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Pennsylvania Ballet To Present Multifaceted Program Featuring George Balanchine’s Serenade

Plus: Afternoon of a Faun by Jerome Robbins, Under the Sun Pas de Deux by Margo Sappington, and Petite Mort by Jiří Kylián [Company Premiere]

Artists of Pennsylvania Ballet in George Balanchine’s Serenade,
choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust.
Photo: Alexander Iziliaev

Experience the sweeping breadth of Pennsylvania Ballet’s repertoire with a mixed bill headlined by a timeless George Balanchine classic, Serenade, February 6-9 at the Merriam Theater.

“The four ballets on this program complement each other beautifully,” Artistic Director Roy Kaiser says. “Together, they create a performance experience that is at once emotional yet exhilarating, intimate yet powerful.”

Serenade, a romantic, plotless ballet, holds a special connection to Pennsylvania Ballet. The Company’s founder, Barbara Weisberger, witnessed the creation of this seminal work. As Mr. Balanchine’s first child student, Ms. Weisberger sat under a piano and watched as he choreographed the piece on older students at his School of American Ballet. The resulting work is a milestone in ballet history, featuring a lush Tschaikovsky score with striking moments of drama throughout.

Also on the program, Afternoon of a Faun by Jerome Robbins has been called “a miniature masterpiece.” Set in a ballet studio with memorable music by Claude Debussy, a male and female dancer meet, with the audience as their mirror. Under the Sun became an iconic work for the Company when commissioned from choreographer Margo Sappington in 1976. Inspired by artist Alexander Calder, the pas de deux features hypnotic music by Michael Kamen and inventive partnering.  Jiří Kylián’s aggressive and athletic Petite Mort, set to two Mozart piano concertos, receives its Company premiere in closing this deeply varied program.

Tickets to Serenade at the Merriam Theater are on sale now. Tickets are available online at paballet.org, by phone at 215.893.1999, and in person at the Kimmel Center Box Office.

Serenade performances at the Merriam Theater:
Thursday, February 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 8 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sunday, February 9 at 2 p.m.

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