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Diana Roth
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Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces 2017-2018 Pittsburgh Dance Council season

by Diana Roth
April 25, 2017
Pittsburgh, PA
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces a new season for the 2017-2018 Pittsburgh Dance Council. Pittsburgh Dance Council is a division of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

The 2017-2018 season of the Pittsburgh Dance Council will kick off this summer at the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival with two special free outdoor performances by site-specific aerial dance company Blue Lapis Light.

“In the history of the Dance Council we’ve never done a free outdoor performance. All of our seasons showcase a broad spectrum of dance. This season takes it a step further by including a free outdoor spectacle that we expect to be seen by 20,000 people,” said Randal Miller, Director of Dance Programming and Special Projects for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “The mission of the Dance Council is to bring the best in contemporary dance to Pittsburgh. My vision for advancing our mission is creating opportunities for people to see that dance. What we bring here is absolutely some of the best dance in the world, and we want people to see it.”

2017-2018 Dance Council performances will take place at the Byham Theater (101 6th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222) and the August Wilson Center for African American Culture (980 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222), both located in Downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District.

2017-2018 Dance Council Season

Season Special
Friday and Saturday | June 2 & 3, 2017 | 9:00 p.m. | Fifth Avenue Place façade

Aerial dance company Blue Lapis Light will extend boundaries and defy edges in their Pittsburgh premiere performance during the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. This site-specific performance will be a completely original piece choreographed specifically for the Fifth Avenue Place façade above Stanwix Street.

Blue Lapis Light seeks to transform urban environments into inspired works of art, creating beauty that transcends space in their expansiveness, connecting us to a sense of wonder, possibility, and hope. Dancers enliven the structure through aerial balletic movements, igniting a sense of wonder and transcendent beauty. Like nothing ever presented in Pittsburgh before, this spectacle dance performance is free to attend. For more information: www.TrustArts.org/TRAF.

Saturday | October 7, 2017 | 8:00 p.m. | Byham Theater

Visionary choreographer Alonzo King has altered the way the world looks at ballet. His astonishingly original work explores new possibilities of form, renewing and transcending traditional technique to create an entirely innovative expression of movement.

The program will include a piece created in collaboration with classical Indian percussion virtuoso Zakir Hussain. The synergy created by this partnership results in deeply evocative movement set to an original score and represents both a continuation of tradition and an expression of the contemporary global vision of both artists. Like an arrow poised for flight, an undercurrent of restless agitation pervades King’s Shostakovich, named for the composer. The dancers’ tensile strength is pushed to the limit as they revel in the space between harmony and discord.

KYLE ABRAHAM/ABRAHAM.IN.MOTION | The Quiet Dance, Absent Matter, The Gettin’
Friday and Saturday | November 10 & 11, 2017 | 8:00 p.m. | August Wilson Center

Pittsburgh native and MacArthur “genius” Kyle Abraham returns home to present a trio of work that draws inspiration from jazz and hip-hop to focus on racial injustice. Born into hip-hop culture in the late ‘70s and raised with an artistic upbringing including classical cello, piano, and the visual arts, his work approaches movement as a way to deeply delve into personal identity.

"The Quiet Dance," set to Leonard Bernstein’s "Some Other Time," is focused on isolation and a withering voice. Absent Matter looks at race through the lens of those who feel unacknowledged or without value. The original jazz composition is combined with samples from Common, Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar. Projecting charged images from apartheid-era South Africa to the death of Eric Garner, "The Gettin’" is taut with electric tension. The piece highlights jazz artist Robert Glasper’s rendition of Max Roach’s work.

GRUPO CORPO | Suíte Branca, Dança Sinfônica
Wednesday | January 17, 2018 | 8:00 p.m. | Byham Theater

Brazilian dance company Grupo Corpo is among the most renowned companies in the world. Twenty-one sensational dancers fuse Afro-Brazilian forms like samba, bossa nova, and capoeira with classical technique and modern dance.

