Casting for “Storytelling in Motion” is Announced!

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre has announced casting for Storytelling in Motion. The 22 – 23 season kicks off with “a taste of the world in Pittsburgh,” highlighting innovative, thought-provoking and athletic works choreographed by Helen Pickett (The Exiled), Nacho Duato (Duende) and PBT’s own Principal Dancer, Yoshiaki Nakano (Catharsis). Storytelling in Motion runs Oct. 7 – 9 at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center!

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The Exiled

Fri, Oct. 7 and Sat., Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Sat., Oct. 8 and Sun., Oct. 9 at 2:00 p.m.
The Proprietors Gabrielle Thurlow and William Moore Amanda Morgan and Lucius Kirst
Thomas Corey Bourbonniere Kurtis Sprowls
Diana Tommie Lin O’Hanlon Jessica McCann
Margaret Hannah Carter Diana Yohe



Fri, Oct. 7 and Sat., Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Sat., Oct. 8 and Sun., Oct. 9 at 2:00 p.m.
Hannah Carter JoAnna Schmidt
Marisa Grywalski Grace Rookstool
Danielle Downey Caitlyn Mendicino
Christian García Campos Cecilia Hernandez
Erin Casale Ariana Chernyshev
Madeline Gradle Madeline Gradle
Masahiro Haneji Josiah Kauffman
Colin McCaslin Joseph Parr
David O’Matz Jacob Patrick Miller
Jack Hawn Jonathan Breight
Luke Mosher Luke Mosher



Fri, Oct. 7 and Sat., Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Sat., Oct. 8 and Sun., Oct. 9 at 2:00 p.m.
Jessica McCann Corey Bourbonniere Erin Casale Sam DerGregorian
Caitlyn Mendicino Masahiro Haneji Danielle Downey Josiah Kauffman
Amanda Morgan Jack Hawn Christian García Campos Lucius Kirst
Tommie Lin O’Hanlon Jacob Patrick Miller Marisa Grywalski Colin McCaslin
Grace Rookstool William Moore Gabrielle Thurlow David O’Matz
JoAnna Schmidt Kurtis Sprowls Diana Yohe Joseph Parr


Explore Storytelling in Motion 

Photo Credits | Artists: JoAnna Schmidt and Gabrielle Thurlow | Photo: Duane Rieder

Storytelling in Motion Sneak Peek: “Duende”

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s first production of the 2022-2023 season is Storytelling in Motion, a mixed repertoire showcase of contemporary ballet. Storytelling in Motion features Nacho Duato’s piece Duende, which, like many of Duato’s pieces, was inspired by his relationship with the music (in this case, Claude Debussy’s ethereal score). The music determined and molded Duato’s approach to the choreography. 

The result is a transcendental and sculptural performance as movement and sound become one in Duende

Former Artistic Director Susan Jaffe explained her relationship with Duende’s creator and why she chose to include his work when she was planning the 22-23 season: “Nacho Duato is one of the foremost choreographers in the world. Duende was actually supposed to be performed by Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in 2020, and then the week before the performance, the pandemic hit. The company was fully rehearsed and ready to go, but they never got to perform it. So I said, “My goodness, we have to do Duende for Storytelling in Motion!” 

Jaffe described the piece as “gorgeous, sculptural and whimsical,” a sentiment echoed by Nacho Duato himself. 

“In a playful way, the ballet also investigates the means of expression of the different meanings of the word that gives it its name: having duende could be taken to mean having personal charm or magic in flamenco art; and duendes, depending on whether they were found in children’s stories or in the imagination of superstitious people, would have quite a different character,” Duato explained. 

In terms of audience experience, Duato calls for viewers to “surrender themselves to the fantasy world and be transported to a dimension where the ordinary laws of human life lose their power and significance.” 

Make sure to see Duende, along with two other innovative contemporary pieces — Helen Pickett’s The Exiled and a new world premiere choreographed by PBT’s own principal dancer Yoshiaki Nakano — at Storytelling in Motion – running Oct. 7-9 at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center! 


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