June 16, 2016 |
Arantxa Ochoa, the director of the School of Pennsylvania Ballet, is the latest to announce that she is leaving the ballet. Hers has been one of the most-recognizable faces of the company for the last 20 years, and her departure, announced Tuesday in a letter from executive director David Gray, is an exclamation point on a tumultuous year. Ochoa will be moving to Florida in August to work at the Miami City Ballet School. Two others from Pennsylvania Ballet recently joined Miami City Ballet as dancers: former principal dancer Lauren Fadeley and corps de ballet dancer Amir Yogev.
June 12, 2016 |
Pennsylvania Ballet is saying goodbye to more than 40 percent of its dancers on a somewhat unfinished note. Balanchine and Beyond opened Thursday night at the Merriam Theater, and it would have been a quiet finale to any season, since three of the four ballets were smaller group works. But this year, many contracts were not renewed and other dancers chose to leave as artistic director Angel Corella transitions the company into his vision. None of the dancers leaving has a sizable role.
June 2, 2016 |
WHEN I TOLD actress and Wizard World Philly 2016 headliner Lea Thompson that I had been a fan since she starred in All the Right Moves in 1984, the still-stunning actress chuckled. "I've been around a long-ass time, huh? Hey, it's good. Better than the alternative. " Thompson - who was one of the biggest movie stars of the 1980s, with films like Red Dawn , Spacecamp , Some Kind of Wonderful , and, of course, Back to the Future , and the lead of NBC's Caroline in the City from 1995 to 1999 - said in a recent phone interview she was looking forward to returning to Philadelphia.
May 29, 2016 |
Lauren Fadeley was a much-beloved principal dancer at the Pennsylvania Ballet before she left last week. She is already dancing with another company, Miami City Ballet, in her native Florida. On Wednesday, Fadeley, 31, launched a podcast, Rediscovering the Dream (on iTunes and Google Play), about the next steps of her career. She is a versatile dancer whose big breakout was the double role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake in 2011, when she was still a member of the corps de ballet.
May 16, 2016 |
Ruth Whitmore Williams, 75, of Gladwyne, an educator and philanthropist who lived up to her motto, "Love, teach, share," died Friday, May 6, of respiratory failure at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. "A dedicated trustee since 1994 and a loyal Scot forever, Ruth leaves behind - on this campus and in the hearts of her many, many friends - a legacy that will never be forgotten," said Georgia Nugent, interim president of the College of Wooster, which Mrs. Williams revered and supported.
May 15, 2016 |
I n 1934's Serenade , the first ballet George Balanchine created after arriving in the United States, he wanted to make a statement against Hitler's fascism. Even with 20 or more lovely creatures in blue tulle, their pink tights peeking through, these beauties, gently raising their arms to the right in unison salute, recalled the Nazi era Thursday evening at the Academy of Music. Serenade fit artistic director Angel Corella's brilliantly planned bill, A Program of Firsts. Even before curtain up, conductor Beatrice Jona Affron set a simmeringly sonorous tone with the Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings and kept raising the bar throughout the evening with fine music.
April 30, 2016 |
B. Herbert Lee, 92, a businessman and philanthropist and grandson of the founder of the former Lee Tire & Rubber Co., died of respiratory failure Tuesday, April 19, at Waverly Heights in Gladwyne. Mr. Lee lived in Haverford and Bryn Mawr before retiring to Waverly Heights in 2008. He also maintained a winter home in Delray Beach, Fla. His family was once well-known as the largest employer in Conshohocken, according to the records of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. His grandfather J. Ellwood Lee created the tire manufacturing operation in 1912 as a spin-off from his J. Ellwood Lee Chemical Co., a maker of medical supplies that merged with Johnson & Johnson in 1905.
April 28, 2016 |
Change is constant in the dance world. But the suddenness and scope of the roster changes announced Monday for Pennsylvania Ballet stunned many in that world and out of it. Angel Corella, the company's artistic director and an international ballet superstar, said 17 of 43 dancers - nearly 40 percent - would be leaving the company. Twelve were let go and five are leaving on their own, including favorites such as Lauren Fadeley, who is going to to Miami City Ballet as a soloist; and Elizabeth Mateer, who will be joining the corps of the San Francisco Ballet.
April 27, 2016
A story Tuesday incorrectly described the inspiration for the title of Beyoncé's Lemonade. It was a comment by the grandmother of her husband, Jay Z. A Tuesday story on announced staff changes at the Pennsylvania Ballet incorrectly named the union that represents the ballet dancers. It is the American Guild of Musical Artists. A story Tuesday about the city's new prisons commissioner inaccurately described her appointment. Blanche Carney is one of a handful of women nationwide to head prison systems.
April 24, 2016
MANNA hosted Shut Up & Dance, a one-night performance produced and choreographed by Pennsylvania Ballet dancers at the Forrest Theatre. The April 9 evening started with a VIP party that featured signature cocktails and food catered by MANNA and Di Bruno Bros., and short presentations by VIP host Steve Korman and MANNA CEO Sue Daugherty. More than 1,200 attendees showed their support for the tradition that started in 1991, when Pennsylvania Ballet dancers decided to honor friends dying from HIV/AIDS.