Remembering Balanchine Ballets That Shaped My Career
West Terrace, Main Floor
Valerie Amiss began her Balanchine training at the age of 12 with Yvonne Patterson and Gloria Govrin. In 1992, Christopher D’Amboise asked her to join the Pennsylvania Ballet, where she worked closely with Sandra Jennings. She was promoted to soloist in 1999. She performed numerous principal roles in the Balanchine repertoire, including Titania and Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Odette in Swan Lake Act II, and Dew Drop and Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker. She performed lead roles in Balanchine’s Rubies, The Four Temperaments, Western Symphony, Agon, Scotch Symphony, Bugaku, and Serenade. Amiss retired from the Pennsylvania Ballet in 2007.
George Balanchine (1904-1983), the co-founder of the New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet, was one of the most influential ballet choreographers of the 20th century. His work is known for its neoclassical style in which new movement vocabulary, such as flexed feet and turned in hips, were added to the classical ballet canon. His plotless ballets were the first of their kind in focusing on the intricate connection between music and dance without the necessity of a narrative.
Photo: Paul Kolnik