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PA Ballet presents George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

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Kennedy Center will get this production in November. Here's the company's release regarding its performances in Philadelphia (casting will be released when available):



December 12 – 31, 2009 at the Academy of Music

Philadelphia, PA (November 3, 2009) – The magic of the holiday season comes to life on stage as Pennsylvania Ballet and PNC Arts Alive present George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. The most beloved holiday tradition for families throughout the Philadelphia region returns to the Academy of Music at Broad and Locust streets, December 12 through December 31, 2009.

Pennsylvania Ballet, one of the premier ballet companies in the nation, is proud to perform this timeless production, now in its 41st year. Steeped in tradition yet revitalized by stunning new sets and costumes in 2007, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker is sure to charm young and older audiences alike. No other production matches its majesty.

“Being part of the holiday tradition for families is very gratifying,” Artistic Director Roy Kaiser says. “Every time that curtain goes up, each live performance is totally different.”

The enchanting story begins with a grand party scene where little Marie receives her precious nutcracker. Follow her adventure as she dreams of the Nutcracker Prince battling the Mouse King, then travels through a glistening snow scene into the wondrous Land of the Sweets. The angelic sounds of the Philadelphia Boys Choir complement the beautiful Tschaikovsky score. Balanchine’s timeless choreography is interpreted with warmth and artistry by Pennsylvania Ballet’s dancers, to the delight of nearly 50,000 people each year.

This season, Pennsylvania Ballet is honored to bring their renowned holiday production to one of the most prestigious performing arts venues in the country. The Company has been asked to perform George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Pennsylvania Ballet will travel to our nation’s capital for seven performances from November 24 through November 29, 2009, returning home to Philadelphia just in time for the holidays. Tickets for the Washington, DC performances are available at kennedy-center.org.

Performances of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music:

• Saturday, December 12 at 11 a.m.*, 3 p.m., and 7 p.m.

• Sunday, December 13 at noon and 4 p.m.

• Friday, December 18 at 7 p.m.

• Saturday, December 19 at 11 a.m.*, 3 p.m., and 7 p.m.

• Sunday, December 20 at noon* and 4 p.m.

• Wednesday, December 23 at 7 p.m.*

• Thursday, December 24 at noon

• Saturday, December 26 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

• Sunday, December 27 at noon and 4 p.m.

• Monday, December 28 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

• Tuesday, December 29 at noon and 4 p.m.*

• Wednesday, December 30 at noon and 4 p.m.*

• Thursday, December 31 at noon

*Sugarplum VIP Package available at these performances (see below)

Tickets for George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker are on sale now at paballet.org or by calling 215.893.1999. Ticket prices range from $24-$129. Groups of 10 or more can purchase discounted tickets by calling 215.587.6921.

Make your memories extra special with the Sugarplum VIP Package!

$150 package includes:

• Preferred box seating for select performances*

• A complimentary program book

• Your own complimentary keepsake photo with a character from the production

• 10% off Pennsylvania Ballet merchandise at our lobby gift shop




Bring family and friends to our glorious holiday party, which has become a family tradition over the past 22 years. Your children will be charmed by entertainers, costumed characters, crafts, games, and even the Mouse King himself inside the magnificent Academy of Music. Following the food and festivities, our guests are treated to a private performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at 7 p.m. Sponsorship opportunities are available to allow groups of underserved children to attend a performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. This annual family party is co-chaired this year by Alicia Bonner, Debbie Lee, Jackie Simms, and Suzanne Zelov. Tickets range from $150-$250, sponsorship packages from $500-$10,000. Tickets to the private performance only at 7 p.m. are available for $85. For more information and tickets, call Barbara Vogdes, Special Events Manager, at 215.587.6916.





Enjoy a performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and join the Sugarplum Fairy for a special tea at the Doubletree Hotel, just across the street from the Academy of Music! Package price for Parquet seating is $110, Balcony seating is $101, and Family Circle seating is $85. Package includes sandwiches, a delectable array of desserts, tea, hot cocoa, and more. To order, call 215.587.6921.



Celebrate the holidays with “Philadelphia’s Best Brunch” at the beautiful Omni Hotel. Special visits by the Sugarplum Fairy, Mouse King, and Santa Claus will delight the family while you savor a lavish buffet of specialty dishes and gourmet treats. Then enjoy a matinee performance of Philadelphia’s most beloved holiday tradition! Package price is $115 for adults and $98 for children ages 3-12. Valet parking at the Omni Hotel is included. Order tickets at paballet.org or by calling 215.587.6921.


Give the gift of ballet this holiday season! Pennsylvania Ballet Children’s Enchantment Fund enables underserved families to see George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker free. One child enjoys a performance for every $30 tax-deductible donation. To make a donation, please call Christina Freeman at 215.587.6913.

