To judge by the headlines swirling around the Pennsylvania Ballet in recent years, the company has become a cross between Black Swan and The Hunger Games. News accounts didn’t seem to bode well for a smooth regime change following the July 2014 appointment of new artistic director Angel Corella: “Pennsylvania Ballet fires longtime artistic leaders, administrators” (August 2014). “Nearly 40 percent of Pa. Ballet dancers leave or are let go” (April 2016). “Angel Corella of Pennsylvania Ballet Upends Troupe, Reflecting New Vision” (April 2016). “Pennsylvania Ballet fires the Sugar Plum Fairy” (January 2017). “More staff members depart from Pennsylvania Ballet” (February 2017). “Pennsylvania Ballet leaders, husband and wife, are stepping down” (April 2017). Read more »
A Program of Firsts — Pennsylvania Ballet @ The Academy of Music | May 12th–15th
The company performs its inaugural production of George Balanchine’s Serenade, the first ballet the celebrated choreographer created in the United States. Danced to Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C, Op. 48, the ballet entwines unexpected events, like students falling or arriving late, into the choreography. Continuing the theme of firsts, nationally renowned choreographer-in-residence Mathew Neenan, cofounder of Ballet X, presents a world premiere for the company. Rounding out the program, Liam Scarlett showcases a company and North American premiere of Asphodel Meadows, comprising three compelling pas de deuxs set to the compositions of Poulenc. Read more »
Memo from the Pennsylvania Ballet to the Philadelphia Eagles: Man up.
The Eagles’ season of turmoil ended — thankfully — on Sunday afternoon with a win over the Giants, but not before Coach Chip Kelly was fired, and also not before taking a really sick burn from the Pennsylvania Ballet.
Here’s the message the ballet — which is under new artistic direction by famed dancer Angel Correa this season — sent out on Facebook on Wednesday: Read more »
This is your first full season with the Pennsylvania Ballet, and it’s packed with works that are either entirely new or new to the company. The exception is Balanchine’s Nutcracker. Is any part of you tempted to rip it up and try something new? No, not at all. The Nutcracker is such a big part of Christmas for everyone, not only for the Philly audience, but for everyone in the world. People are so familiar with it. Nothing new has been thought about.
Why do you think The Nutcracker has been embraced so widely? Once we get to the holidays, people try to embrace what Christmas is. I remember as a child being in front of the fire, being with the family and getting presents. The Nutcracker, you automatically think of the snow, of family, of Christmas. You go to the theater and experience all of that in an hour and a half.
If Philadelphia has been called New York City’s sixth borough then Pennsylvania Ballet’s rehearsal studio is beginning to feel a lot like Lincoln Center’s annex. Just last week, you could’ve spotted international ballet VIPs Angel Corella, Charles Askegard, Kyra Nichols and Christopher Wheeldon — all walking the halls of the company’s North Broad Street space.
The ballet world may be far flung, but, among its A-listers it appears quite cozy. Corella, Askegard, Nichols and Wheeldon are all friends and colleagues who danced either with both or one of the two major American companies: New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. The company dancers are the lucky beneficiaries of all this artistic firepower imported down from New York.
Yesterday, Pennsylvania Ballet Artistic Director Ángel Corella hosted a cocktail party at the Olde Bar to announce the Ballet’s 2015-2016 season—the first one he has completely curated on his own. About 60 friends, supporters and press gathered at the event to hear Corella discuss the new season, which will focus on an array of hot young choreographers who are shaking up the contemporary ballet scene. Among the works will be Wayne McGregor’s Chroma, featuring arrangements of music by the The White Stripes; Christopher Wheeldon’s For Four and DGV (Dance at Great Velocity), and a world premiere by BalletX Artistic Director Matthew Neenan. The year will end, of course, with George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.
Contrary to popular belief, the amazing cultural scene in Philly doesn’t slow down during the winter season: There’s a host of wonderful dance, theater, music, and visual arts events that are lined up during the region’s most frosty months. We surveyed the offerings and picked our ten best Philly bets that will sure to keep you entertained and inspired, even if you have to wear your toastiest winter gear to the venue!
We chatted with Lauren Fadeley (you might recognize her from the Nutcracker signs hanging along Broad Street—she’s the Sugarplum Fairy) to see how she gets in shape, what she snacks on, where she shops and what exactly those Nutcracker costumes look like. Check out her picks below.
14 Philly Holiday Shows: Philly Nutt Crak-Up, Ariana Grande at Jingle Ball, David Sedaris’s Holidays on Ice and More
With all the concerts, cabarets, plays, and ballets on stage this holiday season, there are plenty of performing arts to see on a special night out.
Down Home Holiday
A holiday hoedown from the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus filled with fiddlers, line dancers, classic holiday tunes and Dolly Parton jams. Thursday, December 4th through Saturday, December 6th, $30-55, Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion, 2110 Chestnut Street.
Philly Nutt Crak-Up
The Rappin’ Sugar Plum Fairy is back for another “nutty” take on a traditional holiday tale thanks to ContempraDANCE Theatre. Friday, December 5th through Sunday, December 7th, $35, Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street.
The Philly Pops Christmas Spectacular
Celebrated conductor David Charles Abell leads this popular sing-along of holiday favorites with the help of Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera, Hugh Panaro, and the POPS Festival Chorus. Saturday, December 6th through Saturday, December 20th, $40-131, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.
George Balachine’s The Nutcracker
Join the 46-year-old tradition by seeing this classic holiday show in Philadelphia with the Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadelphia Boys Choir and awe-inspiring sets and costumes. Saturday, December 6th through Tuesday, December 30th, $50-125, Academy of Music, 240 South Broad Street.