The Nutcracker is on stage now - get your tickets!

Pennsylvania Ballet's Quarterly Newsletter

Fall 2017 Edition

Welcome to the 2017-2018 season!

On The Stage

The Company returned in late August to an unbelievably full schedule. In addition to Angel’s new staging of The Sleeping Beauty, there are three new works being created or set simultaneously for the November program, plus rehearsals for our appearance at New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival on October 4 and 5.

I’m sure by now you’ve noticed that Angel likes to give performance opportunities to as many dancers as possible, so there are six different casts for The Sleeping Beauty – one thing is for sure, our dancers are never bored! Casting is up on the site, so you can see as many different casts as you like. We haven’t presented The Sleeping Beauty in the last ten years so even though you may remember the music, sets, and costumes, the staging will likely be different, although Angel will preserve the traditional pas de deux and fairies’ variations. Be sure to read the feature article in your Sleeping Beauty Playbill. Written by Temple University Adjunct Professor of Dance Laura Katz, it outlines the importance of this ballet to the history of dance in Philadelphia.

Three weeks after The Sleeping Beauty closes, we’ll present THREE company premieres at the Merriam Theater. These ballets are all by living choreographers working around the world, offering our audiences a sample of true “cutting edge” ballet. Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman is known for his fast paced timing, witty humor and clever transitions. He aims to create work which the majority can connect to, finding subjects that we can all relate to. The result – to me – is organized chaos! Click here to see a teaser about the ballet we are presenting – Ekman’s Episode 31 – from the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

Helen Pickett, currently choreographer in residence at the Atlanta Ballet offers a more cerebral view of modern ballet. Helen danced for years for William Forsythe in the Frankfurt Ballet, so you may see glimpses of his style in her piece. She has set her pieces on companies all over the world, but this is her first ballet for us, and she seems quite impressed with our dancers. If you’d like to hear her speak, she will be featured on a panel of female choreographers and leaders in dance on October 30. This free symposium will be moderated by Brenda Dixon Gottschild and held at Fringe Arts. To register for the event, click here.

Lastly, we all know Matthew Neenan’s works, but we never know what he’ll create next!  Celebrating his 10th year as Choreographer in Residence, we’ll unveil this World Premiere on November 9th.


Artists of Pennsylvania Ballet

In The Studios


The Company | Photo: Lauren Bryant

In The School

This summer The School of Pennsylvania Ballet offered more programs than ever before! They included a new week-long program, A Week of Coaching with the Principals, where students had the opportunity to take class and rehearse privately with five Pennsylvania Ballet principal dancers. Also new to SPB this summer was our Alice in Wonderland Children’s Dance Camp, Dance Me a Story, a Summer Adult Program and Ballet Bootcamp – an Adult Summer Workshop (so popular that we are offering another one this fall – Oct. 20 – 22) all led by SPB’s Head of Children and Adult Programs, Jessica Kilpatrick.

The workshop includes three classes each day: ballet, contemporary, and stretch & strengthening.  You can join for the whole weekend or just a class or two, and this is open to dancers and movers of all levels. For those who register for three or more classes you’ll be entitled to 50% OFF select tickets to Pennsylvania Ballet’s performances of The Sleeping Beauty that weekend! For more information, click here.

The new school year started on September 11th, with programs reorganized by Interim Principal Samantha Dunster. The Children’s Program now consists of four classes, appropriate for students ages two to seven; the Pre-Professional Program consists of seven levels for ages seven through seventeen; and the Trainee Program is for our most advanced students. We are pleased to announce that SoDanca, the official leotard sponsor of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet, has personalized our school uniforms with our new SPB logo!

And George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® has already started! Auditions have been held, and rehearsals have begun. We are eager to see the young talented students of SPB perform on the Academy of Music’s stage in both The Sleeping Beauty and George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® this year.


Students with instructor Valerie Amiss | Photo: Tracie Van Auken

In The Community

Our Community Outreach programs continue to grow, and we are especially proud to announce that our participation in the Delphi Project, sponsored by Reliance Insurance Company, is entering its twenty-second year! This is an intense after-school program for adolescents that includes dance classes and rehearsals in five schools, which culminates in a student performance at a Philadelphia theater. This program introduces students to the rigors of dance education, diversity in dance styles, and offers a safe place during the after school hours.

This season we will continue to offer sensory friendly performances beginning with George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music on Wednesday, December 27th at noon. We’ll also offer short one hour ballets specifically for children. You can catch the first of those on Sunday, October 1 at 11:30 and 1:30 at the Art Museum. Pennsylvania Ballet II will perform Snow White as part of the PMAs Enchanted Forest program and tickets are free after the museum’s Pay What You Wish admission from 10am to 3pm. Catch a performance, make your own magical masterpiece, and discover spellbinding treasures in the museum’s galleries. The next FREE one hour performance will be co-hosted by State Representative Jared Soloman on Friday, October 27 from 7 – 8pm at Northeast High School. To reserve your ticket, click here, and click on the button at the bottom of the page.


Students in Snow White | Photo: Vikki Sloviter

For Our Friends

One of the most exciting things to happen around here is that we have just unveiled a new website! In addition to gorgeous new photos and design there are quite a few new features, including a great way to “meet our dancers”. Click on a dancer and you’ll be taken to their bio page, where you can see their photo and some interesting information about them. Also, if you click on our new calendar, you can see all events we have planned each month. Many thanks to our Marketing Team and the design firm Paragraph for creating this user friendly and highly informative site!

