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News on PA Ballet's 2009-2010 season

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Thanks for this, Figurante.

Congratulations to Pennsylvania Ballet, and bravo to Pew! :thanks:

In the fragile realm of dance, funding is hard to come by even in the best of times. But now, despite a decidedly mean economic climate, the Pew Charitable Trusts' dance program has awarded its largest sum yet: $917,000 to 26 performers and organizations.

Is this PaB's first Forsythe?

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Thanks for this, Figurante.

Congratulations to Pennsylvania Ballet, and bravo to Pew! :thanks:

In the fragile realm of dance, funding is hard to come by even in the best of times. But now, despite a decidedly mean economic climate, the Pew Charitable Trusts' dance program has awarded its largest sum yet: $917,000 to 26 performers and organizations.

Is this PaB's first Forsythe?

Yes Carbro,This is PAB's first Forsythe.

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PA Ballet also will be bringing Balanchine's The Nutcracker to Kennedy Center:




November 24 – 29, 2009


Pennsylvania Ballet, one of the premiere ballet companies in the country, has received an exclusive invitation to present the Washington, D.C. premiere of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. The Company will perform this timeless holiday classic in the prestigious Opera House at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts November 24 – 29, 2009. Pennsylvania Ballet is one of the few companies nationwide licensed to perform Balanchine’s preeminent Nutcracker ballet and the first to perform it in America’s national cultural center.

The Company has a long-standing reputation of performing critically acclaimed work at the Kennedy Center, including recent performances of Jerome Robbins’s In the Night as part of the Center’s Ballet Across America series in June 2008. “This is an unprecedented opportunity for us” says Artistic Director Roy Kaiser, “and a proud reflection of the remarkable achievements of this Company and its artists since we first performed at the Kennedy Center in 1979.”

Pennsylvania Ballet unveiled a new production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker in 2007, featuring 192 exquisite new costumes and nearly two dozen new set pieces. For the Thanksgiving week production at the Kennedy Center, Tschaikovsky’s magnificent score will be performed by the celebrated Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. Since its opening, the Kennedy Center has presented some of the greatest performers from around the world, and serves as a living memorial to the 35th President of the United States and his vision for the arts in America.  

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker features all the splendor audiences expect: an opening party scene of families celebrating the holidays with 19th century charm; little Marie’s dream of her Nutcracker Prince and his toy soldiers battling a fleet of mice led by the Mouse King; and the captivating divertissements in the Land of The Sweets. The enduring combination of Tschaikovsky’s magical music, Balanchine’s masterful choreography and the artistry of Pennsylvania Ballet’s dancers leave audiences awestruck after every performance.


Performances of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center are as follows:

§      Tuesday, November 24 at 7:30 p.m.

§      Wednesday, November 25 at 7:30 p.m.

§      Friday, November 27 at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.

§      Saturday, November 28 at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.

§      Sunday, November 29 at 1:30 p.m.


Tickets range from $47 - $150. The on-sale date has not been announced yet.


Founded in 1963 by Balanchine student and protégée Barbara Weisberger, Pennsylvania Ballet is one of the nation’s leading ballet companies. Headquartered in Philadelphia, the Company’s annual local season features repertory favorites and new works, including the Philadelphia holiday tradition, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music, December 11 – 31, 2009.  For more information, call 215.551.7000 or visit www.paballet.org.

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Another piece of imaginative generosity on the part of the good old Pew Charitable Trust !!! :thumbsup:

It's Pew money, but the Pew does not directly fund dance companies (nor provide the imagination): Dance Advance does, in an annual panel-adjudicated process. Dance Advance is housed at the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, which is supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts and is administered by The University of the Arts.

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Thanks for that clarification, Ray. And also for the Link to Dance Advance's website. Dance-lovers in the Philadelphia region are fortunate.

Yes we are! I provide the clarification it so that people know how amazing this money really is--i.e., it's given out of a whole program devoted to dance in the Philly region; it's not a one-off grant (through which Pew also grants funding directly, such as to the new Barnes museum). The Pew also funds sister programs--all autonomous--in music, fine arts, and theater, AND gives money away to artists across arts disciplines through their fellowship program.

If you go to the website be sure to check out the Archives--I've mentioned before that there are interview there with ballet artists from the Royal.

Now here's hoping the Pew's stock portfolio prospers!

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I'm not so sure this is PA Ballet's first Forsythe... I saw archival footage years ago of Lisa Sundstrom dancing Step Text before 1990... I'm pretty sure she was performing it for PA Ballet, but I'm not positive... I really don't remember hearing it was for another company though....

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Pennsylvania Ballet's 2009-2010 Season has been posted on the website:


Pennsylvania Ballet’s Bold and Innovative 2009-2010 Season

Pennsylvania Ballet's diverse repertoire is a body of work that stimulates the senses and astounds audiences. The 2009-2010 Season is defined by bold, impassioned performances of innovative and classic work that showcase the dancers' technical virtuosity and vitality. The Company has announced a compelling season featuring 14 ballets on five dynamic programs, including two Company debuts and a world premiere by Choreographer in Residence Matthew Neenan, and the perennial holiday favorite George Balanchine's The Nutcracker.

