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James Ihde


The Alan B. Palmer Soloist Dancer

Meet James

Hometown: Kent, OH
James Ihde began his ballet training at the Dance Institute of the University of Akron, where he studied for eight years. In 1993, he came to Philadelphia for a summer session at the Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet. Upon completion, James was invited to join Pennsylvania Ballet as an apprentice for the 1993/1994 season. In 1995, he joined the corps de ballet and was promoted to soloist in September 2003.

During the 1996/1997 season, James received rave reviews for his featured role in Lar Lubovitch’s Waiting for the Sunrise. Since then, he has danced featured roles in several ballets, including John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet (Paris), Paul Taylor’s Company B, Jerome Robbins’ Interplay and In the Night, Lar Lubovitch’s Concert Six Twenty-Two, Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake (Von Rothbart, Czardas), William Forsythe’s In the middle, somewhat elevated, and the world premieres of Jorma Elo’s Pulcinella and Matthew Neenan’s Somnolence.

James’ principal roles consist of a challenging repertoire of works, including George Balanchine’s Agon, Jerome Robbins’ In G Major, William Forsythe’s Artifact Suite (Pas de Deux 1), Jiří Kylián’s Forgotten Land (Black Couple), Christopher Wheeldon’s Liturgy and After the Rain (Pas de Deux), along with title roles in George Balanchine’s Apollo and Ben Stevenson’s Dracula. James also originated a role in the world premiere of Trey McIntyre’s The Accidental.

In the course of James’ 23-year career, he has performed throughout the country, including California, Chicago, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas, and internationally in Scotland and Portugal.


“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking your potential.”
– Winston Churchill


James enjoys a good book.


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Performance Highlights

With Pennsylvania Ballet:

  • George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® (Cavalier)
  • The Firebird (Ivan)
  • Jewels (Emeralds)
  • Rodin, Mis En Vie (featured role)
  • Penumbra (featured role)


  • Polyphonia (featured role)
  • Petite Mort (featured role)
  • John Butler’s Carmina Burana
  • The Four Temperaments (Second Theme, Third Theme)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Demetrius, Theseus, Titania’s Cavalier)
  • The Prodigal Son


  • Serenade
  • The Third Light (company premiere)
  • Ghost Stories (world premiere)
  • Western Symphony (First Movement)
  • Rush (company premiere)

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Artistic Staff

Pennsylvania Ballet’s artistic staff provides knowledgeable and adept leadership. Each artistic associate brings to the table an impressive list of accomplishments in the field, as well as a level of dedication, determination, and creative vision required to foster and cultivate a world-class organization.

Board & Staff

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Season & Tickets

Whether you enjoy the grandeur and pageantry of full-length ballets or the breathtaking innovation of more contemporary works, our 54th season consists of a mixed repertoire designed to thrill and delight.