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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
October 15, 1992 | by Janet Anderson, Daily News Dance Critic
The curtain went up last night at the Merriam Theater on the opening performance of the Pennsylvania Ballet's 29th season. This is a fairly significant marker in the company's tempestuous life - or in any performing- arts organization's life. The program itself is a rather odd mixed bill that juxtaposes one terrific abstract George Balanchine work, "Rubies," with a rather dumb Balanchine mood piece, "Scotch Symphony" - a reminder, if needed, that even Balanchine had his bad moments.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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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.
NEWS
February 14, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Betty K. Musser, 91, of Newtown Square, a philanthropist, died Tuesday, Feb. 3, of respiratory failure due to pneumonia at Bryn Mawr Hospital. Mrs. Musser, whose maiden name was Umstad, was born in Pittsburgh. She lived in Villanova and earned a bachelor's degree in biology at Ursinus College. She was married for 43 years to Warren V. "Pete" Musser, a venture capitalist and major philanthropist in the Philadelphia area. He was founder and CEO of the Wayne-based Safeguard Scientifics Inc. The two divorced; he survives.
NEWS
February 8, 2015 | By Nancy G. Heller, For The Inquirer
Excitement filled the Merriam Theater on Thursday night as the Pennsylvania Ballet presented a program featuring a world premiere by resident choreographer Matthew Neenan and a trio of rising stars. Mayara Pineiro, who joined the corps last fall, was outstanding in Neenan's Shift to Minor . Brand-new soloist Oksana Maslova distinguished herself - with the superb Ian Hussey as her partner - in Christopher Wheeldon's Polyphonia . And Alexander Peters, a Pennsylvania Ballet apprentice just three years ago, was a revelation in the title role of George Balanchine's Prodigal Son . Set to a piano score by György Ligeti played by the excellent Martha Koeneman, Polyphonia was an impressive opener.
NEWS
December 29, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Jordan Matter is a one-man flash mob - with a camera. On a frosty Monday in early December, Matter and two dancers from the Pennsylvania Ballet and one from BalletX are pinballing around downtown, politely commandeering Santa's seat in City Hall's courtyard, an entire block of Addison Street, and a divider in the middle of South Broad Street - during rush hour. See it. Feel it. Shoot it. That's how Matter works. The eye behind the lens of Dancers Among Us , a 2012 New York Times best seller and an Oprah Magazine best book, says his process "relies on serendipity.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 10, 2014 | By Ellen Dunkel, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania Ballet has undergone great change in recent months - a new artistic director, new ballet masters, new dancers, and more. One had to wonder: Would the beloved winter classic George Balanchine's The Nutcracker look different too when it opened Saturday at the Academy of Music? The once-a-year balletgoer may not notice the changes, because the Balanchine choreography must be kept as the great choreographer set it 60 years ago, only allowing for alterations he later made or would have approved.
NEWS
December 1, 2014 | By Ellen Dunkel, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ballet or college? Many young dancers ask themselves that question. For Elizabeth Mateer, the matter was even more complicated when she received a job offer from Pennsylvania Ballet 2, the second company, as well as an acceptance to Harvard. Mateer, now 24, chose ballet. Five years later, as a member of the first company's corps de ballet, her decision is paying off in featured roles. In October, she shone in performances of Christopher Wheeldon's Liturgy and Alexei Ratmansky's Jeu de Cartes . Next she'll dance Sugar Plum in some performances of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker , opening Saturday.
NEWS
November 28, 2014 | BY LAUREN McCUTCHEON, Daily News Staff Writer mccutch@phillynews.com, 215-854-5991
NO MATTER how late Thanksgiving is, the winter holidays come quickly every year. And every year, the People Paper has you covered. This year's rundown lays out three dozen Philly-in-December traditions. Some - the Pops, Longwood Christmas, "The Nutcracker,"; all those light shows - you already know, and love. Others - Joybells of Melmark, Christmas Posada, City Hall's new ice rink - you really oughta give a try. Sure, you'll be busy. 'Tis the season.  (Free events have an *)   CITY LIGHTS  Macy's Light Show,* Nov. 28-Dec.
NEWS
October 19, 2014 | By Ellen Dunkel, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Ballet opened its season - and the next chapter in its 51-year existence - Thursday night at the Academy of Music with Press Play: The Directorial Debut of Ángel Corella . It's less than two months since the Spaniard Corella, a former principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre and an international star, took over as artistic director amid a tsunami of changes at the company. His influence has already made improvements. The program opened with Balanchine's "Allegro Brillante," set to Tchaikovsky.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 18, 2014
The Pennsylvania Ballet opened its season Thursday night with many staffing changes - including one big one that slipped by with little mention or fanfare: Zachary Hench retired from dancing. The much-loved former principal dancer was named ballet master in August, along with his wife, Julie Diana , who retired as principal dancer in May. Hench planned to multitask as both dancer and coach. But being ballet master of a company in much transition (including a new artistic director, Ángel Corella )
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