Established in 1963, Pennsylvania Ballet has extended its important Balanchine-based repertoire by presenting new works by a variety of contemporary choreographers. In 2012, with Center support, the ballet presented Artifact Suite by William Forsythe, staged by three former Forsythe dancers. This repertory acquisition was accompanied by a symposium with Forsythe, his dramaturge Freya Vass-Rhee, dance writer Jennifer Homans, and project specialist Linda Caruso Haviland. The Forsythe project raised company awareness of the significance of documentation and the development of an archive of research that can continue the life of a particular dance beyond its performance.
Pennsylvania Ballet presented the American premiere of Kazimir's Colors by the contemporary Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti. Originally created for the Stuttgart Ballet in 1996, the work was inspired by the early Russian avant-garde painter Kazimir Malevich, a pioneer of geometric abstract art. Set to Dmitri Shostakovich's Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet, and Strings, Kazimir's Colors incorporated costumes that evoked the blocks and bands of vivid color representative of Malevich's paintings