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Pennsylvania Ballet's New Executive Director Looks to Future

Melissa Fitzgerald

Shelly Power, who takes over as Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Ballet in February, has several priorities on her to-do list, such as strengthening the Philadelphia-based ballet company's financial foundation and continuing to expand its facility on North Broad Street. But she is particularly looking forward to exploring ways the organization can provide opportunities for the city's youth who may not have adequate exposure to dance and the arts. 

"I need to get to know the community and know where the gaps are, because I think that's one of the jobs of an arts organization - to fill those gaps," said Power, who most recently served as artistic director and CEO of the Prix de Lausanne, a competition for aspiring young dancers. "I'm certainly looking forward to finding where we as a ballet company and as a school can educate the next generation of audiences members, dancers, and frankly, help build skills with young children because I think dance provides that so well."

Power, who previously spent 12 years as director of the Houston Ballet Academy, will succeed David Gray, who stepped down in June. This week on A Tempo (Saturday 12/2 at 7 pm), host Rachel Katz speaks with Power about what attracted her to Pennsylvania Ballet, her priorities, and her thoughts on nurturing the dancers and ballet audiences of the future.

This week's program also wraps up its mini-series surveying some of the region's productions of The Nutcracker, this week turning the spotlight on Pennsylvania Ballet, whose performances of Balanchine's The Nutcracker open December 8. Guests will be Pennsylvania Ballet Artistic Director Angel Corella and Director of Community Engagement Sarah Cooper. 

The Pennsylvania Ballet partners with the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation in a program through which students can create their own dolls based on The Nutcracker.
A Tempo Extra - Pennsylvania Ballet's incoming Executive Director Shelly Power shares her thoughts on the role of community and school engagement programs.
A Tempo Extra - Pennsylvania Ballet Artistic Director Angel Corella and incoming Executive Director Shelly Power comment on keeping the Nutcracker fresh for new and returning audiences.

Rachel Katz is the host of A Tempo which airs Saturdays at 7 pm.