Pennsylvania Ballet launches 46th season with a Balanchine classic

Theme and Variations

Pennsylvania Ballet, one of the premier ballet companies in the country, launches its 46th season with a Balanchine classic, an innovative new work by Choreographer in Residence Matthew Neenan, and Agnes de Mille’s rousing ballet honoring the American West.

“I want to be able to expose the audience to a wide variety of styles within the art form,” Artistic Director Roy Kaiser says. “We have an amazingly talented company of dancers that can take on a diverse program like this and perform at a very high level.”

Mr. Kaiser, who celebrates his 30th year with the Company and 15th as Artistic Director this year, revels in the artistic and technical virtuosity of Pennsylvania Ballet to explore the vitality and diversity of the art form and engage the audience with new work.

Theme and Variations is George Balanchine’s tribute to the Imperial Russian Ballet of his youth. Pennsylvania Ballet – founded by Balanchine student and protégée Barbara Weisberger – honors its classical roots with this work. Balanchine’s landmark ballet connects the art of the past to the present with a modern sensibility that became the new standard for classical form and movement.

Neenan rehearsal

Tradition yields to innovation as Choreographer in Residence Matthew Neenan unveils At the border, his 12th commission for Pennsylvania Ballet.  Set to Hallelujah Junction, composer John Adams’ complex score for two pianos, this World Premiere is the first of three contemporary works by Mr. Neenan to be performed by the Company this season.


Rodeo, Agnes de Mille’s spirited ode to the American character, is the unexpected story of a tomboy in search of love, set to Aaron Copland’s well-known score.  This lively Western ballet was the precursor to de Mille’s choreography for the beloved musical Oklahoma! complete with a rousing Hoedown that remains a show-stopping audience favorite.

Tickets for Program I are on sale now, with prices ranging from $24 to $129. Choose your own seats online at  Tickets are also available at the Kimmel Center Box Office or by phone at 215.893.1999.

Program I Performances:

  • Wednesday, October 21 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 22 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 24 at 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 24 at 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 25 at 2 p.m.

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, call 215.551.7000, or visit

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