. "He was honest even when it was to his detriment," said longtime friend Robert Kahn, AIDS activist and supervisor in the city's Anti-Bias Agency. "He was one of the most honest, positive and generous people I have ever known. " Edwin Huntingdon Parker, well-known in the theater world as a costume designer who worked with local theater and opera companies and toured the world with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, died Feb. 9 of metastatic lung cancer.
February 12, 2014 |
It was cold, polar vortex cold. Schools were closed and heavy snow was on the way. But for nearly 600 dancers, plus supporters bundled up in puffy coats, hats, and blankets outside the Merriam Theater as much as 11 hours ahead of call time, it was worth it. Worth it for the possibility of dancing on TV, working with great choreographers, and maybe a place on the "hot-tamale train" to stardom. That is judge Mary Murphy's signature phrase, and she utters it when a dancer blows her away on So You Think You Can Dance . Murphy, along with Nigel Lythgoe, host Cat Deeley, and Tony-winner guest judge Billy Porter ( Kinky Boots)
February 9, 2014 |
How do you summarize 50 years of performance in 105 minutes? Pennsylvania Ballet, celebrating its half-century this year, did it Thursday night with a mini-tour of its repertory as it opened a four-day run at the Merriam Theater. The program began with "Serenade," one of the company's signature ballets. Founder Barbara Weisberger was a child in 1935 when she sat under a piano at the newly formed School of American Ballet and watched George Balanchine create it. The choreographer later gave "Serenade," along with a number of his other masterpieces, to Weisberger to get her young troupe on its feet.
December 27, 2013 |
For six years, Alessandra Mullin excelled at Masterman, one of the top schools in the state. But when she heard about a new cyber venture of the Philadelphia School District, she was intrigued. Mullin dances with the Pennsylvania Ballet, and switching to online education would allow her to pursue her dream of dancing full time, she reasoned. The Philadelphia Virtual Academy wasn't an easy sell, though - her parents were loath to allow Mullin to surrender her seat in such a good school, especially in her last year of high school.
December 11, 2013 |
In some circles it is fashionable to pooh-pooh The Nutcracker as an insubstantial holiday treat, suitable only for stage-struck little girls and their doting mothers. But (a) what's wrong with escapism, especially at this time of the year? And (b) Pennsylvania Ballet's annual production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker - at the Academy of Music through Dec. 29 - offers two hours' worth of sheer theatrical magic, something no one should ever feel too old, or too serious, to enjoy.
December 2, 2013 |
At 10, Jane Cohen of Moorestown is already a veteran of Pennsylvania Ballet's George Balanchine's The Nutcracker . In the last two seasons she's been the bunny, an angel, and a grandchild. This year's goal was to be a girl in the party scene and a Polichinelle - one of the children who emerge from Mother Ginger's immense skirt. Instead, she was stunned to find herself cast as Marie, the female child lead. Jane had dreamed one day of landing the coveted role, but "I thought maybe two years from now. " Nor was she the only one so happily surprised.