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.
November 22, 2013 |
Mayor Nutter dined on smoked chicken wings, viewed a photo exhibit celebrating the Pennsylvania Ballet's 50th anniversary, and met staff at the posh XpresSpa Wednesday, all in Philadelphia International Airport's newly renovated Terminal F. US Airways chief operating officer Robert Isom came in for the grand opening of the terminal expansion. Travelers mingled with airline and airport employees and the workers in 20 new shops and restaurants in Terminal F served up tasty, free food - including pulled pork sandwiches, roast Brussels sprouts, homemade pretzels, and pastries.
November 17, 2013 |
Dancer/choreographer Amanda Miller keeps refining her choreographic chops, researching new work with a small group of dancers and theater artists that includes her partner, videographer Tobin Rothlein, and, in this case, Kristin Kest, a sci-fi illustrator turned dramaturg. The company, approaching its 10th year and now called simply Miller Rothlein, opened Forbidden Creature Virgin Whore Thursday evening at the White Space at Crane Arts Old School, where they have been in residence.
October 20, 2013 |
Pennsylvania Ballet opened its 50th anniversary season with a celebration of pure, luxurious beauty with the company premiere of George Balanchine's Jewels Thursday night at the Academy of Music. It is a plotless ballet in three acts - "Emeralds," set to music by Faure; "Rubies" to Stravinsky; and "Diamonds" to Tchaikovsky - but the dancers conveyed bits of story. Lauren Fadeley and Ian Hussey darted playfully through formations of corps dancers in puffs of green tulle while performing swirling arm movements, grand developees, and luscious port de bras.
October 15, 2013 |
In 1961, George Balanchine summoned some of the nation's top ballet teachers to a seminar in New York, hub of the U.S. dance world and one of the few cities where professional ballet was being performed at the time. "Something has to happen," said the great choreographer and founder of the New York City Ballet and its School of American Ballet. "You're turning out more and more dancers. Where are they going to dance?" "If you really are serious, Mr. B.," said Barbara Weisberger, who had been his first child student (at age 8)
September 1, 2013 |
THREE FAMILIAR names dominate the fall season - Yannick, Verdi and Balanchine. Yannick Nezet-Seguin will conduct more concerts in his second season as the Philadelphia Orchestra's music director, with three commissions for first-chair players an innovative highlight. Giuseppe Verdi's first success, "Nabucco," will be staged for the first time by Opera Philadelphia, and George Balanchine's magnificent choreography will launch Pennsylvania Ballet's season. By the numbers: the Ballet will be performing in its 50th season, with the Mendelssohn Club celebrating its 140th and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society presenting a whopping 65 of the world's great recital artists and groups.
July 29, 2013 |
With a new five-year plan in hand, Pennsylvania Ballet is taking a great leap forward. A decade of flat ticket revenues, chronic funding challenges, and a certain lack of artistic sparkle prompted the ballet to engage Kennedy Center president Michael Kaiser, who has been at work on the plan since May. The widely respected arts manager has responded with a blueprint calling for new artistic projects, partnerships with local and national arts groups,...
June 15, 2013 |
The Pennsylvania Ballet closes its 2013 spring season with an artistically varied program that is emotionally and intellectually satisfying. At the Academy of Music on Thursday night, the curtain rose on 12 dancers, backs to the audience, walking forward, taking steps back, making half-turns, adding more dance moves until they broke rank. The women in long-sleeved gowns, the men in blouses and straight trousers (by John Macfarlane, who also designed the moody set based on a Munch painting)
May 18, 2013 |
After 44 years on - and more recently off - the stage, Dance Theatre of Harlem opened Thursday night at the Annenberg Center. It was a welcome return, and the company looked both young and sophisticated. Led by founding member and longtime principal dancer Virginia Johnson, the troupe was on hiatus for eight years after facing a debt of more than $2 million. When the curtain went down in 2004, the company had 44 dancers. Now, it's performing with just 18. This week's tour to Philadelphia brought two artists home.
May 11, 2013 |
Pennsylvania Ballet revived Carnival of the Animals on Thursday at the Academy of Music, and it continues to be a delightful, colorful piece that, like ballet, transforms characters into other beings. Written and narrated on stage by John Lithgow, and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon to music by Camille Saint-Saëns, Carnival is the story of a boy, Oliver Pendleton Percy the Third (the personable Lucas Tischler, notable in winters past as both Fritz and the Nutcracker Prince)