Other highlights include a return to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in November when the Company demonstrates to the nation that oustanding ballet thrives in Philadelphia. From Balanchine to Robbins, Petit to Forsythe, and de Mille to Ochoa, each ballet on this year's schedule will be a truly extraordinary experience.

Program One:

Theme and Variations - Balanchine

A new World Premiere by Matthew Neenan

Rodeo - Agnes de Mille

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker on tour to the Kennedy Center in November, and in Philadelphia in December

Program Two:

Four Temperaments - Balanchine

Carmina Burana - Matthew Neenan

Program Three:

The Crossed Line - Matthew Neenan

In the Night - Robbins

The Concert - Robbins

Program Four:

Square Dance - Balanchine

Afternoon of a Faun - Robbins* Company Premiere

Requiem for a Rose - Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated - Forsythe* Company Premiere

Program Five:

Romeo and Juliet - John Cranko

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Very interesting programs. Thank you. I saw the company do T&V a few years ago and I think it was a little bit outside its range, but I have high hopes for Square Dance and Afternoon of a Faun. And I think Rodeo will be just about perfect for them.

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Here is the official press release from director Roy Kaiser:


Artistic Director Roy Kaiser Announces 2009-2010 Season

April 13, 2009


Company Premiere Works by Jerome Robbins and William Forsythe

World Premiere by Matthew Neenan

Invitation to perform George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC

Tribute to Frederic Chopin’s 200th Birthday

All Chopin Program, March 2010

Roy Kaiser’s 30th year with the Company and 15th as Artistic Director

Artistic Director Roy Kaiser announces a bold and compelling 2009-2010 Season featuring fifteen visionary ballets on six dynamic programs, including Company Premieres by Jerome Robbins and William Forsythe, and a World Premiere by Choreographer in Residence Matthew Neenan.

The season includes four innovative repertory programs, one classic full-length work and the critically acclaimed production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. The Company was invited to perform The Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC in late November before returning to the Academy of Music in December.

Among the repertory programs presented, a World Premiere by Mr. Neenan will join ballets by George Balanchine and Agnes de Mille to open the season in October. The Company will perform ballets choreographed by Mr. Robbins and Mr. Neenan to the music of Frederic Chopin in celebration of the composer’s 200th birthday in March. The long-awaited Company premieres of Mr. Robbins’s lyrical masterwork Afternoon of a Faun and Mr. Forsythe’s fiercely brilliant In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated will follow in May.

Mr. Kaiser celebrates his 30th year with the Company and 15th as Artistic Director in the 2009-2010 season by continuing to expand an increasingly diverse repertoire of classical and innovative works performed by Pennsylvania Ballet, widely regarded as one of the premier ballet companies in the country.

“I’ve always drawn inspiration from the extraordinary dancers who continually seek to improve their technical virtuosity and impassioned artistry,” says Mr. Kaiser. “I remain committed to presenting challenging and provocative programming, and I think this season really represents the artistic strength of the Company.”


*Denotes Company Premiere

Program I

October 21 – 25, 2009

Academy of Music

Theme and Variations: Balanchine/Tschaikovsky

World Premiere: Choreography by Matthew Neenan, Choreographer in Residence

Rodeo: de Mille/Copland

In Theme and Variations, Balanchine pays homage to the Imperial Russian Ballet of his youth in one of his most technically demanding works. This plotless ballet features glittering costumes and inventive choreography that is credited with bringing classical ballet into the 20th century.

Choreographer in Residence Matthew Neenan creates his 12th new work especially for the Company in his own unique contemporary style.

The allure of the cowboy is the focus of de Mille’s Rodeo, which captures the pioneering spirit of the American character and the exuberance of youth. A defining achievement in de Mille’s early choreographic career, Rodeo is an optimistic tale of a tomboy’s attempt to lasso in love, with Copland’s exuberant score setting the scene.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker: Balanchine/Tschaikovsky

November 24 – 29, 2009

The Kennedy Center

Pennsylvania Ballet has accepted an invitation to perform George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, one of the most prestigious cultural venues in the country. This engagement will mark the first time the Balanchine version of The Nutcracker has been performed in Washington, DC.

December 12 – 31, 2009

Academy of Music

Presenting Sponsor: PNC

Our critically acclaimed production returns to the Academy of Music to delight audiences of all ages in this enduring holiday classic. The Nutcracker Prince, the Mouse King, the Sugarplum Fairy join the Philadelphia Boys Choir as the Company mesmerizes audiences with extraordinary sets and exquisite costumes. Tickets go on sale to the public June 15, 2009.

Program II

March 4 – 13, 2010

Academy of Music

The Four Temperaments: Balanchine/Hindemith

Carmina Burana: Neenan/Orff

The stunning simplicity and angular architecture of The Four Temperaments became the standard for Balanchine works. The work is an abstraction of ancient doctrines that enumerated the four aspects of a person's disposition.

A thunderous score and innovative choreography punctuate Matthew Neenan’s fiery Carmina Burana, which premiered to sold out audiences in 2007 when The Philadelphia Inquirer declared it “simply scintillating… steamy and explosive…a triumph.” Neenan fuses the power of Orff’s classic work with his eruptive movement and existential sets.

