PA Ballet Essay

Submitted By Sarah2mayday
Words: 986
Pages: 4

Xiaoyue Gu
TUid: 915005030
Philadelphia Dance
Performance #1 PA Ballet

1. The dance was performing by the Pennsylvania Ballet. The choreographer is George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon and Matthew Neenan.
2. The show begins at 7:30 PM, at the Merriam Theater that located at 250 South Broad Street.
3. The title of the performance is Prodigal Son, it tells the “well-known biblical story through touching dramatic scenes and soaring acrobatic movement” (Paballet), “Polyphonia” and “Shift to Minor”.
4. I would identify the work within as Balanchine style. The reason is that most of the parts are seems very soft and light, but I can still feel the strong and power inside the dancers, which is what the ballet should be.
5. The choreographer, George Balanchine, was born in Russia and “regarded as the foremost contemporary choreographer in the world of ballet”. Lincoln Kirstein is an American arts patron who has a dream to create a ballet company in the United States; he invited Balanchine come to America. They plan to build a school of American Ballet start at 1934. The New York City Ballet was born in 1948. Balanchine has more than 400 different dance works. The Prodigal Son was first premiered on May 21st, 1929 in Paris. “It is a dance re-telling of the biblical parable from the Gospel According to Luke, a timeless tale of sin and redemption. Kochno added much dramatic material and, to emphasize the messages and morals of the story, ended the story with the prodigal’s return” (Corella). Christopher Wheeldon was “born in Yeovil, Somerset, England”. He began his ballet training at age of eight. In year 1991, he “joined England’s Royal Ballet School, where he danced works by Aston, MacMillan and Balachine. Matthew Neenan start his ballet training in Boston Ballet School. His “choreography has been featured and performed by the Pennsylvania Ballet, BalletX, The Washington Ballet [and so on]”.
6. There are 16 dancers performing this ballet as total, the number of female and male dancers are equal, kind of “couples”. At the beginning of the show, it seems like a trio because there are three pairs dancing on the stage, in the middle till end of the show there becomes both solo and large ensemble. Also, at the beginning, the music is slow and the dancer are dancing soft, quiet and slow, but during the middle of the show, dancers become quicker and the music also change to fast-paced and there comes out more dancers and become more like a story. By looking at the dancer, I can exactly feel his or her pain, angst and sorrow.
The three pieces of the show have different rhythms, because the music are changing. For example, the music of the first piece is slow, and actually I think the music is not really good for the ballet. However, in the second piece of the ballet, the music is more “happy” and more dancers came out. The lights are changed as well. Moreover, I want to talk more about the costumes the dancers wear during the show. When they are doing a slow pace dance, their costumes are very close fitting, and after the dance become fast-paced, they are wearing loose tops. Also, when there are many people on the stage at the same time, dancers are wearing different colors of the costume; it makes us (audiences) easy to understand they are small little groups. The costumes are very simple in general, unlike my imagination before the show which is very beautiful and luxury dresses having shining diamonds on it.
7. I am new to ballet, and this is also the first time I watch the ballet show. To tell the truth, I do not really understand the story during the show. In my opinion, choreographers want to show the audience the things happened at that time. Balanchine use ballet dancing to tell the us the story of how a prodigal son change during the time. Prodigal