Pennsylvania Ballet's Quarterly Newsletter

Spring 2018 Edition

Please join us in welcoming our new Executive Director, Shelly Power, to Philadelphia!

Ms. Power comes to us from Lausanne, Switzerland, where she was the CEO and Artistic Director for Prix de Lausanne, an international ballet competition. Previously she was the Director of the Houston Ballet Academy for 13 years.

In addition, her experience as a dancer and teacher expands her perspective and knowledge of ballet and every aspect of a performing and teaching institution which will prove invaluable to Pennsylvania Ballet and the community.

Ms. Power will be attending all performances and hopes to meet her new ballet family. We hope you will say hello should you see her in the theater.

We are THRILLED to welcome her on board!

Photo: Melissa Fitzgerald

We are also excited to congratulate the Eagles on their Superbowl win – we are confident our support helped them fly to victory! 

Watch the video here


So, Happy Spring and welcome to the second half of our season – the season of the tutu!

There were 25 swans performing in white tutus in March; in April our dancers will don 19 tutus in Theme and Variations; in Paquita there are 13 ladies in tutus in various shades of red, orange and purple, and in May a mixture of romantic (long) green tutus in the Emeralds section of Jewels, then 17 more white tutus in Diamonds!

In addition to seeing so many gorgeous costumes, our audience will be treated to more music of Tchaikovsky. We’ve already presented three of his most popular ballets this season – The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, and the achingly beautiful Swan Lake. Although deemed a critical failure when first performed in 1892 Swan Lake has become arguably the most popular ballet of all time. In our April program the music for Balanchine’s Theme and Variations is the last movement of Tchaikovsky’s Suite No. 3 for Orchestra and in our May program, Balanchine’s Diamonds is set to Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 3 in D Major without the first movement. For more information about this prolific composer and his affinity for ballet, please stop by the glass vitrines in the ambulatory on the ground floor of the Academy of Music to see costumes and photos and to learn more about Tchaikovsky’s love affair with ballet.

On The Stage

We hope you had a chance to catch at least one performance of The Nutcracker this year! With twenty-six performances there were many casts for each part so the dancers were certainly busy. Our sensory friendly performance, graciously sponsored by Linda J. Harris—The Bergman Foundation was even more popular this year – you can see more about it here.

Swan Lake was a huge success with standing ovations and nearly sold out houses at every performance! And interestingly many people saw it more than once because there were so many different casts. We were delighted with the reviews, especially this one!  

But perhaps the best news of all is that we had record-breaking ticket sales for both The Nutcracker AND Swan Lake!

Dayesi Torriente and Arian Molina Soca | Photo: Alexander Iziliaev

In The Studios

In The School

The School of Pennsylvania Ballet continues to grow especially now that we have added a Children’s Program (ages 2-7) and a General Program (ages 7-12) that do not require an entrance audition. The summer program offerings for children at SPB now also include two week-long themed dance camps that include ballet, arts and crafts, and an in-studio performance. This season’s children’s dance camp themes are The Sleeping Beauty and Snow White.

The Pre-Professional program at SPB continues to thrive as students begin their third quarter in the studios, audition for summer intensives, and prepare for performance opportunities. Particularly successful is the new full-day Pre-Trainee program during which students complete their academic studies via online schooling.

Jessica Kilpatrick and Students of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet | Photo: Tracie Van Auken

The School faculty has completed their national audition tour for our Summer Intensive and is pleased to report that our five-week pre-professional summer training program is in high demand. The School also continues to offer innovative week-long programs such as Company Experience, Coaching with the Principals, and the Young Dancer Workshop, each ending with an in-studio presentation.

Jessica Kilpatrick, Head of Adult and Youth Programs, is once again leading a “Ballet Boot Camp”, a three-day dance workshop for adults, from Friday April 6 through Sunday April 8. Classes in Ballet, Contemporary, and Stretch and Strengthening are offered. This is open to dancers and movers of all levels age 15 or above. For more information click here or call 215-587-6942.

Students of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet | Photo: Tracie Van Auken

The School is thrilled to announce that this season’s year-end performance will be a fully produced full-length ballet, choreographed by Samantha Dunster, Assistant Artistic Director of Pennsylvania Ballet and Interim Principal of SPB to an original score by Kermit Poling. Peter Pan will be presented at the Prince Theater with a live orchestra on May 19-20. Tickets can be purchased through the Prince Theater Box Office by following this linkMany thanks to the Parent’s Executive Committee, donors to Pennsylvania Ballet’s gala and other individuals  for their exceedingly generous support of this project.

Lastly, please save the date for the second annual School of Pennsylvania Ballet Ball to be held at the Mutter Museum on Sunday, June 3rd from 1:00-4:00pm.

