Central Jersey Sun News, October 11, 2012.
Pennsylvania Ballet, one of the premier ballet companies in the country, returns to McCarter Theatre Center for the first time in almost a decade on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Under the artistic direction of Roy Kaiser, Pennsylvania Ballet will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, and has remained true to its origins as a home for classically trained dancers with individual looks and presences. Always the toast of Philadelphia its dancers have a can-do attitude about eclecticism, long a favored goal of America’s best ballet companies. Their program will include New York Export: Opus Jazz, by Jerome Robbins, and Peter Martins’ Barber Violin Concerto, and Square Dance by George Balanchine.Feel the flavor of the city that never sleeps with Jerome Robbins’s N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz. Robbins’s “ballet in sneakers” celebrates the youth and vitality of the era in which it emerged: the distinctly cool 1950’s. N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz adopts the spirit of Robbins’s renowned musical, West Side Story, with Broadway-style theatricality saturating this series of dances to the music of Robert Prince.
Peter Martins’s Barber Violin Concerto features two couples, bathed in white, performing a brilliant series of pas de deux. The piece embodies the lyrical movement of Samuel Barber’s inventive score that bridges from an opening adagio to its final scherzo, exploring the dichotomy between classical ballet and modern dance in three movements.
Rounding out the program will be George Balanchine’s Square Dance, a favorite of many dancers. Its title comes from the structure of American folk dance, which Balanchine found made a complementary frame for classical ballet movement. Dancers wear simple leotards and tights, allowing audiences to focus on the dancers’ breathtakingly speedy footwork and the brilliant score by Vivaldi and Corelli.
The company features several dancers who hail from New Jersey including Principal Dancers: Julie Diana (Summit) and Ian Hussey (Westmont); Soloist: Gabriella Yudenich (Voorhees); Corps de Ballet: Caralin Curcio (Sparta), Eric Trope (Summit), and Alex Ratcliffe-Lee (Wayne).
Founded in 1963 by Balanchine student and protégée Barbara Weisberger, Pennsylvania Ballet is one of the nation’s leading ballet companies. Headquartered in Philadelphia, the Company’s annual local season features six programs of classic favorites and new works, including the Philadelphia holiday tradition, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™.
Tickets ranging from 20 to $62 ($10 student standing room tickets available with valid ID) may be purchased on line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from the McCarter website at www.mccarter.org or during regular business hours by phone at (609) 258-2787. McCarter Theatre Center is conveniently located at 91 University Place in Princeton.