Pennsylvania Ballet Petite Mort, Nov 8-11

Pennsylvania Ballet and Artistic Director Angel Corella will present a contemporary program comprised of three ballets; Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort and world premieres from award-winning choreographer and Pennsylvania Ballet company member Russell Ducker, and Gallim Dance founder and artistic director, Andrea Miller, November 8-11 at the Merriam Theater.

Created for the Nederlands Dans Theater in 1991 in honor of the Salzburg Festival on the second centenary of Mozart’s death, Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort is danced to slow segments of two of Mozart’s most beautiful and adored piano concertos, Nos.21 and 23. The choreography incorporates subtle sexual imagery, exploring the concept with characteristic wit, humor, and eroticism.

Petite Mort is one of the true masterpieces of the 20th century- beautiful, romantic, and moving all at all once,” said Corella. “It’s wonderful to see our dancers truly immerse themselves in a movement that creates poetry with their bodies, making this the perfect opening to our November program.”

Russell Ducker is a Corps de Ballet member and promising choreographer whose work has already been performed all over the world. His fresh and informal style uses intimate partnering, thought-provoking asymmetry and imaginative, playful echoing of movement to express complex emotive states. Ducker has choreographed numerous ballets for the Barcelona Ballet and the premiere of his five-movement choreography, titled Epimetheus, opened at the New York City Center in 2010. Throughout his career, Ducker has received numerous awards including the Dame Ninette De Valois in 2001, Sir Kenneth MacMillan in 2002 and 2003, and Ursula Moreton in 2005. This is his first commission for Pennsylvania Ballet.

“I’m very honored to have the opportunity to choreograph my first ballet for the Company and I can’t wait for the audience to experience the high energy performance we have planned,” said Ducker. “The ballet will be a journey for the dancers, exploring the incitement, impact, and consequence of when two opposing forces meet.”

Known for her imaginative and visceral work, Andrea Miller is a world-renowned choreographer and creative director. She has developed a recognizable artistic voice of thrilling physicality, insatiable curiosity, and riveting emotion that pushes the boundaries of performance by continually discovering connections between movement and other forms of expression. Miller’s works have been performed across the world – from London and Paris to New York City. Two years after graduating from Julliard, she founded Gallim Dance, a New York-based company whose mission has been described as realizing the “endless human capacity for inspiration.” Miller was also the 2017-2018 Artist in Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the first choreographer to hold this position.

“After attending Pennsylvania Ballet’s mixed repertoire program last November, I was very moved by the company,” said Miller. “I look forward to working with the dancers to create a demanding and powerful piece that ranges from explosive power to subtle stillness. Together we will explore new movements that bring us out of our comfort zone.”

Petite Mort and World Premieres at the Merriam Theater

  • Thursday, November 8 at 7:30 pm
  • Friday, November 9 at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, November 10 at 2:00 pm
  • Saturday, November 10 at 8:00 pm
  • Sunday, November 11 at 2:00 pm

Tickets are available online at or by phone at 215.893.1999, and in person at the Kimmel Center Box Office.

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