In future issues, we’ll feature an in-depth profile of some of the dancers, but using the page above will give you the best overview of the entire Company, who will all be featured in The Sleeping Beauty.  There are actually 170 roles in the ballet, so you’ll be seeing many of them in more than one costume!


Young Friends of Pennsylvania Ballet | Photo: Lauren Bryant

On Our Board

Pennsylvania Ballet would like to thank the following departing Trustees for their years of dedication and support: Janet Averill, for her exceptional personal interest and investment in the health and well-being of the dancers; Robert Dever, for keeping a careful watch on our finances; David Pierson for never missing a performance; and Keith Straw for the longevity of her service and support.

And a warm welcome to our new Trustees:

Alice Donavin Day of Villanova is a seasoned marketing and public relations professional most recently serving as President and Founder of Automotive Marketing & Advertising. Previously she was Director of Outpatient Services of the Prince William Hospital and Mountainwood Treatment Center and a solo practitioner as a psychotherapist. She has been an active member of Pennsylvania Ballet’s Marketing Committee and, through her connections and leadership, provided the Ballet with analyses and reports by Wharton MBA students. Ms. Day has a BA from Seton Hall University and an MSW from Catholic University in Washington, DC.

Elizabeth (Liz) Harris of Blue Bell is Managing Partner of H-Two Properties, Inc. which owns and manages commercial buildings in Upper Montgomery County and is also Co-founder and co-president of B Inspired. Previously, she was the Director of Enrollment Management at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. Mrs. Harris received her BA from Lehigh University and her JD from Temple University, Beasley School of Law.

Arthur Kaplan of Gladwyne is a co-founder of Fine, Kaplan and Black, RPC, a law firm that represents large businesses and consumers in antitrust and other complex litigation nationally, and has achieved record breaking recoveries. He was elected to the American Law institute, and has served in leadership positions at the American Antitrust Institute. He has been a faithful member of the Emeritus Board of Pennsylvania Ballet since his service in the 70’s and remains committed to new works and supporting student scholarships for children of color. Mr. Kaplan received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and his JD from Harvard Law School.

Chair Emeritus Louise H. Reed and Board Chair David Hoffman | Photo: Alexander Iziliaev

Please Join Us For The Following Events!

Sunday, October 1 – 11:30 am and 1:30 pm – Free after pay what you wish museum admission
Pennsylvania Ballet II’s performances of Snow White at the Art Museum. Free after pay what you wish Sunday admission from 10am – 3pm. Performed at the bottom of the Great Staircase.

Monday, October 2 – 6:30 pm – Free
Conversations at the PCI Library, 1905 Locust Street. Guest speaker, Conductor of the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, Beatrice Affron.

Wednesday, October 4 and Thursday, October 5 – 8pm – Tickets $25
Performed Christopher Wheeldon’s RUSH at New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival, 131 W. 55th Street, NYC. 

Friday, October 6 – 6:30pm
Fall Gala. Black tie. Cocktails, dinner, live auction, and dancing with the dancers at the Union League. 

The Sleeping Beauty at the Academy of Music
Thursday October 12       7:30pm*
Friday October 13            7:30pm*
Saturday October 14         2:00pm* and 7:00pm*
Sunday, October 15          2:00pm*
Friday, October 20           7:30pm*
Saturday, October 21       12:00pm* and 5:00pm*
Sunday, October 22          2:00pm*

*Preludes – This pre-show discussion is free and open to ticket buyers one hour before the performances asterisked

Friday, October 27 – 7:00 pm – Free
FREE family performance by Pennsylvania Ballet II, co-hosted by State Representative Jared Solomon at Northeast High School, 1601 Cottman Avenue.  To reserve your ticket, click the button at the bottom of this page:

Monday, October 30 – 7:00 pm – Free
Symposium on leadership roles for women in dance, entitled Challenges, Chances, Changes—Gender Equity in Concert Dance. Moderated by Brenda Dixon-Gottschild and hosted by Fringe Arts, with support from the NEA, a panel of female dancers, choreographers, and dance professionals will discuss the current state of women in leadership roles in the world of dance. For tickets, contact Fringe Arts, 140 N. Columbus Blvd.

November 6 – 6:30pm – Free
Conversations at the PCI Library, 1905 Locust Street with Soloist Alexandra Hughes

On Edge at the Merriam Theater
World Premiere by Helen Pickett
World Premiere by Matthew Neenan
Episode 31 by Alexander Ekman

Thursday November 9    7:30pm*
Friday November 10       7:30pm*
Saturday November 11  2:00pm* and 8:00pm
Sunday, November 12    2:00pm*

*Preludes – This pre-show discussion is free and open to ticket buyers one hour before the performances asterisked

Alexandra Hughes, Ian Hussey, and guests of Pennylvania Ballet Gala | Photo: Jim McWilliams


Footnotes Archive

You may also like:

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.

Meet the Ballet

Pennsylvania Ballet comprises a team of dedicated professionals—each one devoted to bringing you the most thrilling and inspired works ballet has to offer.

The School

The School of Pennsylvania Ballet offers the highest caliber dance education of any program in the Greater Philadelphia area, providing our students with exceptional technical training and unparalleled performance opportunities.