Behind the Scenes of The Nutcracker: Costumes Galore!

With five scenes, over 150 unique costumes, more than 1,500 accessories and 21 performances, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s (PBT) production of the holiday classic The Nutcracker is no small feat. One unique aspect of The Nutcracker is its amazing costumes, which were designed specifically for the beloved holiday tale. 

Janet Groom Campbell, who was PBT’s Costumier for more than 48 years, says that organization is key for the myriad of costumes used in The Nutcracker, and much of that preparation occurs even before performances begin.

“I always said that The Nutcracker is our best friend because we can work on it any time during the season because it is always there,” Campbell remarked. 

“We pull all the costumes for each performance from storage, organize everything in the costume shop and make sure everything is performance ready. Then, one Saturday in November, we do all the student fittings and have Kathie Sullivan (PBT’s Wardrobe Supervisor) come in to pack and count everything to be transported to the Benedum Center.”

Kristin McLain, current Costume Director at PBT who has been working with the organization since 2016, noted that, “Pretty much all of November is a scramble to get Nutcracker ready.”

McLain described the annual preparation routine for The Nutcracker as very methodical and precise.

“Year after year, we follow the same plan as the year before,” said McLain.  “During the summer, we pull each group of costumes from the back storage and carefully look through for repairs.”

According to McLain, typically in early November, they’ll have a costume fitting day for the nearly 150 students who are dancing in The Nutcracker.  This is usually a fast-paced, fun day because they get to see all of the kids who will be performing and can make sure that their costumes fit and that they know how to put them on. At the end of November, company casting is released and the costume department can begin fitting the company dancers and graduate students.

“Many of the dancers have worn these costumes in years past; however, we find that we can usually make a few minor adjustments to perfect the fit,” said McLain.  “While we don’t usually have difficult alterations, with so many dancers it can add up.”

Campbell explained that, “When building a show like The Nutcracker, you build the costumes in a way that is easy to fit on many different bodies because during the lifespan of a Nutcracker costume, it will be worn by many different body types.” 

After alterations are complete, the costumes must be transported to and organized at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts. 

“When packing, Kathie Sullivan organizes how the crates are packed and where they will go in the theater. Most costumes have at least four accessories,” Campbell explains. 

According to McLain, The Nutcracker has the most costumes and dancers that she’s ever worked with and due to the number of people and activity backstage, it MUST stay organized.  

“At the theater, Kathie Sullivan and her dressers keep everything in order”, said McLain. “The costumes and dressing areas are located over four floors of the Benedum: the basement dressing rooms, stage level dressing rooms, entry level dressing rooms and rehearsal studios. For a full week before performances, Kathie and her team place costumes, tights, shoes/boots and headpieces into the areas of the corresponding dancers. Between shows, items will return to the wardrobe room for washing and repair and will then be placed back exactly where they belong.”

In addition to the company and graduate student dancers, there are also nearly 150 student dancers involved in the performances. The student costumes include everything from flowers and snowflakes to party children, soldiers, bumblebee, clowns and everything in between.  

Although it certainly takes a village to alter, assign and distribute all of the costumes required of The Nutcracker, the effort certainly pays off — the over 150 dazzling, unique costumes bring the magical ballet to life on stage. 

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Get an up-close look at the details of The Sugar Plum Fairy, Cavaliere and The Nutcracker Prince costumes below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t miss your chance to experience the magic of The Nutcracker this holiday season, running December 9-28 at the Benedum Center!

Thank you to our sponsors, Highmark, Giant Eagle, Clearview and Federal Credit Union for their support of The Nutcracker

Remembering Jay Romano 

This past weekend, PBT lost Jay Romano, our beloved CFO of over 40 years. Jay left a profound impact on PBT, and his tremendous passion, incredible empathy and terrific positivity will never be forgotten. He was a mentor, a friend and the beating heart of PBT. We are deeply sorry to lose such a wonderful person, and we send our love to Jay’s family and friends at this time.

Thank you Jay, for your inspiration, dedication and your smiles. PBT will always honor your legacy.

As a loyal Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre employee of 40 years, Jay has spent his entire adult life working in a very demanding profession. As chief financial advisor, he has helped lead the organization to increasing levels of service, recognition and support while fulfilling its mission to enrich the cultural growth of the community. He continues to focus his attention on accurate and timely financial reporting and cash flow management which are critical for each department in order to reach the strategic objectives of the organization. Jay provides reliable financial analysis, robust projections research and compelling  recommendations to assist the leadership team in making artistic, development and financial decisions to achieve growth projections. Jay served as a board member of the Canon McMillan School District from 1993 through 2009 while serving as past Treasurer and Board President and served on the grant review panel for the PA Partners in the Arts.