Matinee Series Subscriptions and Custom Packages of two or more ballets for the 2009-2010 Season are on sale now at paballet.org or by calling 215.893.1955. Receive up to 25% off single ticket prices and enjoy subscriber benefits such as priority seating, flexible ticket exchanges, discounts to Philadelphia restaurants, shops, hotels, museums, and more.

Pennsylvania Ballet is one of the premier ballet companies in the United States and has been at the forefront of American dance since 1963. A leading Philadelphia cultural institution, the Company has earned a national reputation for its impassioned artistry and technical virtuosity, and has received widespread critical acclaim for extraordinary performances of a diverse classical and contemporary repertoire. Under Artistic Director Roy Kaiser, the Company has expanded its Balanchine-based repertoire to include bold, innovative new works that embody creative excellence and engage audiences in an ongoing commitment to the vitality of this unique art form. For more information, visit paballet.org or call 215.551.7000.

Join us in the studio, on the stage, and on your phone, 24/7. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Pennsylvania Ballet’s 2009-2010 season sponsors include The Sporting Club at the Bellevue, US Airways, the Omni Hotel at Independence Park, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

PNC Arts Alive is the presenting sponsor of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music.

The costumes and sets of Pennsylvania Ballet’s new production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker were made possible by major support from The William Penn Foundation and Christa and Calvin Schmidt.

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.

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Alexandra wrote a great review for danceviewtimes about the production at the Kennedy Center:


She wrote,

Today's dancers aren't used to grand classical ballet, and it must be a difficult adjustment to move from contemporary work where everyone is alike to a ballet that demands individuality in its soloists.

Because Peter Boal has added so much contemporary ballet, I have my antennae up for a similar impact on PNB. So far so good: the dancers have been bringing the energy into their neoclassical and classical roles, but it's a danger.

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It was a miserable rainy day here in Phila. but I was able to see an excellent performance (matinee 12pm) of the Nutcracker. The Academy of Music is a wonderful theatre for viewing this ballet. It was built in the 1800's, and recently was refurbished along with an enormous,magnificent chandelier,that hung directly overhead,as I had an orchestra seat. This is a glamorous production with live music. The party scene costumes were all very elegant, all lush velvets, with bright colors tastefully done. The mice had an interesting combination of green and purple with triangles of yellow cheese down the front of their tops. The children were well rehearsed, from the party scene, soldiers,mice and angels.The principal children-Marie, Fritz, and the Nutcracker prince's mime was very clear and believable. William De Gregory did a good job as Drosselmeyer, but I prefer him to be mysterious and a bit strange. I was especially impressed with the corps, ( Snow and Flowers ) Everyone was together with the quick tempi in these two diverts with good clean dancing. Amy Aldridge was a warm Sugar Plum. Her variation showed her easy technique, beautiful feet and calm elegance. I would have liked to see more of Sergio Torrado- her cavalier. In this version you only see a brief look at him in the coda. However he was a very good partner, and the grande pas just flowed - even with those shoulder sits that sometimes (not here) look awkward. The Dewdrop was danced by Lauren Fadeley who in the program is listed as being a member of the corps. She was clearly enjoying the role, dancing with wonderful attack and energy.The house was packed with mostly families and unfortunately the applause did not match the beautiful dancing that I saw in the performance this afternoon.

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reporting back...tardy. Both performances were lovely. How wonderful to see Balanchine's Nutcracker in the nation's capitol. I kept thinking about the state of the arts in this country and why is it that we don't make arts funding a priority and why is it that we don't have the national pride to create a national ballet company? Standout performances to my eye? The corps work in Snow and Flowers = thrilling dancing. Favorite soloists? Abby Mentzer's Marzipan, Meredith Reffner's Coffee, Francis Veyette's Tea, Jermel Johnson's Candy Cane and Soldier. Riolama Lorenzo was injured and I think it was Arantxa Ochoa who danced Sugar Plum Friday night - she is lovely. (sorry to add that her partner seemed a little out of it...) I think Amy Aldridge stepped into Dewdrop that night too - she is a precise technician, but musical and beautiful, too. Peter Weil as the Nephew (and Little Prince) was charming and totally believeable (Friday night). His alternate, Thomas Harrison, danced the role on Friday afternoon, and was handsome but stiff. The production is lavish - huge growing tree with a floor to ceiling bay window behind it with the snowy night behind it. I also loved the snowy forest set. Favorite costumes? The mice! and the Mouse King. Nutcracker costume was perfect. Loved the bed! :-) Yes, they do do the sliding arabesque "trick" in Sugar Plum - so magical! Sorry if I've forgotten anything - I'm sure I have. Am going to see them in Philadelphia next weekend and will report back.

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