Costumed in white while seamlessly moving across a stunning white landscape with a glacier-like backdrop panel, Grupo Corpo is on a blank slate. Featuring their first collaboration with famed Brazilian rock artist Samuel Rosa, the company begins writing a new story in "Suíte Branca." Looking back, "Dança Sinfônica" celebrates the company’s rich history of more than 40 years by celebrating the best works from their repertoire. The score is a masterpiece symphony created especially for the company by Marco Antônio Guimarães and recorded by the 90-member Philharmonic Orchestra of Minas Gerais, Brazil.

DIAVOLO | Architecture in Motion | LOST: Passenger, Cubicle
Saturday | February 17, 2018 | 8:00 p.m. | Byham Theater

DIAVOLO | Architecture in Motion uses dance to explore the relationship between the human body and its architectural environment. Meticulously designed architectural structures serve as the central inspiration for each work, activated by the stylistically varied and intensely physical choreography that reveals how we are affected emotionally, physically and socially by the spaces we inhabit.

"LOST" (Losing One’s Self Temporarily) is comprised of two pieces. In Passenger, the dancers reckon with themes of journey and transition on and around a giant morphing staircase with multiple doors, passageways, and shifting surfaces. Within a system of heavy wooden boxes, "Cubicle" explores the human condition under cramped and monotonous workday reality, exposing an underlying counterbalance of freedom and anarchy.

WANG RAMIREZ | Borderline
Wednesday | March 7, 2018 | 8:00 p.m. | Byham Theater

French-Hispanic-Korean couple Sébastien Ramirez and Honji Wang are renowned for their emotional and powerful blend of hip-hop dance and contemporary movement. Their work derives from their blended identities, deepening their quest of finding new choreographic languages.

"Borderline" explores a weight game of constraint and freedom reflecting the realities of living together in our society. Attached to cables within a rigging system, the personal liberty of each dancer is challenged as only one can move forward. Yet the rigging also allows the freedom to explore movement without the restriction of gravity, evoking weightlessness like that in the imaginative world of the best martial arts films.

BODYTRAFFIC | Dust, O2Joy, Private Games
Saturday | April 14, 2018 | 8:00 p.m. | Byham Theater

Named “the company of the future” by The Joyce Theater Foundation, BodyTraffic is already internationally recognized for their flawless talent. Working with the best choreographers in the world, the repertory company of seven dancers offers incredible range through an evening of three vastly contrasting pieces.

"Dust," with choreography and music by Hofesh Shechter, takes a dark look at the power and commercialism that steer today’s society and asks us to question what is important. After all eventually we all turn to dust. "o2Joy" is an expression of sheer exuberance through great American jazz and playful, contemporary dance. Choreographer Richard Siegal’s work is peppered with syncopated hip-hop and drenched in light-hearted humor. Finally, the company’s newest work, "Private Games" by Anton Lackey, uses dynamic movement and penetrating imagery to bring the audience into a mysterious and explosive world.


Single tickets (as low as $10) for the 2016-2017 Pittsburgh Dance Council season are available at www.TrustArts.org, by calling 412-456-6666, or in person at the Box Office at Theater Square, 655 Penn Avenue. Subscription packages are available for: $60-$285. Subscriptions can be purchased in packages of 4 show, with pricing beginning at $40. To subscribe, call 412-456-1390. Groups of 10 or more tickets, please call 412-471-6930. For more information visit, www.TrustArts.org/dance

The Pittsburgh Dance Council would like to acknowledge its 2017-18 media partners, 90.5 WESA and 91.3 WYEP.

Pittsburgh Dance Council

The Pittsburgh Dance Council joined the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust as a programming division in 2002. The mission of Pittsburgh Dance Council is to bring the best contemporary dance companies from around the world to the Cultural District. Each season, Pittsburgh Dance Council presents diverse, world-class contemporary works, including U.S. and world premieres.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Cultural Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts. www.TrustArts.org
Grupo Corpo

Grupo Corpo

Photo © & courtesy of José Luiz Pederneiras

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