April 5, 2016 |
'I don't roll on the floor," said Meredith Rainey, one of Philadelphia's best-loved (and tallest) ballet dancers, during the post-show Q&A. "It's a long way down. " Yet, there he was Friday night at the Annenberg Center's Prince Theater, doing exactly that, as he and co-choreographer Tania Isaac presented the world premiere of (In)Visible . An hour-long piece combining movement and music with spoken text, this work was partly inspired by Ralph Ellison's 1952 novel Invisible Man , a classic statement about the position of black people in white America.
April 3, 2016 |
When the third version of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, or PIFA, breaks out around town beginning April 8, it will represent a more modest version of the arts extravaganza that ended with 200,000 people thronging a Broad Street fair in April 2011. The festival will be shorter - two weeks instead of the four weeks of 2011 and 2013. There will be fewer events - 60 this year versus 145 in 2011. And the budget for the festival, organized and presented by the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, is noticeably smaller - $4.5 million this year, down from 2013's $5.6 million, and $10 million in 2011.
March 13, 2016
On March 3, the Pennsylvania Ballet presented the world premiere of artistic director Angel Corella's Don Quixote . More than 100 attended a special Don Quixote -theme dinner at the Academy of Music. The evening, which raised $99,450, was a Spanish-inspired event featuring cocktails and dinner, followed by the the Pennsylvania Ballet's performance of the classic. The company performed the ballet for the first time in its 53-year history.
March 6, 2016 |
There's so much to like about Angel Corella's new Don Quixote , which the Pennsylvania Ballet premiered Thursday night at the Academy of Music. The artistic director upped the Spanish feel and authenticity of the ballet's classic Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov steps, set to Ludwig Minkus' well-known score. This can be seen in Ana Calderón's flamenco Gypsy, a rhythmic-gymnastlike cape dance from Jermel Johnson as Espada, the matadors' scene, and other touches. Mayara Piñeiro sparkled as Kitri.
March 4, 2016 |
This year, Don Quixote , next year, Le Corsaire . Angel Corella will recreate another highly popular full-length ballet in his third year as artistic director, he said, announcing the Pennsylvania Ballet's 2016-17 season. He has also added a third full-length ballet to the lineup, commissioned more new work, and shifted the timing of the season. Le Corsaire , set to music by Adolphe Adam, is a pirate story based loosely on a Lord Byron poem, and it's a ballet Corella knows extremely well.
February 29, 2016 |
What's Spanish about the Pennsylvania Ballet's new production of the full-length Don Quixote , premiering Thursday at the Academy of Music? Most obviously, Miguel de Cervantes' classic 17th-century novel of the same name, which has inspired myriad adaptations of this tale of a delusional knight-errant. (Cue Richard Kiley singing "The Impossible Dream. ") Ángel Corella, the company's artistic director, creator of this version of Don Quixote , is Spanish - born, raised, and trained in Madrid.
February 24, 2016 |
It's a safe bet the only thing standing between children and their ability to absorb the most challenging art is the adult with a limited imagination. There was no danger of that happening Sunday at the Curtis Institute of Music, where a new production of The Jungle Book emerged from the pen of a group of grown-ups with an enormous sense of regard for their audience. What's more, the 45-minute ballet with a stunning small-ensemble score and crisply told story is an absolute charmer.
February 7, 2016 |
The program is called Strength and Longing, but Strength and Lengthening might have been a better name. The Pennsylvania Ballet opened its February season Thursday night with four dances that were all long limbs, rippling muscles, bravado, and control. Three of the pieces presented at the Merriam Theater were company premieres, as artistic director Ángel Corella continues his plan to introduce new work to Philadelphia audiences. The evening opened with "Without Words," a Nacho Duato premiere of chiseled bodies in minimal costumes performing duets and trios that flowed from position to position.
January 7, 2016 |
It was a cultural clash unseen even in a city long defined by the confrontational fanaticism of its sports fans: a grande bataille between a trash-talking Eagles fan and an elegant defender of the ballet. And in yet another sign that Philadelphia may be a city in transformation, a city rightly celebrated for much more than sports, a cracked bell, and steak on a roll, the ballet guy owned the Eagles guy. Big time. The emotions of the cultural imbroglio have settled, and with no permanent ill will.
December 20, 2015
The Pennsylvania Ballet transformed the Ballroom at Hyatt at the Bellevue into the annual Nutcracker Magic Holiday Feast on Dec. 12. Fun was had by all as children of all ages dressed up in their holiday best, dined on kid-friendly food, and danced in a real ballroom. They also made crafts with other little buddies and met live characters from The Nutcracker , taking photos with the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Mouse King, and even holding a live monkey. All this magic - and then they were off to a matinee performance of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker performed by the Pennsylvania Ballet at the Academy of Music.