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Pennsylvania Ballet: From Balanchine to Millepied

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The Pennsylvania Ballet’s April program, Building on Balanchine, includes two classics by the great choreographer George Balanchine along with a world premiere by the up-and-coming Benjamin Millepied.

Balanchine’s classic Agon (Photo courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet)

The program—Balanchine’s Agon and Who Cares? and the new Millepied work—will be presented April 14 to 17 at the Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia.

Balanchine and composer Igor Stravinsky designed the structure of Agon—12 pieces of music for 12 dancers—during the creation of the score. One of Balanchine’s classic “black and white” ballets, Agon takes its name from the Greek word for “contest” or “struggle.” Who Cares?, with a George Gershwin score of beloved classics like “The Man I Love” and “I Got Rhythm,” is a fun-filled ode to the 1930s.

Millepied, a renowned French-born choreographer and New York City Ballet principal dancer, worked with Pennsylvania Ballet dancers during filming of Black Swan. He has created a piece, with music by David Lang, that uses video projection techniques and three live cameras on stage.

Performances are set for April 14 and 15 at 7:30pm, April 16 at 2 and 8pm, and April 17 at 2pm. At the final performance, Pennsylvania Ballet principal dancer Martha Chamberlain will end her 21-year performance career. Tickets range from $20 to $139 and are available at 215.893.1999, at www.paballet.org, or in person at the Kimmel Center box office.

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