Nearly Forty Percent of Pennsylvania Ballet Dancers to Leave in 2016-17 Season

According to reports, nearly 40 percent of the Pennsylvania Ballet dancers will be replaced for the 2016-17 season, said artistic director Angel Corella. 12 dancers were let go and 5 have decided to quit. More are expected to leave.

Of 43 dancers, 12 were let go and five are leaving on their own. Others, dancers say, are thinking of leaving.

Corella listed reasons for not renewing the dancers' contracts, including not being chosen by choreographers for new ballets, dancers only having certain styles, dancers having trouble adjusting to new leadership, and dancers having a mismatched height for partners.

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Regarded as one of the finest dancers of his generation, Angel Corella has been appointed Artistic Director of Pennsylvania Ballet beginning with the 2014-2015 Season. Corella's talent, technique, and passion have brought him wide acclaim around the world.

Born in Madrid, Spain, Corella joined American Ballet Theatre in 1995 and was quickly promoted to principal dancer. In his 17-year career with ABT, he established himself as one of the greatest male dancers of his time. Corella excelled in a wide range of repertory and has danced such iconic roles as Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, and The Nutcracker Prince in The Nutcracker. He has also appeared as a guest artist with the Royal Ballet in London, the Kirov Ballet in Russia, and New York City Ballet. He has received numerous awards, including First Prize in the National Ballet Competition in Spain (1991), the Prix Benois de la Danse (2000), and the National Award of Spain (2003).

Corella has danced for Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Sophia of Spain, and United States Presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama.

Corella's onstage talent and passion translate wholly to his behind-the-scenes career. From 2008-2014, he served as director for his own company, the Barcelona Ballet (formerly the Corella Ballet), in his native Spain, where he is regarded as a national treasure. It was the first classical ballet company established in the country in 20 years. Corella retired from the ABT in June 2012 but continued to dance with his own company.

A passionate teacher and mentor to young professional dancers, Corella has taught at various summer programs and leading dance schools including the Royal Ballet School in London.

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