Pennsylvania Ballet Announces 2019-2020 Season
Today Pennsylvania Ballet announces the 2019-2020 season programming with 12 ballets, featuring three company premieres and five world premieres, including the classic ballet La Bayadère. The company will also pay homage to its roots with an all Balanchine season finale. This new season brings a high-energy, bright and uplifting spirit to the stage.
"This season is the ultimate showcase of the incredible range and charisma of our talented dancers with high level, energetic dancing and entertaining story lines," said Artistic Director Angel Corella. "The delightful character roles in Don Quixote, the iconic corps dancing in La Bayadère, a Balanchine triple bill, company and world premieres with unique choreography, and the timeless George Balanchine's The Nutcracker® will leave you in high spirits with a desire for more. No matter your age or background, this season has something amazing for you."
2019-2020 is a compelling season with an impressive line-up of programs, including Corella's restaging of Don Quixote, world premiere commissions by Garrett Smith, world renowned and award-winning choreographer, Juliano Nunes, critically-acclaimed Brazilian choreographer and dancer with the Royal Ballet of Flanders in Belgium, and Yin Yue, an exceptional contemporary Chinese choreographer and dancer. Fall programming ends with the timeless George Balanchine's The Nutcracker® and spring kicks off with Corella's first ever re-staging of La Bayadère, followed by two company premieres Suspended in Time (choreographed by Russian born Kirill Radev, award-winning company member Russell Ducker, and Corella himself) and Clear by Stanton Welch AM, and a world premiere by company choreographer in residence Matthew Neenan. Completing the season is an all Balanchine season closer featuring Ballet Imperial, Who Cares? and Symphony in C.
Back by popular demand, Pennsylvania Ballet opens the new season in October with the revival of Corella's 2016 restaging of Don Quixote. This full-length ballet is a high-action, comedic ballet with a wonderful showcase of talent and iconic character dancing. The impressive choreography features beautiful, complex pointework, especially in Act III's Grand Pas de Deux. Corella will bring the Spanish flair from his hometown in Madrid to this production with costume accessories from Spain and authentic style and dance. Don Quixote is presented by Independence Blue Cross.
November brings World Premieres featuring three different contemporary choreographers with distinct but complementing styles. Garrett Smith trained with Houston Ballet and has choreographed across the United States and internationally. In Smith's ballet, the audience can expect an extraordinary extension of classical ballet vocabulary that is both edgy and personal. Choreographer and dancer Juliano Nunes trained at the Brazilian Dance Conservatory and is now a dancer with the Royal Ballet Flanders. Nunes' ballet will showcase very grounded choreography and an excellent use of the human body. Yin Yue trained at Shanghai Dance School where she studied classical ballet, Chinese classical and folk dance. After moving to New York City, she quickly gained attention for her highly unique choreography centered around emotional experience with contrasting movements and strong, complex physicality. The variety of these bold ballets is a testament to the versatility and talent of Pennsylvania Ballet's dancers.
Philadelphia's most celebrated holiday tradition, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker® will grace the stage of the Academy of Music in December to wrap the fall programming. It wouldn't be the holidays without being swept away to the Land of the Sweets as Tchaikovsky's iconic score pairs with extravagant sets and costumes and enchanting dance variations. This charming favorite becomes more magical every year as families revel in holiday nostalgia. Pennsylvania Ballet will continue its special sensory-friendly performance this year on December 30 at 12 p.m.
Kicking off the spring season in March is the world premiere of La Bayadère (the temple dancer), a story of the love between temple dancer Nikiya and warrior Solor, who is engaged to the Rajah's (or king's) daughter. This ballet is a prime example of ballet-blanc or the "white act" with The Kingdom of the Shades scene commonly performed as a standalone showpiece. Stunning corps de ballet choreography stands out with striking movements requiring 24 women to move in perfect unison. Inspired critic Clive Barnes wrote in 1963 of the iconic dancing throughout this ballet: "If you don't enjoy La Bayadère, you really don't enjoy ballet."
April's program Suspended in Time features a thrilling triple bill of contemporary work. Created as an artistic response to 9/11 and set to music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Clear is a display of male dance talent created by Houston Ballet Artistic Director and choreographer Stanton Welch AM. This company premiere features one female and seven male dancers in flesh colored clothing that fixes the attention on the dancers and their emotions. This is followed by the debut of an exciting new work by Pennsylvania Ballet's Choreographer in Residence Matthew Neenan. Suspended in Time, an entertaining, upbeat celebration of 80s rock band Electric Light Orchestra (E.L.O.) that includes hits like "Strange Magic" and "I am Alive" will close out the program. Originally choregraphed by Kirill Radev, Russel Ducker and Angel Corella for Barcelona Ballet, this company premiere is being performed for the first time in the United States.
Pennsylvania Ballet will return to their roots and close out the season in May with Breathtaking Balanchine, an incredible program with grand ballets by George Balanchine, including Ballet Imperial, Who Cares? and Symphony in C. Opening the program is company premiere Ballet Imperial, which was described by Balanchine himself as "a contemporary tribute to Petipa, 'the father of the classic ballet,' and to Tchaikovsky, his greatest composer." When asked by George Gershwin to choreograph to his music for the movie Goldwyn Follies, George Balanchine was inspired to create individual dances that ultimately became the ballet Who Cares? portraying the liveliness of America and the distinct energy of city living. This is followed by Symphony in C, a ballet choreographed to Georges Bizet's Symphony in C that includes four movements, each highlighting different soloists that are brought all together for a moving finale.
Full Season subscriptions to Pennsylvania Ballet's 2019/2020 Season go on sale at 10:00am Tuesday, February 19th and will be available at paballet.org or by calling 215-893-1955.