The Board of Trustees of Pennsylvania Ballet today announced the appointment of Ángel Corella as Artistic Director.
“We are incredibly excited to be bringing a director with this level of talent, experience and passion into our community,” said Board Co-Chair David Hoffman. “Pennsylvania Ballet is at the threshold of a new and dynamic era that calls for an artistic leader with the vision, energy and creativity to excite audiences. Ángel has the power to make Philadelphia one of the most exhilarating dance cities in the world.”
Corella is widely regarded as one of the finest dancers of his generation, called “a force of nature” by The Los Angeles Times. Born and raised in Madrid, Spain, Corella joined American Ballet Theatre in 1995 and was promoted to principal dancer the following year. He is credited with elevating the technique and artistry of male dancing throughout the world and possessing incredible technical skills matched only by his warmth and passion for the dance.
“It is a great honor for me to lead one of America’s great ballet companies,” said Corella. “Pennsylvania Ballet has such a great reputation, such great dancers and such a loyal audience. My dream is to build on this rich history, its Balanchine legacy, and make the Company a center for all the best in ballet, a true national model.”
As a dancer, Corella excelled in a wide range of repertory including works by Agnes de Mille, Antony Tudor, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Christopher Wheeldon and Twyla Tharp. He has appeared as a guest artist all over the world, appearing with the Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, Tokyo Ballet and the Kirov Ballet, among many others. He is considered a national treasure in his native Spain where there is even a school named after him and where he has spent the last six years as director of his own company, originally the Corella Ballet Castilla y León which became the Barcelona Ballet.
The Pennsylvania Ballet Board engaged Michael Kaiser, President of The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, to aid in the search process. “We reviewed 30 impressive candidates for this position and held in depth interviews with seven. Michael’s expertise was invaluable in helping the Selection Committee identify and evaluate candidates,” explained Board Co-Chair Louise Reed. “We interviewed and then hired world class talent. We have a gem of a company here, and I am so pleased that the candidates we attracted recognize that. Ángel’s qualifications for this position are obvious. His passion and intelligence, his vision for what such a versatile and talented company can do, the range of ballets and choreographers that inspire him, these were all things which made him the obvious choice as our process progressed.”
In April, the Company’s current artistic director, Roy Kaiser, announced his plans to step down after 19 years in the role. He will remain with the Company through its transition to new leadership and will then assume the title of Artistic Director Emeritus. Corella will begin his tenure with Pennsylvania Ballet in September.