Program III

March 10 – 14, 2010

Academy of Music

The Crossed Line: Neenan/Chopin

In the Night: Robbins/Chopin

The Concert: Robbins/Chopin

A trio of works that embody the emotional range and inventiveness of Frederic Chopin celebrate the famed composer’s 200th birthday.

The Crossed Line explores the boundaries and shifting nature of relationships to Chopin piano concertos transcribed for piano and violin/cello. The piece began as an idea Mr. Neenan developed while attending New York City Ballet’s Choreographer Institute in September 2003. The concept grew into an exciting commission for Pennsylvania Ballet in April 2004, and was critically acclaimed for “Neenan's crisp choreography, creativity, and innovativeness are refreshingly unpredictable.”

In the Night uses four Chopin nocturnes as inspiration for three intimate pas de deux that articulate graduated stages of love and romance. Each episode is a tableau of romance - tender young love, mature and balanced love, and explosive passion. Robbins’s three heroines each has a distinct character, as do the principals who portray them. When last performed, The Washington Post observed “[The Company’s performance]… was liquid smooth. At its heart was an extraordinary dancer, Riolama Lorenzo, who made you notice critical little things such as how she rose onto pointe as if a breath started in her feet and advanced right up into her rib cage.”

The Concert, Robbins’s comedic masterpiece set during a piano recital, envelopes audiences with its sidesplitting humor, witty timing, and satirical choreography in its spirited salute to Chopin. The onstage accompanist engages in the antics, which send everyone home laughing.

Program IV

May 5 – 9, 2010

Merriam Theater

Square Dance: Balanchine/Vivaldi/Corelli

Afternoon of a Faun*: Robbins/Debussy

Requiem for a Rose: Ochoa/Schubert

In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated*: Forsythe/Willems

Master choreographer George Balanchine’s Square Dance explores the juxtapositions of American folk dances and classical ballet. The hierarchal pairings and partner exchanges suggest the formal patterns of square dance, but the piece also offers virtuosic performances from the lead ballerina and male soloist. The Company has not performed this celebrated work since its 1992-1993 Season.

The transient nature of love is explored in Requiem for a Rose, a dynamic work created for the Company during its 45th Anniversary Season. This encore engagement reunites choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s vision of 12 dancers as bouquet of roses, in bold and fluid movements that hinge on a single heartbeat.

The Company’s newest Robbins acquisition, Afternoon of a Faun, is considered a landmark piece of lyrical dance theater. A nymph-like figure interrupts a male dancer’s work in the dance studio, and the pair engages in a delicate duet with the audience as their mirror. The stunning simplicity of the choreography underscores the compelling complexities that lie behind the glass.

Nuance and depth saturate In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated, a frenetic experiment in angular movement that demands the raw commitment of its cast. The feigned disdain of the dancers contrasts the technical demands of the choreography. The New York Times declared this work “changed the way people perceived classical dance: how the fundamental principles of ballet technique could be used in new ways, how dancers could behave onstage, how we could see them.” The Company Premiere of In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated has been funded by The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, through Dance Advance.

Program V

June 4 – 12, 2010

Academy of Music

Romeo & Juliet: Cranko/Prokofiev

Luminous in its power and poignancy, John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet is set to Sergei Prokofiev’s famous musical score. The ballet version of Shakespeare’s famous tale established Cranko as a master story teller, using powerful music and pristine movements to explore the powerful relationship between the two title characters. When Pennsylvania Ballet last produced Romeo and Juliet in 2005, The Philadelphia Inquirer said it was a “sumptuous production” that keeps audiences “fully engaged and at times transfixed.”

2009-2010 Season Subscriptions are available by calling 215.893.1955 or online at www.paballet.org. Full season subscription prices have not increased at all this year, and range from $77.50 to $413.50. Subscribers receive many benefits over single ticket purchasers including a 10% discount, priority seating, convenient partial payment plan in three easy installments, flexible ticket exchanges, discounts to fine Philadelphia restaurants, shops, hotels and museums, advance ticket purchasing for George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and more!

New this year… subscribers will receive Artistic Director Roy Kaiser’s monthly e-letter with exclusive inside news about his work and the Company. For more information or to subscribe to Pennsylvania Ballet’s 2009 – 2010 Season, please call 215.893.1955 or order online at paballet.org.

Pennsylvania Ballet’s 2009-2010 season sponsors include The Sporting Club at the Bellevue and 10 Arts by Eric Ripert and USAirways.

Pennsylvania Ballet receives support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

Founded in 1963 by Balanchine student and protégée Barbara Weisberger, Pennsylvania Ballet is one of the nation’s leading ballet companies. Headquartered in Philadelphia, the Company’s annual local season features classic favorites and new works, including the Philadelphia holiday tradition, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. For more information, call 215.551.7000 or visit paballet.org.

For further press information or to set up interviews, please contact:

Brooke Honeyford, Public Relations Manager

Phone: 215.587.6923; FAX: 215.551.7224

E-mail: bhoneyford@paballet.org

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