PBT will honor Jay in the coming weeks with a Celebration of Life; details for this event will be announced soon. 

The Nutcracker Through the Years: Reflections with Ariana Chernyshev

At PBT School, students have the opportunity to perform onstage in PBT’s production of The Nutcracker every season, starting as young as age 8. Students who train in the School over the course of many years are therefore able to perform multiple different roles in the holiday production as they grow. 

 

Ariana Chernyshev, current company apprentice who was trained from Pre-Ballet all the way through the Graduate program at PBT School, reflects on her own journey with PBT’s The Nutcracker that began nearly 14 years ago. 

Can you remember your first Nutcracker experience? What role did you dance? Were you excited, nervous, etc.?

My first experience with The Nutcracker was in 2008, and it was absolutely unforgettable! I was the Little Party Girl, which was an honor since only two girls from the youngest age division are selected for this role. There is a good amount of acting and the rehearsal process was very exciting since the other party children were a few years older. My ballet bestie was the Little Party Girl for the other cast, and we would write notes back and forth to each other in the book we colored in onstage. I didn’t feel nervous until I was backstage – this was my first production on a big stage with a professional company and everything seemed larger than life. I was fully enraptured by the sets, costumes, lights and the older dancers having their final moments to practice before the show. After my first entrance, my nerves transformed into pure elation and that first show of The Nutcracker became the memory that I hold in my heart as the moment I knew I would do anything to become a ballerina.

What roles have you danced in The Nutcracker? Which ones have been your favorites and why? 

In Terrence S. Orr’s The Nutcracker, I have danced the roles of Little Party Girl, Soldier, Bumblebee, Mouse, Black Sheep, Party Girl, Clown, Young McTavish, Clara Doll, Aviary, Flower, Snowflake and Spanish. Little Girl in the party scene will definitely be a role I always treasure since it was where I truly fell in love with performing, but I also loved getting to shake my stinger at the end of the show as a Bumblebee! Mouse was another one of my all-time favorite roles, as they are quite cheeky. As a young dancer performing child’s roles in The Nutcracker, I always wanted to be a Snowflake. I thought that the older dancers were so beautiful, graceful and powerful, especially with their gorgeous crowns and fluttery tutus. The magic of performing as a Snowflake now is something I don’t take for granted. Also, the camaraderie of the Snowflakes really adds to the enchantment of each performance. 

What was your most recent Nutcracker role? How have you changed as a dancer since the first time you took the stage for The Nutcracker?
This past Nutcracker season, I danced as a Snowflake, Flower and understudied for Spanish. Last-minute casting adjustments allowed for me to perform in the Spanish, including an emergency during intermission! The ability to be ready to step in with just a moment’s notice is incredibly useful in the world of the performing arts and it was exciting for me to be able to challenge myself in that way. I’ve come a long way as a dancer from my first Nutcracker, and have gained a lot of crucial performance experience.

 

How has your experience dancing in The Nutcracker affected your growth as a dancer and performer? Has it prepared you for future performances?
Dancing in The Nutcracker over the past 14 years has led me to fall in love with ballet, expand my artistry and push my body physically. From my very first performance, I knew that ballet was going to be one of my greatest passions in life. The multiple children’s roles I began with were the introduction of my development as an onstage performer. As my roles became more physically strenuous, including the addition of pointe shoes, Nutcracker became a time for me to practice managing the stress on my body. This self-management has proven to be absolutely invaluable in my time as a dancer, especially during PBT’s most recent performances of Swan Lake with the PBT Orchestra. As both a dancer and a performer, The Nutcracker has become a benchmark of my growth and progress.

 

What is your favorite memory from all of the Nutcracker seasons you’ve taken part in? 

Both of my little sisters have danced at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and have performed in the company’s production of The Nutcracker, and my mother (Toma Smith) works with the children for roles in the battle scene and Act II. One of my favorite memories is a performance that we were all a part of! 

Don’t miss your chance to experience the magic of The Nutcracker this holiday season, running December 9-28 at the Benedum Center!

[Buy Tickets button: https://pbt.culturaldistrict.org/production/78322/the-nutcracker]

Interested in enrolling your child at PBT School so they can enjoy performance opportunities like this? Click the link below to learn more!

[Learn More button: https://www.pbt.org/pbt-school/join-our-school/]

Thank you to our sponsors, Highmark, Giant Eagle, Clearview Federal Credit Union for their support of The Nutcracker.

How Our Dancers Spent Their Summer

After a long and successful season, PBT Company dancers enjoyed a well-deserved break for the summer months. From performing internationally to spending time with family, read on to learn how some of the dancers spent their time outside of the PBT Studios!

