Pennsylvania Ballet Principal Dancer Ian Hussey Announces Retirement
Pennsylvania Ballet Principal Dancer Ian Hussey announced today his retirement after spending his full career with the company. He'll take his final bow on the Academy of Music stage this May.
"Ian has been an incredible asset to the company and an amazing role model for our younger dancers," said Artistic Director Angel Corella. "He brings it all to the stage- incredible discipline, hard work, professionalism and a talent for navigating stylistic challenges with ease. We will miss him terribly but are happy to see him start his new life with his husband."
A Westmont, N.J. native, Hussey's tenure with Pennsylvania Ballet began with Pennsylvania Ballet II in 2004. Two years later he became an apprentice and was then promoted to the company and ascended the ranks as a member of the corps de ballet in 2007, soloist in 2010 and principal in 2012. Prior to joining the company, Hussey's ballet instruction began as a child with the Rock School for Dance Education and the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.
Hussey has dazzled audiences in many featured roles with Pennsylvania Ballet, including Romeo and Juliet (Romeo and Tybalt), Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake and Rush, La Fille Gardee (Alain), George Balanchine's The Four Temperaments (Melancholic) and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Divertissement Pas de Deux), Jerome Robbins' Other Dances, The Concert and Fancy Free, and William Forsythe's Artifact Suite, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and The Second Detail. Additionally, Hussey has impressively danced in Pennsylvania Ballet's George Balanchine's The Nutcracker every year since beginning his training at age nine (barring a few years with Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet), working his way from Prince to the Sugarplum Cavalier and Drosselmeyer. Many years and performances later, Hussey will leave Philadelphia to be with his husband in New York.
"Twenty-five years ago, I first set foot on stage with Pennsylvania Ballet as a child performing in The Nutcracker. Much like Marie's character, my head too was filled with wonder, delight and dreams," said Ian Hussey. "Little did I know then that those dreams would one day become a reality. Performing with amazing dancers, working with incredible choreographers and learning from the best in the world has been the privilege of a lifetime."
Renowned choreographers have enthusiastically worked with Hussey in leading roles throughout the years, including Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Jorma Elo, Nicolo Fonte, Trey McIntyre, and Matthew Neenan who has worked with Hussey for several world premieres.
"I'm so lucky that I had the opportunity to dance in my hometown of Philadelphia where my family could easily attend my performances," continued Hussey. "Thank you greatly to artistic directors Roy Kaiser and Angel Corella, the wonderful Pennsylvania Ballet fans, all the staff and crew, and, most especially, my fellow dancers who have become my second family. I will always cherish my time here. As I move on to the next chapter in my life, I intend to give back to the ballet world as much as it has given me."
Hussey will perform this month in Angel Corella's re-staging of Giselle as Count Albrecht on March 16 at 2 p.m., and as Hilarion on March 7 at 7:30 p.m., March 9 at 2 p.m., and March 16 at 8 p.m. Audiences can also see Hussey in his final performances with Pennsylvania Ballet during the All Stravinsky (April 4 - 7) and Mixed Repertoire (May 9 - 12) programs at Merriam Theater and Academy of Music. Tickets can be purchased at paballet.org.
Hussey is currently the Deborah and Kurt Hilzinger dancer.
Founded in 1963 by Balanchine student and protégée Barbara Weisberger, Pennsylvania Ballet is one of the nation's leading ballet companies. In its most diverse season yet, the Pennsylvania Ballet presents six programs featuring two full length classical ballets, Balanchine classics, contemporary works, world premieres, and the Philadelphia holiday tradition, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. For more information, visit paballet.org, call 215.551.7000 or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to get a behind the scenes looks at our dancers in the studio and onstage.
Pennsylvania Ballet's season sponsors include DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel and The Sporting Club at the Bellevue. Pennsylvania Ballet is supported in part by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community & Economic Development and also receives support from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and The Philadelphia Cultural Fund.