HughE Dillon: PA Ballet Opening Night

The 48th season begins with "Jeu de Cartes" and a reception at the Union League

The Pennsylvania Ballet opened its 48th season with a black-tie affair on Wednesday night. After watching a performance at the Academy of Music, guests dodged rain drops to attend a reception at the Union League. Below: Alexandeiz Iziliaev, principal dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet, a guest, Arantxa Ochoa, also a principal dancer, and Dasha Yermakova and Richard Pruett, co-chairs for the evening.

Below: Founder Barbara Weisberger with Michael Sheridan, assistant to the artistic director at Pennsylvania Ballet. The opening program on Wednesday began with a private performance of Alexei Ratmansky’s “Jeu de Cartes.” The full program, “Russian Suite: Ratmansky & Balanchine” began last night and continues through Sunday.

Below: Ballet dancers Eric Trope, Amy Holihan, Alexandra Hughes and Rachel Jambois tell me that after Sunday, the dancers go right into rehearsals for “The Nutcracker,” which opens on December 10th—after they do a quick tour in Ottawa, Canada the first week of December.

Below: Dr. Richard Pestell, of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson, and Nataliia Pestell.

Below: Shobana Sood and Ed Chan. You can hear about the lives of Pennsylvania Ballet dancers at a Q&A at the Free Library of Philadelphia branch at 19th and Locust on October 17th at 6:30 p.m.

Below: Matthew Hepburn and Emily Saari.

Below: Alex Kolodziejzyk and Molly Caccamo, associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Tickets for the ballet range from $20 to $140 and are available online at, or by phone at 215-893-1999.

Below: Daniel Swartley McArdel, Nicole Johnson, Marcello Luzi and Gregory Seitter, marketing manager of the Eastern Pennsylvania’s Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Greg ran into Lisa Vanderpump, from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, earlier in the day and told me what a thrill it was to meet her. I guess those Real Housewives are doing the promotion tour through Philly as RHNJ’s Teresa Guidence was just at Sugar House Casino last Saturday.

Below: Carl Caldas, Danielle Rossi, Isaac Segal, of Star Group, Mary Padula-Hite, of Star Group, and Allen Hite.

Below: Phillip Harper, Therese Narzikul, appointed examiner for 2011 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, Anne Devries, sales specialist at Thomson Reuters, and Rita Harper. After the cocktail reception, the guests reconvened for dinner and dancing in the ballroom to the sounds of CTO Entertainment.

HughE Dillon covers parties, events and more for the Philly Post. You can follow him on Twitter @iPhillyChitChat and visit his daily online social diary at