Jack Hawn

I spent the 5 weeks of ISP as an accompanist for various classes throughout and thoroughly enjoyed being on the other side of ballet class. I always learn a lot from watching eager young students absorb all the new information they are given from teachers. Plus, I like to support dancers from behind the piano when I can since I know firsthand that lush, lively, energetic music can make all the difference when you are working so hard in the studio.

Jessica McCann and Yoshiaki Nakano

Since Yoshi and I got married in 2019, we haven’t been back to Japan since! So it was a huge deal for us to return this summer. We left right after the season ended. Yoshi and his mother host a gala every summer in Osaka, Japan that he himself puts together and organizes. It was the first time in three years since the World Dream Gala was hosted, so it was very exciting and emotional.

Yoshi and I danced Giselle Act ll pas de duex together, along with Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s La Pluie duet that we performed with PBT in the spring.

Photo: Shunji Satsuma, New National Theatre Tokyo

We also had the honor and joy of performing in Tokyo at the New National Theatre of Tokyo for the Gala Ballet Asteras, with live orchestra by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. We danced with stunning Japanese dancers from all over the world who brought their partners to perform for two days, and it was outstanding. Yoshiaki was personally invited, but the majority of the artists had to apply to be accepted to perform in the gala so it was a huge honor.  We shared the stage with world class dancers, including a couple from NDT1, dancers from Paris Opera Ballet, principal dancers from Royal Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Royal Birmingham Ballet, Berlin Ballet and Opera National Bucharest just to name a few.

While we were in Japan we also found time to travel all over the beautiful country and relax a bit. We spent several days traveling around Tokyo, spent quality time with Yoshi’s family in Osaka where his grandmother just turned 101, ate amazing food, and we feel so grateful for the memories made and all the new friends.

We also visited Japanese temples and climbed thousands of steps to get to them!  We love going to Onsens (natural hot spring) in Japan so we found a very special one up in the mountains of Kagawa. A gorgeous countryside landscape of green hills, fog and rice fields.

Caitlyn Mendicino

I staged Napoli in PBT School’s Company Experience with Jonathan Breight. I also harvested three different kinds of honey from my bees!

Tommie Lin O’Hanlon

My husband and I welcomed these two bundles of joy into our lives! Everyone meet Pork and Beans, our sweet little Frenchies!! 

JoAnna Schmidt

One of the things I did was choreograph a piece, For Raymond, for the PBT School Graduate program and restaged it on some of the dancers in the Company Experience! I also went home to Florida and took my dog, Tiger, to New Smyrna Beach.

Gabrielle Thurlow and William Moore

Will and I were lucky enough to experience a summer full of travel. We went to Italy to visit Will’s family. We enjoyed lots of pasta, wine and fabulous company. It was great to catch up with them. We also took a trip to Brazil for a wedding! It was a first in this country for both of us, and it was an amazing experience. 

Siri Vedel’s Journey in the Intensive Summer Program

Siri Kiilerich Vedel was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and began dancing at the age of 3. She trained at the Royal Danish Ballet School and Tivoli Ballet School before she moved across the Atlantic Ocean at fifteen to join the University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ high school ballet program, her first experience with the American ballet world. Siri has spent the last several weeks dancing in level 5 of PBT School’s Intensive Summer Program (ISP) and will begin training in the School’s Pre-professional graduate program this September.

Read on to learn how Siri feels she has grown as a dancer and as a person throughout the five weeks of ISP!

What interested you about PBT School’s ISP?
PBT School’s ISP interested me with its variety in classes and impressive group of instructors. This summer was my first American 5-week summer intensive and I was intrigued to experience a summer with PBT, full of exploration and growth. The faculty and other students created an incredibly supportive and positive environment throughout the program, which made the experience so joyful. I found that I easily improved in a place where everyone around me strived to succeed and see others succeed.  

What were some of your favorite ISP classes?
My favorite ISP classes were repertoire and partnering/coda class. My level learned “Shades” from La Bayadère for our repertoire class. The hours preparing and polishing our piece for the end-of-program showcase taught us how to work as a group and as individual dancers on stage. The individual coaching during repertoire made the experience feel personal and the group corrections created a feeling of unity, weaving my level together as the weeks went by. In partnering/coda class we worked on the Tchaikovsky coda, which required us to work closely with our partner. It was so much fun to see how our partnering skills progressed and how we all improved on the coda over the course of the class.

