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Friday, March 12, 2010

Go and See the Pennsylvania Ballet’s Carmina Burana

Reviewed By Sojourner Ahebee

Last night I had my first, genuine WOW experience at the ballet. You know I have been attending ballet performances for a while now and for the most part I have enjoyed myself. But yesterday evening, and I know this sounds corny, I was transported to a level of excitement and non-stop engagement that I had never experienced before. The Pennsylvania Ballet performance of Carmina Burana was absolutely BEAUTIFUL.

Just imagine Carl Orff’s music played by the Orchestra of the Pennsylvania Ballet combined with a live choir-The Philadelphia Singers Chorale( with three amazing soloists)-combined with the choreography of Matthew Neenan combined with the awesome, very modern execution of the Pennsylvania Ballet dancers combined with costumes just as fluid and lithe as the dancers combined with a set design and lighting that created pure magic. Thursday’s evening performance, at the Academy of Music, was just that; magical.

It was great to see all the dancers performed as a true ensemble and, believe me, you will not forget one dancer in particular- Jermel Johnson. This brother is incredible. Cindy and I enjoyed his performance as the candy cane in the Nutcracker. He is definitely developing a following in my circle and getting young people excited about going to the ballet.

Also performed as part of last night’s program was George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments, which I enjoyed but it was not the same experience as with Carmina Burana.

LISTEN TO ME. Tell your mom, dad, nanny or pop-pop to take you tomorrow to see the Pennsylvania Ballet’s Program II of which Carmina Burana is a part. It closes after tomorrow. I guarantee you will an ah ha moment, an epiphany and know that magic is still around and to be had.

Here is the link to the Pennsylvania Ballet’s website for you to learn about upcoming performances and to subscribe. After seeing this program,you will want to support our ballet company-The Pennsylvania Ballet.


*Carmina Burana - Jonathan Stiles and Laura Bowman in Carmina Burana. Photo: Paul Kolnik
*Pennsylvania Ballet Soloist Jermel Johnson in Matthew Neenan's Carmina Burana. Photo: Alexander Iziliaev.
* Pennsylvania Ballet Company Members Laura Bowman and Jonathan Stiles in Matthew Neenan's Carmina Burana. Photo: Alexander Iziliaev.

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