Dance in abundance this spring in Philadelphia (

February 3, 2017

By Ellen Dunkel


This spring dance season in Philadelphia features more ballet than we usually see. The Philadelphia companies Pennsylvania Ballet and BalletX will present new work, including the premiere of Pennsylvania Ballet artistic director Angel Corella's reworking of Le Corsaire. Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo will be back with their men in tutus. Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will visit with a Philadelphia premiere.

There's also no shortage of modern dance this spring, locally from Philadanco and Koresh, and from a wonderful lineup of visiting companies, such as Alvin Ailey, Jessica Lang Dance, Pilobolus, and a modern company from Cuba best known for ballet.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (Feb. 4, Merriam Theater). This stunningly gorgeous company returns to Philadelphia for three performances that include a piece by Philly hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris; a dance inspired by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and one about the American prison system. (215-893-1999,

Malpaso Dance Company (Feb. 15-19, Prince Theater). Cuban dance companies usually mean ballet, but Malpaso is a new contemporary dance company making its Philadelphia debut at the Prince. Malpaso is bringing two works: 24 Hours and a Dog, by artistic director Osnel Delgado, and Why You Follow, from American choreographer Ronald K. Brown. (215-422-4580,

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (March 8-12, Prince Theater). Think ballet takes itself too seriously? Check out the Trocks, men in tutus and pointe shoes performing their versions of Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and other classics. They're deliciously ridiculous but also technically strong dancers. (215-422-4580,

Le Corsaire (March 9-19, Academy of Music). In 2016, Pennsylvania Ballet artistic director Angel Corella reworked Don Quixote. This time, he's taking on another beloved full-length ballet he famously danced through his career: Le Corsaire. It's a pirate ballet! (215-893-1999,

Jessica Lang Dance (April 5-9, Prince Theater). Lang is one of the few highly sought female choreographers, and she's from Doylestown. Her company is bringing a new work to the Prince. Thousand Yard Stare, set to Beethoven's String Quartet No. 15, is about shell-shocked soldiers returning from war. (215-422-4580,

Pilobolus (April 6-9, Annenberg Center). A perennial favorite for the imaginative ways dancers create shapes with their bodies, Pilobolus is presenting Shadowland, a dreamlike full-length work about a teenage girl and her shadow. (215-898-3900,

Romance (April 6 to 9, Merriam Theater). Pennsylvania Ballet's Romance program features something old, something new, and something Balanchine. The old is Nacho Duato's Remansos. The new is a world premiere from Nicolo Fonte, who created Grace Action for the ballet company in 2015. The Balanchine is Western Symphony, scenes from the Wild West. (215-893-1999,

Philadanco (April 13-15, Perelman Theater). The season will include favorites of company founder Joan Myers Brown, including ballets by Talley Beatty, Gene Sagan Hill, and new works by Dawn Marie Bazemore and Christopher Huggins. (215-893-1999,

BalletX (April 26 to May 7, Wilma Theater). Philadelphia's modern ballet company will be at the Wilma for two weekends, presenting works by Cayetano Soto and Tommie Waheed-Evans (choreographic mentor and fellow), as well as Jorma Elo. (215-546-7824,

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (May 3-7, Prince Theater). This modern ballet company will present the Philadelphia premiere of Alejandro Cerrudo's Silent Ghost. (215-422-4580,

Koresh Dance Company (May 4-6, Suzanne Roberts Theatre). Koresh tours more than it dances in Philadelphia, but audiences will get a chance to see them at home in May. (215-985-0420,

Re/Action (May 11-14, Academy of Music). The Pennsylvania Ballet closes out the season with "Re/Action," a series that includes a new ballet from Matthew Neenan, the company's choreographer in residence, who has turned a lot of heads on the national dance scene. The program also includes Christopher Wheeldon's Rush and three Balanchine duets: Sylvia Pas De Deux, Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux, and Tarantella. (215-893-1999,