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2017-18 season: Pennsylvania Ballet

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The Pennsylvania Ballet just mailed out a postcard that it will be announcing the 2017-18 season "in a few short weeks." But it goes on to say:

 

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Our season opens with a ballet Philadelphia hasn't seen in over 10 years - don't miss Angel Corella's The Sleeping Beauty!

 

Does anyone remember if he ever performed this with ABT or other companies?

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Yes, California, he danced Desire in ABT's McKenzie/Kirkland/Chernov production (prior to the Ratmansky version).

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The 2017-2018 season has just been announced. Here's the web page: http://www.paballet.org/upcoming-programs


1718-sleeping-beauty-500x500.jpg

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

by Angel Corella (after Petipa)

Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

 

October 12-22, 2017
Academy of Music

The classic fairytale brought to life

 

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ON EDGE

World Premiere by Helen Pickett

World Premiere by Matthew Neenan

Episode 31 by Alexander Ekman

 

November 9-12, 2017
Merriam Theater

New and exciting cutting-edge dance

 

1718-nutcracker-500x500.jpg

GEORGE BALANCHINE'S

THE NUTCRACKER

by George Balanchine

Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

 

December 8-31, 2017
Academy of Music

Philadelphia's greatest holiday tradition

 

1718-swan-lake-500x500.jpg

SWAN LAKE

by Angel Corella (after Petipa)

Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

 

March 8-18, 2018
Academy of Music

The most enduring classical ballet of all time

 

1718-grace-500x500.jpg

GRACE & GRANDEUR

Paquita by Marius Petipa

For Four by Christopher Wheeldon

Theme and Variations by George Balanchine

Music by Minkus, Schubert, and Tchaikovsky

 

April 5-8, 2018
Merriam Theater

The power and beauty of ballet

 

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JEWELS

Emeralds, Rubies, and Diamonds by George Balanchine

Music by Fauré, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky

 

May 10-13, 2018
Academy of Music

Balanchine's sparkling masterpiec

Edited by California

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While I like many of the choices, I feel like this company is becoming quite ABT-esque.  It will be.. uh interesting... to see all of these new dancers tackle T&V and Jewels.  

Edited by Kaysta

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2 hours ago, Kaysta said:

While I like many of the choices, I feel like this company is becoming quite ABT-sequel.  It will be.. uh interesting... to see all of these new dancers tackle T&V and Jewels.  

I cannot imagine it.

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It looks to me like he needed (1) blockbusters to bring in paying customers (Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Swan Lake) and (2) Balanchine, to keep that legacy alive. Not much in the way of experimental, high-risk, contemporary work, but not many cities support that.

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1 hour ago, California said:

It looks to me like he needed (1) blockbusters to bring in paying customers (Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Swan Lake) and (2) Balanchine, to keep that legacy alive. Not much in the way of experimental, high-risk, contemporary work, but not many cities support that.

 

If one takes into account modern dance companies, smaller dance/ballet companies, as well as the number of ballet companies that regularly present contemporary work and work at least claiming-to-be-experimental, then would one find fewer cities supporting that work than supporting quality classical ballet? (Real question, not rhetorical--I don't have that kind of knowledge of the national 'scene.')

 

The programming announced for next season doesn't seem terribly imaginative to me, but if Pennsylvania ballet can pull off quality performances of Sleeping Beauty and Jewels--well, more power to them.

 

Edited by Drew

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17 minutes ago, Drew said:

 

If one takes into account modern dance companies, smaller dance/ballet companies, as well as the number of ballet companies that regularly present contemporary work and work at least claiming-to-be-experimental, then would one find fewer cities supporting that work than supporting quality classical ballet? (Real question, not rhetorical--I don't have that kind of knowledge of the national 'scene.')

 

 

Most modern companies don't perform in large opera houses. Even NYCB needs to bring in the money with Nutcracker to support the rest of the season. And Philadelphia is so close to New York, that serious ballet lovers looking for new work have easy access there. Others here noted a lot of unsold seats for Corsaire, which opens this Thursday, and you have to think there's pressure all around to bring in more audiences next year with sure-things.

