Pennsylvania Ballet Presents Romance in April including a World Premiere by Nicolo Fonte and Re/Action in May with a World Premiere by Matthew Neenan
Pennsylvania Ballet and Artistic Director Angel Corella will finish the 2016/2017 season with two mixed bill programs: Romance in April, featuring the World Premiere of Nicolo Fonte’s Ghost Stories; and the final program, Re/Action, in May which includes a World Premiere by Choreographer in Residence, Matthew Neenan. Romance, supported by ALGER, will run April 6-9 at The Merriam Theater, and Re/Action will run May 11-14 at The Academy of Music.
“We are thrilled to culminate our 16/17 season with two mixed bill programs that bring some of ballet’s finest choreography to Philadelphia,” said Angel Corella. “Romance will demonstrate different perspectives on ballet from three great choreographers while Re/Action will honor Balanchine’s unique understanding of technical precision in three pas de deux.”
Romance Running April 6-9 Features the World Premiere of Nicolo Fonte’s Ghost Stories
April’s program, Romance features a repertoire comprised of Nacho Duato’s Remansos, a Nicolo Fonte World Premiere, and George Balanchine’s Western Symphony.
Originally premiered in 1997, Nacho Duato’s emotional Remansos is a simple piece for three men and three women featuring fluid and compelling choreography. Set to a haunting score for solo piano by Enrique Granados, Duato gives the piece a contemporary feel while keeping the focus on the buoyancy of the dancer’s forms.
The program will also include the debut of Nicolo Fonte’s Ghost Stories, which takes audiences to a world of simplicity. Set to four movements by Ezio Bosso and Max Richter, the piece explores the emotion of hope in building a community to diminish the sense of feeling alone.
"The primary inspiration for creating this ballet essentially sprung from the music of Ezio Bosso and Max Richter. I was overcome by both the beauty and the ease in these scores and loved how they worked together. Mysterious yet friendly, profound yet simple- the music creates for me a subtext in which to explore simple choreographic structures. Unison, duets, trios and the accumulative effect of progressing from a lone dancer to many are some of the ways my inward journey for this ballet reaches its final, outward destination,” said Fonte.
George Balanchine’s Western Symphony closes Romance. Set to the lively orchestrations of Hershey Kay’s songs from the American West, Western Symphony is packed with tongue in cheek humor and fast paced vignettes that showcase classical ballet infused with the gestures and formations of American folk dance.
Re/Action Running May 11-14 Features a World Premiere by Matthew Neenan
For their final program of the season, Pennsylvania Ballet will present Re/Action; a repertoire program featuring the Company Premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Rush, George Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Tarantella, and Rubies; and a Matthew Neenan World Premiere.
Rush, a Company Premiere by Christopher Wheeldon, combines postmodern style with Bohuslav Martinů’s vernal score to create a fresh dance experience with traditional roots. The ballet pays homage to the pas de deux, with two dancers being the center of the piece.
Originally written for Act III of Swan Lake the music for Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux was given exposure by George Balanchine in 1953 when he took the moving Tchaikovsky score and choreographed a piece to showcase ballet bravura and technique.
Tarantella, also features music brought back to life by George Balanchine. The score, by American musical prodigy Louis Gottschalk, received its World Premiere at the Academy of Music in 1864.
The program ends with the central pas de deux from Rubies, the second act of Balanchine’s full-length work, Jewels. Rubies portrays the fast-paced and glamourous style of New York City. Set to a jazz-inflected score by Igor Stravinsky, Rubies features sharp movements and a neoclassical style of dance that is sure to energize the audience.
Rounding out this dynamic program is a much-anticipated World Premiere by Pennsylvania Ballet’s Choreographer in Residence, Matthew Neenan. The concept for this premiere was manifested thirteen years ago, when Neenan collaborated with Steven Early Weber, a visual artist. Set to different Vivaldi’s Cello Concertos, Neenan’s piece will delve into the concept of falling asleep, a state in which it is said Salvador Dali came up with his best thoughts.
“I’ve been the resident choreographer with Pennsylvania Ballet for nearly ten years and have had the pleasure of working with many extraordinary dancers here,” said Neenan, “I love capitalizing on the talents of the new dancers in the company I am just getting to know, but also collaborating with dancers that I know very well, dancers I’ve worked with (and even danced with) over many years. The company is very strong, filled with fearless, technically astounding dancers, and to be given such a skilled group is a dream for a choreographer.”