Lucia Erickson|Photo: Jaime Santoro

In The Community

Pennsylvania Ballet II has a full roster of performances this spring. They are appearing in a joint project with Art-Reach and the Overbrook School for the Blind at Art- Reach’s annual spring fundraiser on March 24 at FringeArts, and you can buy tickets for any of their upcoming performances:

Snow White
April 14 – 15 & 21. 
Experience the fairy tale of Snow White as she runs away from the evil queen and finds solace with seven friendly dwarfs. Watch as the witch convinces her to bite the poisoned apple and witness the magic of true love’s kiss. This one-hour ballet choreographed by Samantha Dunster, Assistant Artistic Director of Pennsylvania Ballet, is the newest addition to Pennsylvania Ballet’s Family Series.  With an original score by Kermit Poling performed by Curtis musicians, this ballet is tailored to children ages 5 to 12, but captivating for audiences of all ages.

Snow White – Sensory-Friendly
April 14, 11:00am. 
Sensory-friendly performances are designed to create a welcoming environment for families with children who are on the autism spectrum or may have sensory sensitivities. They are also for anyone who may benefit from being in a more relaxed environment.

Prince Charming
April 28 at 11:00am. We all know about Cinderella and how she met her prince. But what if the Prince himself told the story? Enjoy this brand new ballet performed Pennsylvania Ballet II, choreographed by Assistant Artistic Director Samantha Dunster with a score by Kermit Poling.

This year our Community Engagement department was honored to receive an increased gift from The Delphi Project Foundation, which will allow us to hold a summer intensive Delphi program for the first time! Under the guidance and instruction of Pennsylvania Ballet’s dance teachers, this unique program will prepare public school students from across Philadelphia for the next steps on their path to performing arts- focused high schools and colleges. Additionally, we will expand Delphi to a sixth public middle school for the 2018-2019 school year. We are extremely grateful for their ongoing support.

And as always, our Dress Rehearsals in April and May will be open to school children, free of charge.

Students of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet | Photo: Vikki Sloviter

Up Next

Come see our mixed repertory program, Grace & Grandeur, in April at the Merriam Theater! Opening with Marius Petipa’s Paquita, displaying our female dancers’ dazzling footwork, followed by For Four, Christopher Wheeldon’s showcase for four male dancers, the program closes with Balanchine’s grand ballet honoring his Imperial Russian heritage, Theme and Variations. Performance duration: 1 hour 50 minutes. Performance dates:

Thursday, April 5 at 7:30pm
Friday, April 6 at 7:30pm
Saturday, April 7 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm
Sunday, April 8 at 2:00pm

Mayara Pineiro and Artists of Pennsylvania Ballet | Photo: Nic D’Amico

Closing the season will be Balanchine’s masterpiece, Jewels, at the Academy of Music, made possible by a generous gift from Alger. Jewels is a plotless ballet in three movements celebrating three facets of Balanchine’s life—the romantic French flair and elegance of Emeralds, the jazzy American allure of Rubies, and the pure Russian pomp and splendor of Diamonds. Performance duration: 2 hours 4 minutes. Performance dates:

Thursday, May 10 at 7:30pm LAGOS, opening night sponsor
Friday, May 11 at 7:30pm
Saturday, May 12 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm
Sunday, May 13 at 2:00pm

Lillian DiPiazza | Photo: Nic D’Amico

Please Join Us For The Following Events!

Panel Discussion & Reception
(Aficionado Level: Donors of $1,000 or more)
April 19, 6:30pm
This members-only lecture offers intriguing discussions on dance with members of Pennsylvania Ballet’s artistic staff as well as cultural leaders from throughout the Philadelphia area. This year, the panel discussion moderated by Bryn Mawr College’s Linda Caruso Haviland, will focus on the different types of classical ballet styles: Vaganova, Cecchetti, Bournonville and Balanchine and how these styles are blended in our Company. Feel free to contact Kristine Medley Farmer at or 215.587.6904 to see if you qualify for this donor benefit!

Lagos Jewelry
April 25, 5 – 7pm
Save the date for an exclusive look at LAGO’s new line, modeled by Pennsylvania Ballet dancer Yuka Iseda on  at LAGO’s store at 18th & Walnut Streets

Jewels Dress Rehearsal Luncheon
Thursday, May 10
Join former Pennsylvania Ballet Principal Dancer, Amy Aldridge, for lunch at Estia with an intimate discussion about her experience as one of the Company’s leading ballerinas, and what it was like to dance the energetic Rubies in George Balanchine’s Jewels. Following the conversation, you’ll get a first look at Jewels at a live dress rehearsal at the Academy of Music.

Photo: Lauren Bryant



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.