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Swan Lake

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June 14, 1991 | By Nancy Goldner, Inquirer Dance Critic
With Swan Lake, the Pennsylvania Ballet ends its roller-coaster season on a note of calm, as Odette and Prince Siegfried glide through the waters toward eternal bliss, wafted along by Tchaikovsky's sublime music. Of course, the lovers have to transcend three hours of emotional turbulence to reach their state of Nirvana, which is one reason the ballet packs such a wallop and is the most popular ballet of all time. Of all the Russian classics, Swan Lake is the most dramatically exciting.
NEWS
July 11, 1991 | By Nancy Goldner, Inquirer Dance Critic
How good can Swan Lake be when the weakest link is the Swan Queen? The answer provided by the Royal Ballet on Monday at the Metropolitan Opera, the opening night of the company's two-week run there, is equivocal. The ballet can be much better than one would assume, and yet . . . It was a performance that sparked in bits and pieces, sometimes in unexpected and novel ways. At times the dramatic concept, worked out by artistic director Anthony Dowell and Tchaikovsky scholar Roland John Wiley, was more gripping than the dancing.
NEWS
May 2, 1988 | By Nancy Goldner, Inquirer Dance Critic
Yugoslavia's Zagreb Grand Ballet, which over the weekend opened the 1988 Hollybush Festival in Glassboro, is a throwback to an era Americans could know only through picture books. These books show Soviet dance stars of the 1920s and '30s striking bold, glamorous poses with a technique that today would dismay a ballet teacher in the smallest New Jersey town. Today, no dancer is as oblivious to the ABCs of technique - pointed feet, turned-out legs - as the early Soviet stars were.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 6, 2007 | By TOM DI NARDO For the Daily News
London's famed Royal Ballet is back, this time at the Mann. It has been 31 years since their last Academy of Music appearance here in 1976, coincidentally the same year the Mann Music Center opened in West Fairmount Park. Many may remember the final, spellbinding performance of "Swan Lake" in that visit, with Monica Mason dancing the role of Odette. She's now the company's director, and she's bringing in the Royal for two grand, spectacle ballets: Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet" and Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake.
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
June 24, 1992 | By Nancy Goldner, INQUIRER DANCE CRITIC
Tchaikovsky's music for the last scene of Swan Lake is so graphically descriptive of spiritual crisis and bittersweet resolution that you'd think it impossible that a choreographer would tinker with the original libretto. Not so. Choreographers in the former Soviet Union, for instance, did not hesitate to alter the conclusion that has Odette and Prince Siegfried ending their lives by plunging into a lake, thereby vanquishing von Rothbart, the evil sorcerer, and gliding into eternal bliss in an underwater heaven.
NEWS
August 10, 2005 | By Lewis Whittington FOR THE INQUIRER
When Pennsylvania Ballet artistic director Roy Kaiser introduced Christopher Wheeldon at a news conference in 2003, it was to talk about how the red-hot British choreographer would reenvision Swan Lake. Wheeldon, then 30 years old, said that he wouldn't be making huge changes in the classically minted 1895 choreography by Russian masters Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. A year later, his new Swan Lake premiered in Philadelphia as the finale to Penn Ballet's 40th season, under the scrutiny of more than 100 dance writers who happened to be here for a national critics convention.
NEWS
June 10, 1988 | By Nancy Goldner, Inquirer Dance Critic
The best Swan Lakes are the ones that hold no surprises. The Pennsylvania and Milwaukee Ballet's local premiere of its full-length production simply lets the ballet roll under the spell of Tchaikovsky's great score, and in so doing fully explains why Swan Lake is the most popular ballet of all time. Everything about the production coalesces, from Jose Varona's traditionally conceived sets to some new choreography by Robert Weiss and Richard Tanner. The dancers perform the entire four acts as if they had been doing them for years - although in fact, this complete Swan Lake, which opened Wednesday night at the Academy of Music for a two-week run, is a first for the combined troupe.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 13, 1987 | By Nancy Goldner, Inquirer Dance Critic
A company both old and new will be the prime focus of the 1987-88 Philadelphia dance season. On Wednesday, the 24-year-old Pennsylvania Ballet will give its first performance as the Pennsylvania and Milwaukee Ballet, the result of its merger last spring with the Milwaukee Ballet. In addition to having a longer name, the troupe is also larger (41 dancers, compared with 26) and has a repertory reflective of its bigger size. Thus Giselle and Swan Lake, two classics requiring a large ensemble, will be presented in April and June, respectively, marking the first time that Philadelphians will see their home troupe perform them.
