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Pennsylvania Ballet

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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
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.
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
July 24, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Culture Writer
The Pennsylvania Ballet has hired a new artistic director: Ángel Corella, a former principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre. The Spanish-born Corella, 38, whose appointment was approved Tuesday by the board, is slated to start part-time in September, then full-time in January. He succeeds Roy Kaiser, who announced his retirement in April and will step down in October. A ballet spokeswoman said Corella was not available for an interview. Corella, who was born in Madrid, joined ABT in 1995 and was promoted to principal a year later.
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.
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)
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NEWS
June 14, 2015 | By Merilyn Jackson, For The Inquirer
From the opening curtain to the final darkening of the lights, exuberant reactions - both subjectively visceral and objectively profound - rippled through the Merriam Theater at the Pennsylvania Ballet's season closer Thursday night. Choreographer William Forsythe has returned to the States after decades helming Ballet Frankfurt and then his own company in Dresden. The Philadelphia premiere of his 1991 The Second Detail is his third work from the Pennsylvania Ballet. These decades-old, neoclassical ballets will appeal to lovers of Balanchine, whom Forsythe most admired, and, to my eye, advanced the Balanchine aesthetic.
NEWS
June 8, 2015 | By Ellen Dunkel, Inquirer Staff Writer
Angel Corella's first year as artistic director of Pennsylvania Ballet has been one of many changes. The entire artistic staff was replaced, new dancers and guest artists were hired, and, just Monday, Alexander Peters was promoted to principal dancer. But what hardly changed was the lineup of ballets audiences saw all season. "I was actually very pleased with the whole season," Corella said. "I know I could have changed a lot of the ballets that Roy [Kaiser, his predecessor] picked, but I thought it was actually quite interesting.
NEWS
June 1, 2015 | By TOM DI NARDO, For the Daily News
CLASSICAL and contemporary programs, and plenty of hybrids, fill the summer dance calendar. Major and fledgling talents perform, including a student company from Pennsylvania Ballet dancing a Balanchine masterwork. Metropolitan Ballet Company, May 30-31. Last month's Youth America Grand Prix awarded high honors to this pre-professional company, and they're ready to show us the reasons. Muller Auditorium at Abington Friends School, 575 Washington Lane, Jenkintown, 1 and 4 p.m. both days, $15, 215-663-1665, metropolitanballetacademy.com.
NEWS
May 23, 2015 | By Ellen Dunkel, Inquirer Staff Writer
A season of change at Pennsylvania Ballet will be topped off by one more: Zachary Hench and Julie Diana are leaving. The married couple, beloved principal dancers-turned-ballet masters, are moving to Juneau, Alaska, after Pennsylvania Ballet's season ends June 14 to run the state capital's only ballet school, Juneau Dance Theatre. "It will be a really incredible adventure for our family, and for Julie and I to run an organization together," said Hench. He'll be artistic director, Diana executive director.
BUSINESS
May 15, 2015 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
May 10, 2015 | By Ellen Dunkel, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 1, 2015 | By Ellen Dunkel, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 25, 2015 | By Ellen Dunkel, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
March 8, 2015 | By Merilyn Jackson, For The Inquirer
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.
NEWS
March 7, 2015 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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