Pennsylvania Ballet brings 'All Stravinsky' to Merriam

The Pennsylvania Ballet is celebrating the works of a legendary Russian-born pianist and composer with a program called All Stravinsky.

It includes four diverse works set to the music of a man considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century.

"Stravinsky is a very strong musician. I think this show is very energetic," says Angel Corella, Artistic Director of the Pennsylvania Ballet. "It's very edgy, gritty."

It opens with six dancers performing a world premiere by resident choreographer Matthew Neenan.

"It's very unusual to what he normally does, because Stravinsky is very melodic music," Corella says."

The next ballet is Apollo.

"Apollo is considered a masterpiece," Corella says. "It was composed by Igor Stravinsky and choreographed by George Balanchine."

"Balanchine, Stravinsky made so many ballets together and created sort of like a partnership," Corella says, and Apollo was their first collaboration.
"It's one man with three women, the muses, and each one of the muses has a very different lesson to tell Apollo and how he was born and how he becomes a God," Corella explains.

The Cage by five-time Tony Award-winning choreographer Jerome Robbins is more theatrical, a ballet that tells the story of how spiders kill their partners after mating.

"The Cage is more about the power of women and the female and nature," Corella says. "So I think that is what makes this ballet so interesting."

The show rounds out with a more modern work by Balanchine, choreographed to Stravinsky's Violin Concerto. The ballet was originally created for a festival.

"And this is actually a very unusual ballet for Balanchine," Corella says because it's a bit more animalistic. "All the bodies, contortion and different positions that are not necessarily the classical technique."

Pennsylvania Ballet: All Stravinsky | Arts in Philly
April 4-7, 2019
Merriam Theater
250 S Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
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