CriticalDance Forum

Pennsylvania Ballet 2004-05 Feedback Forum
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Author:  loribay [ Wed Nov 03, 2004 8:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pennsylvania Ballet 2004-05 Feedback Forum

Just returned from PAB's opening night performances, and the company definitely shows off its strengths and its versatility with this program! Ochoa was amazing in "Agon," Colucci was fabulous in "Slaughter"...I'll post more details later, but if you're still on the fence about going, start heading to the box office now.

Author:  Fairwind [ Sun Nov 07, 2004 10:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pennsylvania Ballet 2004-05 Feedback Forum

Will be seeing the final performance today, Sunday, after viewing both Thursday and Saturday evenings' casts.
A great program and top performances from all. Julie Diana and Zach Hench's performances were exciting additions to principle ranks. These three ballets were wonderful vehicles for the entire company. After watching Slaughter, I am now anxious to see the company in Robbin's humorous The Concert~ next spring. And Phillip Coluci's Hoofer was absolutely top notch with "Wow" factor for Julie Diana's Strip Tease Girl ;)

Author:  Azlan [ Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pennsylvania Ballet 2004-05 Feedback Forum

Well, guys, we're still waiting for more comments!

Author:  Fairwind [ Tue Nov 09, 2004 3:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pennsylvania Ballet 2004-05 Feedback Forum

Promise I will "check in" when I arrive home. :D

Author:  loribay [ Tue Nov 09, 2004 4:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pennsylvania Ballet 2004-05 Feedback Forum

From the Inquirer:

Three dances by George Balanchine bubbled like champagne through the Pennsylvania Ballet's season opener Wednesday night. This year would have been the seminal choreographer's 100th birthday, and the lively Academy of Music audience seemed ready to celebrate him.

click here for more

Author:  purelyballet [ Wed Nov 10, 2004 6:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pennsylvania Ballet 2004-05 Feedback Forum

I just returned from my trip to Philly where I was fortunate to take in four performances of this Balanchine series. I have to say this was certainly PABallet at its finest. After seeing Swan Lake at the end of last season, I did not think the company could look any better...but they proved me wrong. They were so amazing in the three pieces. I have to agree with the others Phillip and Julie were both amazing in Slaugther (Julie reminded me so much of Suzanne Farrell in this role and I found myself totally captivated by her) Amy Aldridge was also exceptional in the part. In regards to Agon, I have to say I think this was Arancha at her best...she totally amazed me.....Last but not least, Balo was fabulous and the corps really shined in this piece.....Thanks PABallet for some of the best dancing I have seen in years :)

Author:  Fairwind [ Sun Nov 14, 2004 11:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pennsylvania Ballet 2004-05 Feedback Forum

The season's opener for PABallet continues to give true measure to Balanchine's ballets in their repertoire. Each season they open with an evening of his work to give hommage to the man who helped to establish this company with Barbara Weisberger. It is always a delight to watch this company perform his ballets. They do Balanchine proud.

Ballo Della Regina was a premiere for PAB with staging by Merrill Ashley. Her love and joy of dancing this ballet seemed to shine through these dancers from corps to principles during every performance I attended. It is a gem of a ballet showing off the technical talents of the lead couple while Balanchine shows his masterery of moving the rest of the dancers around the stage as if they were floating about. Zach Hench and Amy Aldridge danced with speed and clarity. His jumps and turns were inspiring and Amy's bright footwork was dazzling! A nice addition to PAB's rep.

Agon is just a brilliant ballet period. And the company danced it well. The coupling of Arantxa Ochao and Meredith Rainey in the famous pas was captivating. It was not only her flexability with his strong partnering, but a special way they transmitted each move to lend meaning to form.

Never having seen "Slaughter on 10th Avenue", I was not disappointed and loved this vaudevillian musical ballet. Lots of fun performances from the entire cast. Phil Coluci's Hoofer was brilliant - what a talent he is! And Julie Diana was 'hot' as the Strip Tease Girl. Kudos all around for this season opener. The company is dancing at top form.

