More Turnover PA Ballet

posted by Kristin Schwab on Thursday, Aug 28, 2014
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Kaiser (left) leads a "Swan Lake" rehearsal. Photo by Alexander Izilaev.
There's been a lot of news pouring out of Pennsylvania Ballet for the past few months—and it just keeps on coming. In April, Roy Kaiser, who directed the company for 19 years, announced that he was stepping down. Two weeks later, executive director Michael Scolamiero said he would be leaving for Miami City Ballet. A search for new leadership began; the company has found it in former Barcelona Ballet artistic director Ángel Corella, who begins the job in September.

Now, there is buzz claiming that most of the company's senior artistic staff has been let go. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported yesterday that PA Ballet has fired ballet master Jeffrey Gribler, second company and school director William DeGregory, and Michael Sheridan, assistant to the artistic director. Its marketing director, a member of the development staff and an administrator have also been fired.

Julie Diana, who retired as a principal dancer in April, will be the new ballet mistress and her husband, principal Zachary Hench, will become ballet master. Former school principal Arantxa Ochoa will become the school's director. The new director of PA Ballet II has yet to be announced.

With this huge changeover in staff, it's clear that Pennsylvania Ballet is looking for a makeover. It will be interesting to see how the troupe and its repertoire evolves in the coming years.