PA Ballet: A Program of Firsts - 6abc Loves the Arts

Philadelphia is known as a city of firsts and the Pennsylvania Ballet is set to put on A Program of Firsts. The program is made up of 3 ballets, a world premiere, a North American premiere, and Balanchine's first ballet in America which marked a milestone in the history of dance.

Angel Corella, Artistic Director of the Pennsylvania Ballet says, "it is a very different program but at the same time it's masterpieces from these three major choreographers that are together on stage."

The show opens with George Balanchine's Serenade set to Tchaikovsky's classic Serenade in Strings. "It's one of the first ballets that he ever did for New York City Ballet and it's considered a master piece. It sort of put a stamp in the in the dance in America and the way that the dancing was going to be seen in the future," says Corella, "Balanchine was very famous for using the dancers like they were part of the music. So you almost visualize the music, which is something really impressive."

The program also includes the world premiere of a work by the ballet's resident choreographer, Matthew Neenan. The piece is titled Archíva, and it gives the audience an intimate glimpse into the mind of a dancer. Corella says the dance is perfect for those who aren't used to a classical ballet, "Some passages are very intense but at the same time...if the music is real intense, he makes something a little bit lighter."

The program closes with the North American Premiere of Liam Scarlett's Asphodel Meadows featuring music by French composer Poulenc. "The music is really strong and really powerful," says Corella, "There are three different movements and each movements gives you a very different always takes you by surprise."

The Pennsylvania Ballet performs A Program of Firsts May 12-15 at The Academy of Music.

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