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Pennsylvania Ballet To Present Balanchine-Wheeldon-Tharp

Pennsylvania Ballet Principal Dancer Zachary Hench in Twyla Tharp’s Push Comes to Shove.
Photo: Alexander Iziliaev

Revel in ballet’s boundless potential as Pennsylvania Ballet presents a trio of diverse works with Balanchine/Wheeldon/Tharp, February 7-10, 2013 at the Merriam Theater.

“The three choreographers on this program are nothing short of titans in the dance world,” Artistic Director Roy Kaiser says. “Their distinct styles will showcase our dancers’ incredible artistic adaptability.”

George Balanchine’s Square Dance is a favorite of many dancers. Its title comes from the structure of American folk dance, which Balanchine found made a complementary frame for classical ballet movement. Dancers wear simple leotards and tights, allowing audiences to focus on the artists’ breathtakingly speedy footwork and the brilliant score by Antonio Vivaldi and Arcangelo Corelli.

Christopher Wheeldon’s compelling and intimate After the Rain, a Company premiere, showcases inventive partnering and heartfelt emotion. The first section of this piece features three couples. The second, most-identifiable part is a pas de deux. The ballerina is dressed in a pink leotard and her partner is bare-chested. At times they are close and tender with one another, while at other times they are separated and searching for one another, all set to the moving music of Arvo Pärt.

The legendary Twyla Tharp anchors this program with the quirky and fun Push Comes to Shove. Originally created for Mikhail Baryshnikov and featuring Tharp’s trademark theatrical style, this piece moves to a lively score by Joseph Haydn and Joseph Lamb and uses a bowler hat as its central prop. Dance Magazine praised this work’s crossover capabilities saying, “Tharp made ballet beautiful in a new way, tough and cool.”

Tickets to Balanchine/Wheeldon/Tharp at the Merriam Theater are on sale now, starting at $30. Tickets are available online at paballet.org, by phone at 215.893.1999, and in person at the Kimmel Center Box Office.

Balanchine/Wheeldon/Tharp performances at the Merriam Theater:
Thursday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 9 at 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Sunday, February 10 at 2 p.m.