Pennsylvania Ballet Announces 2017-2018 Season

Pennsylvania Ballet’s Artistic Director Angel Corella has announced the programming for the 2017-2018 Season. The Company’s 54th Season will be a year of mixed repertoire premieres and four full-length ballets including two Philadelphia favorites by George Balanchine, The Nutcracker and Jewels, and two traditional storybook ballets, The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. With the 2017-2018 Season, Corella continues to honor Pennsylvania Ballet’s roots and push the dancers.

“In the current 2016-2017 Season our audience and dancers alike are excited about the premieres of new works, especially ones that are rooted in a more contemporary style of ballet,” said Angel Corella. “This next Season we will continue the momentum by bringing in choreographers who’ve never worked with Pennsylvania Ballet, and performing programs that incorporate other styles of dance. We will also bring to life two full length’s Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, and are proud to continue to honor our Balanchine roots with Theme and Variations, Jewels, and of course, our annual presentation of The Nutcracker.”

The 2017-18 Season will also include World Premieres by two highly sought after choreographers: Helen Pickett, one of the foremost female choreographers in contemporary ballet; and Matthew Neenan as he celebrates his 10th anniversary as Choreographer in Residence. In addition, Pennsylvania Ballet will present the Company premiere of Episode 31, a cutting edge work by popular Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman.

Pennsylvania Ballet’s 2017-2018 Season

The Sleeping Beauty
October 12-22, 2017
The Academy of Music
Staged by: Angel Corella (after Marius Petipa)
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Pennsylvania Ballet’s 54th Season opens with one of the most popular works from the Imperial Ballet, The Sleeping Beauty. Petipa’s enchanting classic offers beautiful costumes, opulent set designs, and exciting choreography that will draw audiences into the story of magical fairies, evil spells, and a young Princess’ journey to her happily ever after. Set to an iconic Tchaikovsky score, The Sleeping Beauty is an enthralling production that will sparkle on the Academy’s stage.


On Edge
November 9-13, 2017
Merriam Theater

  • Helen Pickett World Premiere
  • Episode 31 by Alexander Ekman, music by Mikael Karlsson, Ane Brun, and Erik Satie Company Premiere
  • Matthew Neenan World Premiere

Widely recognized for her sharp understanding of dance technique, Helen Pickett will create her first work for Pennsylvania Ballet. Alexander Ekman’s Episode 31 combines witty humor with fast-paced timing and clever transitions to create a unique audience experience that combines different artistic mediums and disciplines. Critically-acclaimed Philadelphia-based choreographer Matthew Neenan will create a piece for Pennsylvania Ballet in celebration of the 20th anniversary of his first work created for the Company and his 10th anniversary as Choreographer in Residence.


George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®
December 8-31, 2017
The Academy of Music
Choreography: George Balanchine
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
The holiday magic returns to the Academy of Music’s stage with Philadelphia’s most celebrated holiday classic, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®. Follow Marie and her Prince as they battle the evil Mouse King, travel through a forest of dancing snowflakes, and celebrate in the Land of the Sweets. Dazzling costumes, opulent sets, and Tchaikovsky’s cherished score make George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® an experience not to be missed.


Swan Lake
March 8-18, 2018
The Academy of Music
Staged by: Angel Corella (after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov)
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
One of ballet’s most celebrated works comes to life as Angel Corella presents his staging of Marius Petipa’s traditional Swan Lake. Spectacular costumes, exquisite sets and the brilliant Tchaikovsky score illuminate one of ballet’s greatest love stories as young Prince Siegfried falls for the Swan Queen, Odette. Cursed by the evil Von Rothbart to live the life of a swan by day and a human by night, Odette’s only hope of breaking the spell is a declaration of true love.


Grace and Grandeur
April 5-8, 2018
Merriam Theater

  • Paquita by Angel Corella (after Marius Petipa), music by Ludwig Minkus
  • For Four by Christopher Wheeldon, music by Franz Schubert
  • Theme and Variations by George Balanchine, music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Grand and sublime, Paquita is one of the most celebrated examples of 19th century classicism. Angel Corella’s restaging of this Petipa classic will display the technique and strength of Pennsylvania Ballet’s dancers. The ultimate ballet showcasing male virtuosity, Christopher Wheeldon’s For Four demonstrates different styles of dance and highlights how men have taken their place in the ballet world. With its quicksilver speed, playful changes of direction, and unexpected musical accents, Theme and Variations is a spectacular example of Balanchine’s genius for understanding the essence of imperial style.


May 10-13, 2018
The Academy of Music
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Music: Gabriel Faure, Igor Stravinsky, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Pennsylvania Ballet closes its 54th Season with a timeless Balanchine classic, Jewels. The plotless three-act ballet uses the music of three different composers, and unfolds in three separate sections- each with its own mood that reflects the precious jewels; emeralds, rubies, and diamonds. Set to music by Gabriel Faure, the first act Emeralds evokes the elegance of French Romanticism. Heavily influenced by Balanchine’s time in America, the second act Rubies showcases the crisp, high-energy of the American urban world, set to Stravinsky’s jazz-inflected score. Imperial Russia serves as the inspiration for the ballet’s final act, Diamonds. Set to a sumptuous Tchaikovsky score, Diamonds is a nod to Balanchine’s roots through its reflection of the regality of Imperial Russia and the Maryinsky Theater, where Balanchine was trained.


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