Eye On The Arts: 23-Year-Old Ballerina To Dance Dream Roll In The Nutcracker

Videos, Nutcracker, Interviews, 12-13

CBS 3, December 2012
CBS 3’s Pat Ciarrocchi speaks with Company Member Lillian Di Piazza, who will premiere as the Sugarplum Fairy in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™ this season.

VIDEO: The Pennsylvania Ballet

Videos, Roy Kaiser, 12-13

Sep 14, 2012
Artistic Director Roy Kaiser gives a video interview previewing our entire season.
Watch the video at Philly.com.

PA Ballet visits a Mt. Airy school

Features, Outreach, Videos

Lisa Thomas-Laury
February 22, 2012
The Pennsylvania Ballet is marking the 10th anniversary of its trainee program, with continued visits to area schools.
It is part of the Ballet's Outreach effort.
The Trainee program is known as Pennsylvania Ballet II, and it delighted the students at the Charles W. Henry School in West Mt. Airy Wednesday afternoon.
Pennsylvania Ballet II consists of seven pre-professional dancers who visit 15 to 20 schools in the area every year. It was their 9th visit to the CW Henry School.
They showed the Kindergarten through 4th graders some fundamental ballet moves, and the audience was especially thrilled to see their Coach, Chris Kuncio, help a dancer with a promenade.
Then they performed the ballet, "Por Temper Ments". The music is Hendemuth, and is choreographed by George Balanchine.
The ballet's outreach program gives the students a full ballet experience.
"They get to see classical ballet in their own environment, and they also bring kids to the dress rehearsals at the Academy of Music. This year, all the second graders came to the Nutcracker," said Phil Juska, Pennsylvania Ballet Outreach Director.
And it was the second graders who were the star attraction for their classmates, learning in one day a ballet to Rhianna's "We All Want Love".
"It's just wonderful to see the kids grow from year to year, it's amazing, and some of them are very talented," said William DeGregory, PA Ballet II Director.
When asked how they learned it so fast, their answers struck a common theme.
"I paid attention, and I listened," said 2nd grader, Terrell Tilghman.
"I was listening, and I watched the Nutcracker," said 2nd grader, Scarlett Zeleniak.
The Ballet's Outreach and Education programs bring recitals and other programs to 125,000 elementary, middle and high school students throughout the tri-state area.
Read and watch the video at 6ABC.com.

PA ballerina dances into retirement

Retirement, 11-12, Features, Videos

by Lisa Thomas-Laury
January 12, 2012
The Pennsylvania Ballet is saying goodbye to one of the best dancers in the business. The Ballet's principal ballerina is retiring next month.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Riolama Lorenzo began her ballet training with her mother at age 14.
"My mother was a ballerina in Cuba. She danced with Alicia Alonso," Lorenzo said.
She says ballet has always come easily to her and she has always loved performing.
"As a child you like what you're good at and then the whole performing and dancing abroad and all those opportunities that you get as a ballerina," Lorenzo said.
In 1993, she received the renowned Princess Grace Award and later joined New York City Ballet.
She joined the Pennsylvania Ballet in 2002.
She has danced leading roles in hundreds of performances and was pregnant in Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake last March, but still performed.
"I have a 6-month old baby daughter and a 4-year-old son and that's a big part of the reason why I'm retiring," Lorenzo said.
As for retiring, she says, "It's hard, but it's something you have to be ready for and I think I'm ready."
Artistic director, Roy Kaiser, says she's a ballerina of breathtaking skill; he hired her ten years ago.
"I will miss her. I certainly will, but we'll keep part of her here. She has a great influence over the younger dancers. She has for many years, so they'll carry that on," Kaiser said.
For her final performance next month , February 12th, Riolama will perform in Matthew Neenan's "Keep" at the Merriam Theatre, which was choreographed for her.
"I think it's perfect, that I should end with something so personal and so beautiful," Lorenzo said.
Riolama has prepared for retirement. She looks forward to spending more time with her children, plus she has a bachelor's degree in Health Science from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.
Read and watch the video at 6ABC.com.

Thank you for a great season!

11-12, Videos

We've just closed on another incredible season and have to extend a huge thanks to our beautiful dancers, hardworking staff, generous donors, and loyal patrons! Our season would not have been a success without you.



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