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Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Unveils 45th Anniversary Season Lineup

by Meghan McNamara
February 13, 2014
Pittsburgh, PA

Featured Dance Company:

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (office)
2900 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
412-281-0360
www.pbt.org

Marking the company's 45th Anniversary Season, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr has unveiled a 2014-2015 lineup punctuated by grand classical ballets, Pittsburgh premieres and reprisals from the company's 45-year repertoire collection.

This milestone season will feature the Pittsburgh premiere of "Beauty and the Beast" for two full performance weekends at the Benedum as well as the company's first full-length production of one of classical ballet's most exotic stories – "La Bayadère."

Opening in October with "The Sleeping Beauty" with the PBT Orchestra, the five-production lineup features "The Nutcracker," "Beauty and the Beast," and a mixed repertory performance at the Byham Theater before closing with the season finale, "La Bayadère" with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Orchestra. Along with the unveiling of the season lineup, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre has announced that the Laurel Foundation will be contributing a $50,000 match challenge for new and increased gifts from individuals in celebration of the 45th Anniversary Season.

Season ticket packages start at $69, and can be purchased online at www.pbt.org or by calling 412-454-9107. Single ticket sales open Sept. 2, 2014 with prices starting at $27.

2014-2015 45th Anniversary Season

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Orchestra

October 24-16, 2014 – Benedum Center
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Staged by: Terrence S. Orr
Music: Peter I. Tchaikovsky

Awaken the senses with the fairy-tale splendor of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's "The Sleeping Beauty." Resting at the pinnacle of classical ballet, good conquers evil in the beloved story of Princess Aurora's enchanted slumber. Set to one of Tchaikovsky's most celebrated scores, the ballet's legendary "Rose Adagio" scene ranks among the most spellbinding sequences in classical ballet.

The Sleeping Beauty, which debuted in St. Petersburg in 1890, is the result of a collaboration between choreographer Marius Petipa and composer Peter I. Tchaikovsky. First performed by Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre as a full-length ballet in 1996, it has continued to be an audience favorite featuring fanciful characters, such as the Lilac Fairy, a dashing prince, the evil Carabosse and a company of fairy tale characters. Considered "the father of classical ballet," Marius Petipa choreographed more than 50 ballets, including "Swan Lake," "La Bayadère," "Don Quixote" and "The Nutcracker."

THE NUTCRACKER Sponsored by Macy's
December 5-28, 2014 – Benedum Center
Concept and Choreography: Terrence S. Orr
Music: Peter I. Tchaikovsky

Capture the awe and exhilaration of the holiday season with the classic story, iconic choreography and soaring score of "The Nutcracker." This Pittsburgh-inspired production laces the traditional tale with new surprises each year and keeps the magic alive by showcasing the virtuosity of more than 170 dancers. From the moonlit Snow Scene to the effervescent Land of Enchantment, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette calls "The Nutcracker" "the best holiday performance in Pittsburgh."

Set to Tchaikovsky's iconic score, The Nutcracker stays true to many of the original elements of the original E.T.A. Hoffman tale while lacing the production with iconic turn-of-the-century Pittsburgh imagery, such as a Mt. Washington snow scene and a Land of Enchantment carousel inspired by Pittsburgh's historic amusement parks. Following a successful 2014 pilot performance, PBT will present a special autism-friendly performance of "The Nutcracker" on Dec. 23, at 2 p.m.

PNC Bank Presents…
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Feb. 6-15, 2015 – Benedum Center
Choreography after: Lew Christensen
Staged by: Terrence S. Orr
Music: Peter I. Tchaikovsky

PBT gives a new full-length ballet its Pittsburgh premiere with "Beauty and the Beast," an imaginative interpretation of the time-honored tale of inner beauty. From the Beast's imposing castle to the enchanted forest, "Beauty and the Beast" vividly illustrates the transformative power of love through striking set design, inventive choreography and a cast of fanciful characters.

Lew Christensen's "Beauty and the Beast" experienced consistent box office success and critical acclaim during its long-time run at San Francisco Ballet. During their own dancing careers with San Francisco Ballet, four members of PBT's current artistic team – Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr; Robert Vickrey, assistant to the artistic director; PBT School Director Dennis Marshall; and PBT School Faculty Member Andre Reyes – performed in the production. PBT was able to acquire this production through the support of presenting sponsor PNC Bank, which has ensured that Pittsburgh audiences will continue to enjoy this production for years to come.

PBT AT THE BYHAM
March 19-22, 2015 – Byham Theater
Choreography: Dwight Rhoden, TBA

PBT returns to the Byham Theater for an eclectic mixed repertory performance in an intimate venue. Each season, Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr assembles an exhilarating selection of works that explore the depth, versatility and unique movement styles of PBT dancers. This season at the Byham, PBT celebrates innovations from its 45-year repertoire collection, including Dwight Rhoden's classically-contemporary "7th Heaven," which he created on PBT dancers for a 2001 World Premiere in Pittsburgh.

Set to music by Beethoven and Bach, the creation and premiere of the work was supported by the prestigious 2000 Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography from the Choo-San Goh and H. Robert Magee Foundation. Rhoden – a founding Artistic Director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet in New York City and former principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – described the choreographic style of "7th Heaven" as having a "classical vocabulary with a contemporary torso."

LA BAYADÈRE with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Orchestra
April 17-19, 2015 – Benedum Center
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Staged by: Terrence S. Orr
Music: Ludwig Minkus

Set in imperial India of the past, love transcends all in the mesmerizing classic "La Bayadère." Enveloped by a tangled love triangle, power and conspiracy trigger unearthly implications for a temple dancer and her lover. With pure classicism, "La Bayadère" gained fame for its climactic "Kingdom of the Shades" scene and the stunning synchronization of the corps de ballet. "La Bayadère" has entranced audiences for more than a century with its epic storyline, high drama and sensational scale.

The 2014-2015 Season will mark PBT's first time performing the full-length production of "La Bayadère." Previously, PBT has performed the ballet's famed "Kingdom of the Shades" scene, which professional ballet companies worldwide often excerpt for stand-alone performances.

ABOUT PITTSBURGH BALLET THEATRE
One of the most exciting ballet companies in the United States, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre has built a legacy of excellence and innovation since its founding in 1969. Its eclectic style and irrepressible energy have been shaped by four distinguished artistic directors over four decades. In the 1980s, former New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Patricia Wilde led the Company to new heights and national acclaim with an emphasis on virtuosic technique and works by the modern masters, including her mentor, George Balanchine. Since 1997, the Company has flourished under the direction of Terrence S. Orr, former American Ballet Theatre ballet master and principal dancer. Mr. Orr has created a powerful repertoire, including fresh versions of traditional ballets, original works commissioned to contemporary American music and dramatic works that push the boundaries of ballet as an art form. Through more than 50 performances each year at home and on tour, PBT audiences discover the passion and joy of ballet.
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