Three big names, perfect together

Pennsylvania Ballet's "Balanchine/ Wheeldon/ Tharp'

1 minute read
Someone to blend with Johnson's physicality. (Photo: Alexander Iziliaev.)
Someone to blend with Johnson's physicality. (Photo: Alexander Iziliaev.)
The advertised title of "Balanchine, Wheeldon and Tharp" sounds like the name of a law firm, but the actual Pennsylvania Ballet performance provided a romp for the audience as well as the troupe— intriguingly weaving together the angularity and balance of George Balanchine, then spinning out the movement experiments and improvisations of Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain before effortlessly whirling through Twyla Tharp's effervescent Push Comes to Shove. Prompted by the music, people moved side-to-side in their seats and clapped enthusiastically.

Balanchine's Square Dance offered an intriguing blend of Jermel Johnson's physicality and Amy Aldridge's élan. In After the Rain, Arvo Part's music proved a perfect accompaniment for Wheeldon's sassy, flirtatious choreography.

Tharp's equally sassy and flirtatious Push Comes to Shove completed a very well assembled program. Tharp's music choice was Joseph Lamb, mixed with Josef Haydn— a quirky yet very successful accompaniment to Tharp's equally quirky choreography, with its jaunty moves, cocked heads and sassy gestures. The audience departed doing a bit of Dancing in the Rain down Broad Street.

What, When, Where

Pennsylvania Ballet: “Balanchine/ Wheeldon/ Tharp†Balanchine, Square Dance; Wheeldon, After the Rain; Tharp, Push Comes to Shove. February 7-10, 2013 at Merriam Theater, Broad St. above Spruce. (215) 893-1999 or

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