How do you feel that you have grown as a dancer since you started ISP?
Since I have started ISP, I feel that my technique, artistry and presentation of myself have improved. The structure of our weekly schedule allows for quick technical improvement and before I knew it, I could do things I was not able to do when I first began the program. The supplementary strength classes, such as Pilates and yoga gave me a solid foundation for my long days of training and prevented me from any injuries. Dancing with a new group of people and faculty pushed me out of my comfort zone and I quickly got more confident in presenting myself and my own way of moving. This skill was an important one, as our schedule with variations classes and repertoire required us to present ourselves on a weekly basis. 

What has been your favorite activity outside of the studio?
The excursions outside of our dance classes allowed us to grow closer across all levels and it fostered our collaborative atmosphere. My favorite activity outside of the studio was the Gateway Clipper cruise. It was a great way to celebrate our hard work across the whole program, while also getting the chance to see Pittsburgh from the river. It was an activity we were all looking forward to and it was great to look back and see how far we had come since the beginning of the program. My friendships I have created during this program have been so inspiring and I have loved getting to know all the people in my level both inside and outside of the studio. 

What is something that has surprised you about ISP?
Something that surprised me at ISP was the incredibly supportive environment that both the faculty and students have created during the program. Whenever there was something frustrating or difficult in my classes, both my friends and the faculty were ready to assist and help me improve, providing a positive and encouraging atmosphere. The supportive environment at PBT made me feel comfortable to experiment and work hard in all my classes, which pushed me to improve fast and efficiently. 

Do you think you will return to PBT next summer? Why or why not?
I would love to do another summer with PBT, as this summer has gifted me with so many new tools for my training. I am also very interested in doing the Company Experience program at PBT because preparing and performing at the ISP showcase was one of the things I enjoyed most about my summer. The ISP has opened my eyes for the many great programs that PBT offers and I am so excited and grateful to elevate my training at PBT in the fall. 

What are your hopes for the future?
I hope to have a professional career with a ballet company. Training at PBT this summer has provided me with further skills to strengthen my technique that I will use in my pursuit of my goals in the future. I have really appreciated the opportunity to train with a school that is so structured and professional, yet also allows for individuality and personal growth. I feel that my summer with PBT has pushed me a step further toward my future professional goals and achievements.

Learn more about PBT School’s Intensive Summer Program and how you can audition for next year’s program below!

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Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Susan Jaffe Announces Move to American Ballet Theatre

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Susan Jaffe Announces Move to American Ballet Theatre

Effective December 2022, the Former ABT Principal Dancer Will Return to the NYC Company as Artistic Director

PITTSBURGH, PA (May 9, 2022) – Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Susan Jaffe announced this morning that she has been named Artistic Director of American Ballet Theatre, where she spent more than 30 years of her career. She will begin her new role at ABT in December. PBT remains in an excellent position to further realize the company’s vision and mission.

“What a profound honor it is for me to come back home to lead the artistic helm of American Ballet Theatre,” says Ms. Jaffe. “I have experienced so many iterations of my career at ABT. I was a student, second company member, main company member, teacher in the school, advisor to the chairman and a director of repertoire for this company. However, I wouldn’t have been able to take on this new challenge without everything I accomplished at PBT. It is an outstanding organization.”

“We are grateful for the contributions Susan has made to PBT,”says PBT Board Chair Mary McKinney Flaherty. “I look forward to working with the executive search committee to identify the next artistic director.”
Ms. Jaffe is PBT’s sixth artistic director in the company’s 53-year history. From the organization’s founding in 1969, PBT has evolved into a critically acclaimed company with international reach.
Her tenure featured many artistic achievements, including:
● Choreographing a new Swan Lake that debuted last Friday
● Stewarding PBT’s presence during the COVID-19 pandemic and spearheading
the creation of a robust library of collaborative and innovative digital programs,
including Fireside Nutcracker which won three Telly Awards
● Launching the Open Air: A Series in Celebration of the Performing Arts outdoor
festival in partnership with executive director, Harris Ferris, where she debuted
Bolero, her first original piece of choreography for PBT, which was also
performed at the Carnegie Museum of Art’s Hall of Sculpture
● Guiding a successful return to the stage with Season Premiere with the PBT
Orchestra in October 2021
● Promoting innovative and classical works by leading choreographers, including a
showcase of five female choreographers at Here + Now in March 2022
● Launching a collaborative program between Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and
Point Park University in which graduate students of PBT School can receive
academic instruction from Point Park and earn a B.F.A. in dance in two years

Swan Queen Spotlight: Marisa Grywalski

Though Soloist Marisa Grywalski has danced in PBT productions of Swan Lake twice before, the upcoming production marks her debut as the Swan Queen. Marisa shares her journey from her first performance as a PBT School Graduate student to now dancing one of ballet’s most iconic roles. Don’t miss your chance to see her perform in Artistic Director Susan Jaffe’s new production of Swan Lake, running May 6 – 15 at the Benedum Center!

