Pennsylvania Ballet Principal Dancer Amy Aldridge to Retire

Pennsylvania Ballet Principal Dancer Amy Aldridge has announced she will retire after 23 seasons on stage with Pennsylvania Ballet, with a performance of George Balanchine’s pas de deux from Rubies on Sunday, May 14 at 2pm at The Academy of Music.

“Amy is an exquisite dancer and exemplifies professionalism and what it means to be a principal dancer and a star,” said Artistic Director Angel Corella. “I’ve admired her dancing for years, but after having the privilege to work with her I can now say I admire her as a person. She will always be a big part of the history of the Company. A performance of Rubies is the perfect way for us to celebrate her dedication, love, and passion for ballet during her time at Pennsylvania Ballet.”

Born in Richmond, VA, Amy began her dance training at The School of Richmond Ballet and continued with The School of American Ballet and Boston Ballet before graduating from the North Carolina School for the Arts, where she received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.

Amy joined Pennsylvania Ballet for the 1994-1995 season and quickly rose through the ranks and earned the position of Principal Dancer in 2001. She has performed principal roles in numerous works, including The Taming of the ShrewCinderellaA Midsummer Night’s DreamThe Sleeping Beauty, La Fille mal gardée, Square Dance, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Ballo della Regina, Theme and Variations, Tchaikovsky pas de deux, Allegro Brilliante, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Without Words, Petite Mort, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, The Second Detail, and most recently, Le Corsaire.

“I’ve spent 23 years of my life dedicated to this beautiful art form and it has given me so much in return,” said Aldridge.  “It feels right to retire this year with Rubies; I’ve always loved dancing Balanchine and Rubies has had a lasting impact on me since I first learned it.”

Rubies, the second act of Balanchine’s full-length ballet Jewels, is a clean, crisp piece which is influenced by Balanchine’s experiences in urban America. Set to a jazz-inflected score by Igor Stravinsky, Rubies portrays the fast-paced and glamourous style of New York City.

Amy also created original roles for Dwight Rhoden’s 2×7, Trey McIntyre’s Cantilena, Matthew Neenan’s Keep and As It’s Going, and Jorma Elo’s Pulcinella. In May 2004, she performed as a guest artist with New York City Ballet dancing Tarantella as part of the George Balanchine Centennial Celebrations. She has also appeared with BalletX in Matthew Neenan’s Broke Apart, Elo’s Scenes View 2, and at Jacob’s Pillow in the Summer of 2006.

“I feel fortunate to have gotten the opportunity to work under two amazing artistic directors and collaborate with so many talented choreographers,” said Aldridge. “My future is still full of dance, but in a different capacity. I love teaching and look forward to sharing my experience and knowledge with the next generation of dancers.”

***Photo credit: Vikki Sloviter