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Principal Dancer

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NEWS
September 14, 1998 | by Mark Angeles, Daily News Staff Writer
For a ballet dancer coming back to work after a summer off, bellying up to the barre takes on a whole new meaning. "I was in Spain for three weeks, and I did nothing," said Arantxa Ochoa, 25, an ensemble member of the Pennsylvania Ballet, during a break from a recent class. "This is my third week back, and I'm not yet back in shape. " From a layman's perspective, the layoff didn't appear to have had much of an effect on the classically beautiful, reed-thin Ochoa, but other dancers agreed that the life of a world-class dancer requires almost year-round training.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 24, 1995 | By Peter Dobrin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Tamara Hadley will take her final bow as prima ballerina with the Pennsylvania Ballet after its February run of Giselle, the troupe announced yesterday. Hadley, 41, will remain with the company as ballet mistress - a job she started part-time last season and will take on full-time after her last performance, Feb. 12. Hadley joined Pennsylvania Ballet in 1975, and was promoted to principal dancer a year later. In her 20-year career with the company, she danced most of the classical repertoire's major roles - including Swanilda in Coppelia, the Sylph in La Sylphide and Odette/Odile in Swan Lake.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 11, 2004 | By TOM DI NARDO For the Daily News
Dede Barfield, principal dancer of Pennsylvania Ballet and a recognized luminary for 20 years, is making her swan song with tomorrow's performance in the company's brilliant "Swan Lake," choreographed anew by Christopher Wheeldon. "This time is so different for so many reasons - it's new choreography, new sets, new costumes, new everything," Barfield said recently. In past seasons, she's danced two other versions, including one by George Balanchine. "It's also different because I'm in a different place as a person.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 23, 1990 | By Janet Anderson, Special to the Daily News
Christopher d'Amboise, the 30-year-old former New York City Ballet principal dancer and son of dance luminary Jacques d'Amboise, has been named artistic director of the Pennsylvania Ballet. Michael Bloom, co-chairman of the search committee, confirmed the appointment yesterday, saying that "although d'Amboise was young in years, he has two qualities that made him especially appealing to the committee . . . he has enough energy to light up the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, yet at the same time he has marvelous maturity and an articulated loyalty to ballet's tradition.
NEWS
March 7, 1990 | By David M. Krakow, Special to The Inquirer
Lizanne McAdams, who has touched down on as much foreign soil as some airline pilots, is making a brief stop back in her former home of Mount Laurel. The former principal dancer with The Mount Laurel Regional Ballet - now a member of the Oberlin Dance Company in San Francisco - is returning to the area she left about three years ago. On March 18 at noon, she will present a master class in classical ballet at the School of the Mount Laurel Regional Ballet, 216 Church Rd. in Mount Laurel.
NEWS
October 5, 2012
Yvonne Mounsey, 93, who danced major roles for George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins with the New York City Ballet in the 1950s and went on to found an influential West Coast ballet school, died of cancer Saturday at her Los Angeles home. Ms. Mounsey danced with the City Ballet from 1948 to 1958, rising from soloist to principal dancer. She was born Yvonne Louise Leibbrandt in 1919 on a South African dairy farm outside Pretoria. She began taking ballet lessons at 7 with a former member of Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova's company.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 15, 2000 | By Merilyn Jackson, FOR THE INQUIRER
Eurythmics was a movement style of the '30s, when Aryan men celebrated their bodies in public stadiums. In Salvatore Aiello's 1978 Journey, a dozen bare-chested men perform a neoclassical dance that could have been made at the time. It opened the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's four-performance run Thursday night at the Annenberg Center. The men, varying in strength and competence, dance a random series of jetes and tours en l'air. The 12 genuflect on the diagonal, right arms saluting some hidden ideal in the wings.
NEWS
October 15, 2001 | By Merilyn Jackson FOR THE INQUIRER
A highlight of the 21-day El Festival Cubano was to have been the first appearance in Philadelphia by lead dancers from Conjunto Folklorico Cutumba, a dance company based in Santiago de Cuba. However, due to last-minute visa problems, only two of the group were able to get to the United States to perform here Friday. After working all week with the Philadelphia-based Kulu Mele African American Drum and Dance Ensemble, Cutumba's principal dancer, Odalis Armi?on Devrot, and its director, Idalberto Bandera Sid?, collaborated with the local group in a performance in the Art Sanctuary at the Church of the Advocate at 18th and Diamond Streets.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 22, 1995 | By Peter Dobrin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Roy Kaiser's tryout has earned him an encore at the Pennsylvania Ballet: The troupe's board yesterday voted unanimously to keep him on as artistic director. Kaiser, 37, was appointed to a one-year term last June after president and artistic director Christopher d'Amboise resigned, saying he couldn't maintain the company's artistic integrity in the face of tightening financial restraints. Kaiser's new contract keeps him in the post at least through August 1997. "I'm excited about it - very excited, actually," said Kaiser yesterday.
NEWS
April 7, 2009 | By Ellen Dunkel FOR THE INQUIRER
The sun had just set. The wind sure did bite. We went to the theater that blustery night. All we could do was to sit, sit, sit, sit. But we were rewarded with a charming little hit. Saturday night at the Wilma Theater BalletX premiered The Striped Hat, co-artistic director Christine Cox's adorable tip of the hat to Dr. Seuss. A fresh-faced newcomer, Laura Feig, and Kevin Yee-Chan are featured as the restless home-alone siblings who get a timely visit from the fun-loving, trouble-making Cat in the Hat (Tara Keating)
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 2, 2015 | By Howard Gensler, Daily News
Dance Misty for me Misty Copeland  has finally broken through the glass-toe shoe. Named principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre yesterday, she became the first African-American ballerina to achieve that status in the company's 75-year history. The theatre announced the promotion five days after Copeland made her New York debut in the role of Odette/Odile in "Swan Lake. " The emotional performance - finally a real black swan - ended with trailblazing black ballerinas of earlier generations greeting Copeland on stage.
