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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
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)
ENTERTAINMENT
April 14, 2000 | By Elizabeth Zimmer, FOR THE INQUIRER
The Pennsylvania Ballet's men walk away with Nine Lives: Songs of Lyle Lovett - both the Daniel Pelzig work that makes its first local appearance this week, and the other two pieces sharing the program that bears its name. The three dances continue through Sunday at the Merriam Theater. The guys seize front and center, both as choreographers and as dancers. (The 1998 Cricket Dances by Jeffrey Gribler, principal dancer and ballet master, opens the program, and corps member Matthew Neenan's new Rocky Road to Kansas is its centerpiece.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 15, 2014 | By Ellen Dunkel, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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
March 4, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 12, 2014 | By Ellen Dunkel, Inquirer Staff Writer
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)
NEWS
February 9, 2014 | By Ellen Dunkel, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
December 27, 2013 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 11, 2013 | By Nancy G. Heller, For The Inquirer
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.
NEWS
December 2, 2013 | By Ellen Dunkel, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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