Rebranded Philly Ballet set for return to stage with Nutcracker, '22 slate of shows

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Pennsylvania Ballet is emerging from the pandemic with a renewed sense of identity and a brand-new season in store.

The Pennsylvania Ballet is now the Philadelphia Ballet.

"It's like a Phoenix, with a new name with a new look and with a new energy," Angel Corella, Artistic Director for the Philadelphia Ballet says.

This transition represents the many changes the company has experienced during the pandemic.

Siobhan Howley, Corps de Ballet with the Philadelphia Ballet says, "We all are gravitating towards community. Philadelphia is our community."

The last in-person performance was March 12, 2020, an agonizing break for the performers.

"I did like two to four ballet classes a day for three and a half months on my countertop," says Sterling Baca, a Principal Dancer with Philadelphia Ballet.

The group reconvened in January this year, creating a digital stage to reconnect with audiences.

"We were able to reach out to almost 50 different countries," says Angel.

Siobhan says, "The first time that we did it, I was in pointe shoes for 10 hours that day. It was one of the hardest things that I've ever done."

"I think it changed us. Everybody's going to come back with a newfound appreciation," Sterling says.

Now, they are back on stage for a new season with a new look that pays homage to the original wishes of the founder.

"When Barbara Weisberger founded the company in 1963, she actually wanted to call it the Philadelphia Ballet. But there was a school that already had that name," says Siobhan.

The Philly Ballet officially kicks off with George Balanchine's The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music in December.

"It's the biggest tradition that any ballet company in the States or around the world has," says Angel.

"For us, that's what the holidays are," Siobhan says.

The season continues at the Academy and Perelman Theater with world premieres, contemporary and classic works.

"We will be doing Swan Lake Balanchine program, at the Academy of Music," says Angel.

The famous ballet will be directed by Angel, Artistic Director since 2014.

"It's going to be a very exciting season," says Angel.

"We're wrapping up the season in May with a Hans Van Manen tribute program," Siobhan says.

"When the curtain goes up, there is just this incredible connection with the audience and you can't match that filming," says Sterling.

Tickets for the season are on sale now.
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The Nutcracker
December 10th - 31st, 2021, Academy of Music

New Works For a New World
Feb 3-12, 2022, Perelman Theater

Swan Lake
March 3-13, 2022, Academy of Music

Bold, Brilliant, Balanchine
March 17th-20, 2022, Academy of Music

Hands Van Manen's Humankind
May 12-15th, 2022, Academy of Music
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