NEWS
October 5, 2012
Yvonne Mounsey, 93, who danced major roles for George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins with the New York City Ballet in the 1950s and went on to found an influential West Coast ballet school, died of cancer Saturday at her Los Angeles home. Ms. Mounsey danced with the City Ballet from 1948 to 1958, rising from soloist to principal dancer. She was born Yvonne Louise Leibbrandt in 1919 on a South African dairy farm outside Pretoria. She began taking ballet lessons at 7 with a former member of Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova's company.
NEWS
April 6, 2010 | By Merilyn Jackson FOR THE INQUIRER
As she endured treatment for breast cancer 13 years ago, dancer/choreographer Jeanne Ruddy read T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land. But as she recovered, it was his Four Quartets that gave her solace, particularly the end of the third section, "The Dry Salvages": We, content at the last/ If our temporal reversion nourish/ (Not too far from the yew-tree)/ The life of significant soil. To mark the company's 10th anniversary, Jeanne Ruddy Dance presents Janet Pilla and Christine Taylor alternately performing Ruddy's solo Significant Soil in a celebratory run at the Wilma Theater that begins with a Thursday-evening gala.
NEWS
April 7, 2009 | By Ellen Dunkel FOR THE INQUIRER
The sun had just set. The wind sure did bite. We went to the theater that blustery night. All we could do was to sit, sit, sit, sit. But we were rewarded with a charming little hit. Saturday night at the Wilma Theater BalletX premiered The Striped Hat, co-artistic director Christine Cox's adorable tip of the hat to Dr. Seuss. A fresh-faced newcomer, Laura Feig, and Kevin Yee-Chan are featured as the restless home-alone siblings who get a timely visit from the fun-loving, trouble-making Cat in the Hat (Tara Keating)
ENTERTAINMENT
July 14, 2007 | By Ellen Dunkel FOR THE INQUIRER
The turning point in Swan Lake comes when Prince Siegfried mistakes Odile - the black swan - for Odette, the white swan with whom he has fallen in love. His accidental betrayal dooms his beloved to death. In Thursday night's Royal Ballet performance of Swan Lake at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Siegfried's error was more obvious than usual: Odette and Odile, usually a dual role for one dancer, were played by two because of an injury. The performance started out ideally, from the setting to the movement.
NEWS
June 3, 2007 | By Kristin E. Holmes INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The place where Christopher Budzynski returns to his childhood is filled with ballet slippers and the musky scent of hard work. Budzynski spins on tiptoes and lifts the dainty body of his wife aloft. A young audience of two watches from the doorway. Only 10-year-old Madison McCandless dared to speak when it was clear the rehearsal was over. "You guys dance beautifully together," said McCandless, sitting next to fellow dancer Tali Choinski, 9. Budzynski, 32, a principal dancer with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, has returned to Doylestown to star in a local production of Cinderella.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 11, 2007 | By Amy S. Rosenberg INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
New York choreographer Jane Comfort is torn. With just a few hours of rehearsal time left in Philly for a piece she is thinking about calling I Am Not a Bad Dog, there are decisions to be made. "Whether I want to put a helicopter behind it, or wind chimes," she says. Hmm. Sounds like a not-insignificant decision, mood-wise. But there are other matters to take care of on this Friday afternoon inside the Performance Garage at 1515 Brandywine St., a converted auto body shop that was itself a converted horse carriage house and now is home to Jeanne Ruddy Dance.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 2, 2006 | By TOM DI NARDO For the Daily News
Pennsylvania Ballet's season finale is a stunning display of the company's versatility. Not only is its roster packed with brilliant dancers, but this getaway bill shows off some other unique talents. Artistic director Roy Kaiser has given dancer Matthew Neenan his seventh choreographic assignment, "As It's Going. " It will be preceded by a repeat of his enormously successful "11:11," set last season to the songs of Rufus Wainwright. And it will be followed by the 1999 work "Symposium," choreographed by Kaiser's predecessor, Christopher D'Amboise.
NEWS
June 7, 2005 | By Lewis Whittington FOR THE INQUIRER
After almost 20 years with the Pennsylvania Ballet, dancing the widest range of roles, principal dancer David Krensing has decided to hang up his tights. He joined the company in 1986, became a soloist two years later, and has been a lead since 1996. An acknowledged MVP during many a season, Krensing performed role after role with what many agreed was subtle and steely artistic clarity. He is now performing his official final role for the company, Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet. After the final dress rehearsal last month for Jerome Robbins' The Concert, he looked back over his career.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 13, 2004 | By Howard Shapiro INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
So this is how art happens, how it advances from a glint at an opulent buffet luncheon in Connecticut last year to a fully rendered dance with a world premiere Thursday evening in Philadelphia. The luncheon last June was hosted by Dance Magazine's former publisher, celebrating 25 years with her husband. One guest was Jeanne Ruddy, a former principal dancer with the Martha Graham company. These days, she is the vision behind the four-year-old Philadelphia contemporary dance company that bears her name and is on a fast track in the city's arts milieu.
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