NEWS
September 18, 1989 | By Nancy Goldner, Inquirer Dance Critic
Lisa Sundstrom, the Pennsylvania Ballet's junior principal dancer, moved to the head of the class Friday night with an exquisitely rendered Swan Queen in Swan Lake, which plays at the Academy of Music through tonight. Compared with Sundstrom's debut in this watershed role 18 months ago, this one was a paradigm of artistic growth. On any terms, though, it was plain splendid. Of fragile bearing, Sundstrom turned this quality into profound vulnerability, which made her swan as womanly as it was birdlike.
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NEWS
July 20, 2015 | By Ellen Dunkel, Inquirer Staff Writer
Misty Copeland was showered with love and attention when she became the first African American principal ballerina at American Ballet Theatre last month. She received thousands of congratulatory tweets. Her promotion was big news in media nationwise. Ballet fans rejoiced, and so did many who had never heard of her. Would this mean a new era of opportunity for ballerinas of color in a world of white swans, snowflakes, and sylphs? The outlook depends on whom you ask. Joan Myers Brown, founding artistic director of Philadanco, created her troupe 45 years ago "because there were no opportunities for black dancers, not because I wanted to have a black company.
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
June 26, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Tchaikovsky was unstoppable at the Philadelphia Orchestra's return Tuesday to the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in the annual 1812 Overture performance with fireworks, though the program was curtailed due to the violent thunderstorm that hit two hours before concert time. After an early-evening power failure, Peco restored the lights - lots of them, along with a trio of new video screens in the rear lawn - although only for a limited time, pending the rebooting necessary for repairs elsewhere in the area.
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
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 26, 2014 | By Ellen Dunkel, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia is loaded with small dance companies, as anyone who has ever been to Fringe knows. These troupes rarely get to perform in fancy theaters, and it takes a lot of motivation for audiences to trek out to dingy performance spaces and sit on uncomfortable folding chairs all night. For the second year, Koresh Dance Company invited its colleagues to perform in the Suzanne Roberts Theatre in the Come Together Dance Festival. Over five days, which began Wednesday night, 24 companies have their 15 or so minutes of fame.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 15, 2012 | By Merilyn Jackson, For The Inquirer
Ovations, spiked with wolf whistles, erupted throughout much of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo's Thursday night opening Dance Celebration program at the Annenberg Center. And the Trocks, as they affectionately call themselves, shamelessly cadged for more. Even during the final poignant moments of his solo - Mikhail Fokine's Dying Swan , to the famous Saint-Saëns music - Roberto Forleo, as Marina Plezegetovstageskaya, lifted his false eyelashes and furled his manicured fingertips, hustling for applause.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 2, 2012 | By Kellie Patrick Gates, For The Inquirer
Hello there In early 2003, Melissa, now the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts' executive vice president of development, was grants manager at the Pennsylvania Ballet. She was seeking a hugely important Dance Advance grant to fund Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake . Needing to learn as much about the production as possible, Melissa made an appointment with the ballet's artistic director, Roy. Before the interview, Melissa and Roy knew of each other. Roy had unknowingly gotten Melissa in trouble, when she followed his example of wearing jeans to work.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 16, 2011 | By Dan Gross
THE PENNSYLVANIA Ballet can't directly attribute the brisk ticket sales for its production of "Swan Lake" to the popularity of the film "Black Swan," but a ballet spokeswoman suspects that the movie has helped. "Swan Lake," which runs March 3-12 at the Academy of Music, is selling "really well," says Marissa Montenegro , public- relations manager for the ballet. " 'Black Swan' is putting ballet on the tips of people's tongues and attracting people who hadn't previously thought of ballet, which is great," she said.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 10, 2010 | By GARY THOMPSON, thompsg@phillynews.com 215-854-5992
IN "THE WRESTLER," Mickey Rourke rakes his body with staples, glass fragments, razors and barbed wire. But is he tough enough to be a ballerina? Probably not, judging by the marathon of masochism that is "Black Swan," featuring Natalie Portman as a dancer who threatens to drown in a production of "Swan Lake. " Both movies are the work of director Darren Aronofsky, cinema's leading authority on self-mutilation, if not suffering in general (now that Mel Gibson's in early retirement)
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