Pennsylvania Ballet Opens 51st Season with Press Play: The Directorial Debut of Angel Corella

Pennsylvania Ballet Principal Dancers Lauren Fadeley and Jermel Johnson in Alexei Ratmansky’s Jeu de Cartes
Photo: Alexander Iziliaev

Pennsylvania Ballet opens its 51st Season with the first program curated by its new artistic director: Press Play: The Directorial Debut of Angel Corella, October 16-26 at the Academy of Music.

“This opening program of the 51st Season offers our audience a taste of my point of view,” Artistic Director Angel Corella says. “These are ballets by some of the world’s best choreographers, showcasing the dancers’ technical precision and artistry.”

The program opens with one of George Balanchine’s most celebrated works, Allegro Brillante. Exuberant and joyous, Balanchine famously called this piece “everything I know about classical ballet in 13 minutes.” The vigorous Tschaikovsky score requires strong dancing and impeccable timing of its dancers.

Two duets make their Company premieres on this program. Christopher Wheeldon’s passionate and intimate Liturgy is set to a mystical score by Arvo Pärt. Minimalist costumes allow the inventive movement to take center stage on this almost spiritual journey.

Originally created for ballet super stars Mikhail Baryshnikov and Natalia Makarova, Jerome Robbins’ Other Dances is performed by only a select number of dancers throughout the world. Set to a Chopin score for piano, with a piano on stage, Other Dances was specifically crafted to display Baryshnikov and Makarova’s legendary skill and artistic brilliance. The title nods to Robbins’ masterwork Dances at a Gathering, also inspired by Chopin.

Presented for the first time outside Russia by Pennsylvania Ballet, Jeu de Cartes creates a bold, abstract expression of Stravinsky’s score of the same name. The French title translates to “The Card Game,” which for Alexei Ratmansky – one of the world’s most sought-after choreographers – simply addresses the “gamble” of choreographing to Stravinsky’s musical complexities.

Press Play: The Directorial Debut of Angel Corella also marks the debut of three new dancers on the Pennsylvania Ballet stage. The Company welcomes Etienne Diaz, Olivia Hartzell, and Mayara Pineiro to the Corps de Ballet. To view the 2014-15 roster and read the dancers’ biographies, click here.

Tickets to Press Play: The Directorial Debut of Angel Corella at the Academy of Music are on sale now, with prices ranging from $30-$125. Tickets are available online at, by phone at 215.893.1999, and in person at the Kimmel Center Box Office.

Press Play: The Directorial Debut of Angel Corella performances at the Academy of Music:
Thursday, October 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 18 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, October 19 at 2 p.m.
Saturday, October 25 at 2 p.m.
Sunday, October 26 at 2 p.m.

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