If you didn’t love the Pennsylvania Ballet before the 2015 holiday season, here is why you should fall in love in 2016.
As a Philadelphia native, I’ve witnessed the crushing heartbreak and utter embarrassment of the 2015 Eagles football season, capped off with the firing of Coach Chip Kelly. I’ve never seen so many people celebrate a man losing his job in my entire life. Alas, along with the highs and all too often lows of the Eagles season, came unnecessary comparisons of the flailing Birds to ballet dancers and their performance attire tutus. Alike so many others, I was thrilled to see the Pennsylvania Ballet’s response to one such comment, as seen below as taken from the Pennsylvania Ballet Facebook page:
A Facebook user recently commented that the Eagles had “played like they were wearing tutus!!!”
“With all due respect to the Eagles, let’s take a minute to look at what our tutu wearing women have done this month:
By tomorrow afternoon, the ballerinas that wear tutus at Pennsylvania Ballet will have performed The Nutcracker 27 times in 21 days. Some of those women have performed the Snow scene and the Waltz of the Flowers without an understudy or second cast. No ‘second string’ to come in and spell them when they needed a break. When they have been sick they have come to the theater, put on make up and costume, smiled and performed. When they have felt an injury in the middle of a show there have been no injury timeouts. They have kept smiling, finished their job, bowed, left the stage, and then dealt with what hurts. Some of these tutu wearers have been tossed into a new position with only a moments notice. That’s like a cornerback being told at halftime that they’re going to play wide receiver for the second half, but they need to make sure that no one can tell they’ve never played wide receiver before. They have done all of this with such artistry and grace that audience after audience has clapped and cheered (no Boo Birds at the Academy) and the Philadelphia Inquirer has said this production looks “better than ever”.
So no, the Eagles have not played like they were wearing tutus. If they had, Chip Kelly would still be a head coach and we’d all be looking forward to the playoffs.”
Happy New Year!
As a long-time fan of the ballet, I was thrilled to see this response and the support social media lent to it. With over 20K likes and 11K shares (and counting), the support for ballet dancers as athletes as well as true and dedicated performers was amazing to witness. The artistry shown by the Pennsylvania Ballet will not only bring tears to your eyes but will leave you feeling amazed, impressed and simply fantastic.
This holiday I was able to visit the Academy of Music in Philadelphia with my daughter for the Pennsylvania Ballet performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. A true holiday favorite and classic, this years performance was one of the best I’ve seen in years. From start to final curtain, I was enthralled and engrossed in the classic tale of The Nutcracker.
The entire audience was delighted and in a quiet awe as the Philadelphia Boys Choir joined the Philadelphia Ballet Orchestra to bring Tchaikovsky’s iconic and remarkable score to our ears. Always a favorite part of The Nutcracker, I had chills up and down my spine as I witnessed not only the beautiful artistry of true ballet in front of me visually while the sounds of the choir and orchestra graced my ears. It was truly an unforgettable moment.
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker as performed by the Pennsylvania Ballet was phenomenal and a true testament to the strength, agility and dedication of the ballet. I strongly encourage you to support a true gem we have in our artistic community by seeing them perform and checking out future upcoming programs!
This holiday season, the Pennsylvania Ballet has not only “wowed” us on social media with their savvy and wit, but showed they have what it takes on the stage! I cannot wait to see what they have in store for 2016!
Photo credits: Alexander Iziliaev