Pennsylvania Ballet and Artistic Director Angel Corella are proud to present Grace & Grandeur, which includes Angel Corella’s restaging of Marius Petipa’s Paquita, Christopher Wheeldon’s For Four, and George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, running April 5 – 8 at the Merriam Theater. George Balanchine’s Jewels will close out the 54th Season, May 10 – 13 at the Academy of Music. Jewels is sponsored by Alger, and the opening night is sponsored by LAGOS.
“Grace & Grandeur showcases the strength and versatility of our dancers in ballets that allow the men and women to shine individually,” said Angel Corella. “This program showcases the evolution of classical ballet, in a performance that highlights the strength of Pennsylvania Ballet’s dancers.”
Grand and sublime, Paquita is one of the most celebrated examples of 19th century classicism. Pennsylvania Ballet first performed Paquita in 1987; Corella’s restaging brings this ballet back to the stage for the first time since 1995. “Paquita is the perfect representation of what a very strong company with extraordinary dancers can do,” said Corella. “It’s one of the most challenging ballets for female dancers and requires great strength, style, and posture.”
Christopher Wheeldon’s For Four demonstrates different styles of dance and highlights the strength and artistry of male ballet dancers. The piece was originally created in California for Kings of the Dance but made its way to New York where it featured international stars Angel Corella, Ethan Stiefel, Johan Kobborg, and Nikolay Tsiskaridze.
“When we performed this ballet two years ago, our audiences loved it,” said Corella. “As our male talent continues to grow and evolve, it makes perfect sense to bring it back to the stage.”
George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, a salute to the “grand ballet” style will close out the program. The ballet features quick, playful changes of direction, unexpected musical accents, glorious costumes, and is a spectacular example of Balanchine’s genius as a choreographer.
“Theme and Variations exudes the imperial style that Mr. Balanchine knew so well,” said Corella. “The musicality and footwork challenge the dancers to create incredible shapes, master difficult turns and conquer explosive jumps that audiences enjoy.”
Returning to the Pennsylvania Ballet stage to conclude the 2017-2018 Season is George Balanchine’s groundbreaking masterpiece, Jewels. This 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 Urbain Faure, the first act Emeralds evokes the elegance of the French Romantics. Heavily influenced by Balanchine’s time in America, the second act Rubies showcases the crisp, high-energy of the American metropolitan world, set to Stravinsky’s jazz-inflected score. Imperial Russia serves as the inspiration for the ballet’s final act, Diamonds, set to a Tchaikovsky score.
“One of Balanchine’s most loved and classic ballets is Jewels,” said Angel Corella. “This ballet is the perfect way to celebrate our history in our final performance of the season.”
The performances of Grace and Grandeur at the Merriam Theater:
– Thursday April 5 at 7:30 PM
– Friday April 6 at 7:30 PM
– Saturday April 7 at 2:00 PM
– Saturday April 7 at 8:00 PM
– Sunday April 8 at 2:00 PM
The performances of Jewels at the Academy of Music:
– Thursday May 10 at 7:30 PM
– Friday May 11 at 7:30 PM
– Saturday May 12 at 2:00 PM
– Saturday May 12 at 8:00 PM
– Sunday May 13 at 2:00 PM
Tickets are available online at paballet.org or by phone at 215.893.1999, and in person at the Kimmel Center Box Office.
Conversations with Pennsylvania Ballet
Please join us for Conversations with Pennsylvania Ballet, a free informal discussion. On Monday, April 2 at 6:30pm, Principal Dancer Mayara Pineiro will talk about preparing for Grace & Grandeur, and on Monday, May 7 at 6:30pm, Soloist James Ihde will talk about his preparation for Jewels. Both Conversations will be held at the Philadelphia City Institute Free Library (1905 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA).
Jewels Dress Rehearsal Luncheon
Join former Pennsylvania Ballet Principal Dancer, Amy Aldridge for lunch at Estia on Thursday, May 10 for an intimate discussion about her experience as one of the Company’s leading ballerinas and dancing the energetic Rubies in George Balanchine’s Jewels. After the conversation attendees will be invited to the live dress rehearsal, as the Company prepares for Opening Night of George Balanchine’s Jewels at the Academy of Music. For tickets and information contact Rachael Glashan Rupisan, Manager of Corporate Sponsorship & Special Events, at 215.587.6943 or email@example.com.
Ignite your passion for dance with Preludes – Pennsylvania Ballet’s pre-show discussions. Held in the theater prior to most performances, Preludes features an ever-changing roster of company members, artistic and administrative staff, and visiting artists discussing Pennsylvania Ballet’s performances, taking questions, and offering behind-the-scenes insights. Preludes begins one hour prior to show time and is free and open to all patrons holding a ticket for the performance that follows. Preludes is a great way to meet other ballet fans, enhance your knowledge of the art form, and get to know the artists behind Pennsylvania Ballet’s beautiful and thrilling performances. Please note: Preludes is free and open to all ticket holders for the day listed on the ticket.
photo credits: Alexander Iziliaev
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