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2 hours ago, mussel said:

Looks like if NYCB and ABT had an offspring.

 

Ha! Couldn't agree more.

 

Although, on that note, I doubt they'll be able to import Andrew Veyette for T&V if they find themselves in a casting emergency like ABT once did, given the "history". 

 

This line up reads to me like Corella desperately needs a home-run season and so is stocking that with crowd-pleasers and plenty of Balanchine to appease Philly. After all of the (ugly) housekeeping and bad press, I hope it's successful.

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16 minutes ago, California said:

 

Others here noted a lot of unsold seats for Corsaire, which opens this Thursday, and you have to think there's pressure all around to bring in more audiences next year with sure-things.

 

I just checked availability again, and I'm shocked at how many unsold seats there are. I really hope somehow that changes in the next day or so, though that seems unlikely.

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Tickets for $39 are for sale on Goldstar-Philadelphia - but only for the final Sunday performance. Perhaps they are optimistic about last-minute rush or have given a lot of tickets to student groups.

 

It occurs to me that serious balletomanes know Corsaire has lots of juicy roles for principals and soloists and is fun to see. But it's not as well-known as, say, Swan Lake or Nutcracker for newbies. So next season goes overboard on work that newcomers are likely to consider attending.

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14 hours ago, Drew said:

 

If one takes into account modern dance companies, smaller dance/ballet companies, as well as the number of ballet companies that regularly present contemporary work and work at least claiming-to-be-experimental, then would one find fewer cities supporting that work than supporting quality classical ballet? (Real question, not rhetorical--I don't have that kind of knowledge of the national 'scene.')

 

The programming announced for next season doesn't seem terribly imaginative to me, but if Pennsylvania ballet can pull off quality performances of Sleeping Beauty and Jewels--well, more power to them.

 

That's a good question.  I do not know the answer, but I do know the Boston Ballet audience is supportive of both classical, neoclassical and contemporary works.  The first weekend of Forsythe's Artifact was sold decently, but the second weekend, the curtain had to be held for 20 minutes for two of the shows (Saturday night and Sunday afternoon) in order to accommodate people buying tickets at the box office.  I think it takes a great deal of "educating" the audience, and Nissinen has done a pretty good job of that.  I would also point to Peter Boal at PNB.  Not sure what their ticket sales are for contemporary works, but I would venture to say the audience in Seattle supports all of PNB's works.  

 

My concern for PA Ballet next year is the size of the company to support works like Jewels, T&V and the big classical ballets like Sleeping Beauty.  I am just not sure they have the numbers necessary, and if they end up using trainees from the school as fill-ins, it begins to compromise the quality of the shows.  

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4 hours ago, its the mom said:

My concern for PA Ballet next year is the size of the company to support works like Jewels, T&V and the big classical ballets like Sleeping Beauty.  I am just not sure they have the numbers necessary, and if they end up using trainees from the school as fill-ins, it begins to compromise the quality of the shows.  

 

That's a very important assessment. 

 

How do they manage Nutcracker? I haven't seen Balanchine's production in years, so I can't recall how that adult cast compares with a SB.

 

I assume they'd use the dancers from PA II for these large productions (?). Their website doesn't list a number, but there are 12 dancers in the PA II photo. If that's the correct number, then that would make 54 dancers total (including 8 apprentices) between the two companies. 

 

Does anyone remember if PA has announced an intention to increase their number of dancers for next year?

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On ‎3‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 5:23 PM, ABT Fan said:

 

I just checked availability again, and I'm shocked at how many unsold seats there are. I really hope somehow that changes in the next day or so, though that seems unlikely.

 

Generally (outside of the Nutcracker), I feel like there usually is quite a few seats left over for PAB performances.  I always buy tickets to extra performances at the last minute, and I never have a problem securing what I want.

 

I will say that the Academy of Music (while historic and beautiful) has A LOT of bad sight lines.  Many of the seats are not really useable due to the way the building is constructed.  When the orchestra and parterre and balcony are filled up, that's a pretty good crowd.

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