<small>[ 17 November 2004, 12:17 AM: Message edited by: Fairwind ]</small>

Author:  purelyballet [ Tue Nov 16, 2004 4:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pennsylvania Ballet 2004-05 Feedback Forum

did anyone else get a chance to see the Slaughter Series? I would love to hear your comments and see if you liked all three ballets as much as I did. If you did not see these, you should really try to go see the company this year, they are really outdoing themselves and I am sure you would enjoy the performance.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Nov 19, 2004 4:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pennsylvania Ballet 2004-05 Feedback Forum

sdfsmom posted elsewhere:

I was most fortunate to be in Philly for opening night...the company danced beautifully! I especially enjoyed watching Julie and Zak. They are missed in San Fran. PA Ballet's gain...SF Ballet's loss.

Author:  Fairwind [ Tue Nov 23, 2004 8:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pennsylvania Ballet 2004-05 Feedback Forum

I am curious about casting for PAballet's Nutcracker this year.....has it been released yet? Also what ever happened to Lori's review of the Balanchine program?

Author:  Azlan [ Tue Nov 23, 2004 11:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pennsylvania Ballet 2004-05 Feedback Forum

We'll check on casting but here's some news from our Company Press Releases forum:


Celebrating the 50th anniversary of George Balanchine’s beloved version of this classic holiday tradition, Pennsylvania Ballet captivates audiences this season with 26 performances of The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music from Saturday, December 11, 2004 through Sunday, January 2, 2005. A number of additional activities surround this annual extravaganza ,including special events, family-friendly parties, charitable opportunities and more. <a href=;f=13;t=002440 target=_blank>more</a>


THE NUTCRACKER is based on a story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”
written by E.T.A. Hoffman. What is seen on stage today has greatly changed from the original story of a little girl named Marie in a loveless household fighting battles against a mouse king with seven heads. In 1891, the legendary choreographer Marius Petipa commissioned Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky to compose the music for The Nutcracker based on the book revised by Alexandre Dumas. His version of the story reflects more of what we have come to love as The Nutcracker ballet. The first Nutcracker took place at the Maryinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, December 17, 1892, and was performed by the Kirov ballet, with Antoinetta Dell-Era as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Paul Gerdt as the Prince. <a href=;f=13;t=002440#000001 target=_blank>more</a>

<small>[ 24 November 2004, 12:36 AM: Message edited by: Azlan ]</small>

Author:  Fairwind [ Mon Nov 29, 2004 4:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pennsylvania Ballet 2004-05 Feedback Forum

PABallet has just posted full casting for their Nutcracker performances.......So take a peek!

Author:  Fairwind [ Sun Dec 05, 2004 7:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pennsylvania Ballet 2004-05 Feedback Forum

There are certainly a variety of casts. Anyone else going the first weekend? I am hopefully seeing four different casts and looking forward to it. 'Tis the Season :p

Author:  purelyballet [ Mon Dec 06, 2004 5:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pennsylvania Ballet 2004-05 Feedback Forum

I will not be attending the first week however, I am hoping to go to a few after the 18th. Fairwind, since you will be going before me, I would love to hear your review of the casts.

Author:  Fairwind [ Thu Dec 16, 2004 5:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pennsylvania Ballet 2004-05 Feedback Forum

The PaBallet's first weekend of Nutcracker performances were wonderful and right on track with the usual sharpness and energy of this company. Although the children this year did not seem as technically polished as years past, they were full of enthusiasm and personality in Act I.....Snow was spot on each night and I give this corps credit for doing multiple performances a day during the weekend. Both Flowers and Snow are nonstop dancing and take stamina.

Performances in Act II were all executed with great precision and and delivery. PABallet does Balanchine's Nutcracker proud. It always amazes me of the finesse and polish of even the corps dancers who are given opportunity to dance the soloist roles.
Julie Diana and Zach Hench seemed comfortable in this version of Sugar Plum and Cavalier. I enjoyed their performance. Aranxta Ochoa was stunning with James Ady and Val Amiss with James Ide had wonderful performances as well.

This is my favorite version of this ballet. It maintains a lovely child-like aura and really puts the idea of love of children and family to the forefront. The values are honest and endearing. The host of candyland dances in Act II are musically sensitive and have stood the test of time. Snow flurries by with excitment and Waltz of the Flowers with the lush choreography of Dewdrop sweeps the stage. Bravo to PABallet for maintaining a terrific holiday tradition!

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