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Pennsylvania Ballet invited to perform George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center

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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