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RPO Performs World-Premiere Presentation of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, with All New Choreography by Garth Fagan Dance

Your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) proudly announces its latest collaboration with Garth Fagan Dance (GFD): a world-premiere presentation of The Rite of Spring.

RPO Music Director Andreas Delfs conducts Stravinsky’s groundbreaking score to accompany the first full-length public performances of GFD Artistic Director Norwood “PJ” Pennewell’s daring, all-new choreography, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, 60 Gibbs St, Rochester, NY 14604.

“This program is another highlight of the Rochester Philharmonic’s blockbuster centennial season,” noted Maestro Delfs. “Two world-class Rochester arts institutions, the RPO and Garth Fagan Dance, have come together to present Stravinsky’s trailblazing masterpiece in a brand-new choreography by the exceptionally talented PJ Pennewell. I have collaborated with some of the world’s leading dance companies and am utterly amazed to meet the power, imagination, and sheer vitality of Garth Fagan Dance.” 

Fagan’s first premiere with the RPO was in July 1979, Salon for a Fashionable Five-Toed Dragon, in which Pennewell made his debut as a Fagan dancer. Forty-five years later, The Rite of Spring is Pennewell’s first choreography for the company since Fagan announced he was stepping down from leadership, naming Natalie Rogers-Cropper the troupe’s executive director and Pennewell its artistic director.

“I am forever grateful to Garth for his vision, his inspiration, and his artistry, which is reflected both in myself and in this collaboration with Maestro Delfs,” Pennewell said. “It’s amazing how Andreas guides these brilliant musicians to bring Stravinsky's revolutionary score from over 100 years ago to make it relevant to today. This experience has inspired an awe and deep creative impulse in me that I hope will resonate powerfully with our audiences.”

Added Rogers-Cropper, “There is always a visceral reaction from those who witness one art form merging with another. Without question, live music and live dancers are a powerful combination. Garth Fagan Dance is thrilled to be collaborating with the RPO once again. This time, the powerful and challenging work by Stravinsky has finally been matched by the equally powerful and challenging choreography of Norwood Pennewell and the incredible energy and artistry of our dancers. The audience will be on its feet.”


TICKETS START AT $30/$18 for children ages 3-17 and are available online anytime at, by phone at 585-454-2100, and in person at RPO Patron Services at 225 East Avenue (Monday-Friday, 10 AM-5 PM) and one hour prior to curtain at the Eastman Theatre Box Office (433 East Main St.).


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