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What has it been like to learn Swan Lake under the direction of Susan Jaffe, who is such an iconic Swan Queen?
I started my journey with Susan and the role of Odette for one of our outdoor gala performances. I was to perform the White Swan Pas de Deux. She guided me through every moment, showing me not just where to step and how to angle my head, but explaining the intention, which is the most important aspect. Every moment has a meaning and every moment is an opportunity to tell the story of love, trust and tragedy. This holds true even today as she guides and teaches us all four acts. She often reprises the role to demonstrate what words cannot express. I see very much of her and the long history she has with Swan Lake in the choreography.

What part of the ballet holds a special place in your heart?
I love the entrance of Odette where she meets the Prince, as well as Odile’s entrance.

Tell us about your first performances of Swan Lake with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.
I had the pleasure of dancing Terrance S. Orr’s Swan Lake twice. In my first experience when I was a PBT School Graduate student, I was one of the corps peasants in Act I. I also performed in the swan corps and was one of the princesses in Act III. This was my first time performing with the company where I was in all four acts. I loved every beautiful and painful moment; it was a real taste for corps de ballet life. I had responsibility and started to create positive and friendly relationships with the other professionals.

In the most recent production of Orr’s Swan Lake I danced again in all four acts, this time as a corps member of the company. I danced in the pas de six in Act I, as a big swan in Acts II and IV, and in Act III’s Spanish dance. I must mention that I danced all of these roles and every show with Danielle Downey by my side. Sharing all of these roles with her was so wonderful.

Artists: Marisa Grywalski and Danielle Downey | Photo: Rich Sofranko

Can you talk about your pre-show ritual?
Sometimes I take a really hot shower before I warm up to get my blood flowing. I tend to spend most of my time on stage — lots of walking around, marking movements, getting used to the space and most importantly choosing my shoes for the night.

How many pairs of pointe shoes have you used during the rehearsal process?
I use a new pair of shoes for pas de deux rehearsals. They need to be new in order for me to rehearse properly. The support is critical, especially for adagio work. Once softened a bit I then use them for our morning technique class.

Artist: Marisa Grywalski | Photo: Aviana Adams
Artist: Marisa Grywalski | Photo: Duane Rieder

How do you prepare for this role?
Susan has brought in an acting coach, Byam Stevens, for the company to work with. He has been focusing on all interactions between Odette-Odile and Prince Sigfreid. After working with Byam, I would say there has been a shift in how I am approaching both roles. Also, the steps are beginning to feel more natural after further discovering where they are stemming from. 

Walk us through what it is like to embody both Odette and Odile.
A dancer can spend their whole career developing deeper into these roles. I believe that we all have a bit of both characters in each one of us. For my first time learning these roles I started by exposing those similarities in myself. If it’s not coming from an honest place, then the audience will pick up on that.

Marisa will perform as Odette-Odile on Saturday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Friday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. See the full casting list here and don’t miss your chance to see Swan Lake with the PBT Orchestra May 6 – 15 at the Benedum Center!

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Artists: Lucius Kirst and Marisa Grywalski | Photo: Aviana Adams

 

Swan Queen Spotlight: Jessica McCann

For Soloist Jessica McCann, dancing the iconic role of Odette-Odile in Susan Jaffe’s Swan Lake is a dream come true — and a dream that she has worked hard to achieve. From her first performance in Swan Lake with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in 2018 when she performed as a Little Swan and in the pas de trois, to now dancing the technically demanding lead role, Jessica finds the accomplishment well worth the challenge. Read on to discover how she is preparing for the daunting and exhilarating milestone of her debut performance as the Swan Queen. 

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What has it been like to learn Swan Lake under the direction of Susan Jaffe, who was such an iconic Swan Queen?
It’s been an absolute privilege and honor to have Susan in the studio with me, passing down all the knowledge and experience she has from her career and the legendary coaches she got to work with. It’s hard to put into words the gratitude I feel. It makes me feel safe, because I have her here guiding me into the most successful debut I could hope for in such an extremely difficult role, one I’ve dreamt of performing all my life. I’m fully trusting the process and it’s a lot of hard work and detailing. Susan is working closely with me, handing me all the tools for finding my own Swan Queen.

How do you prepare for this role?
There’s a lot to do and many ways I’ve been preparing for this role. When I’m not rehearsing the steps and working on my stamina, I listen to the music, think of the story, review the choreography and do a ton of positive visualization. We’ve also been working with dramaturge coach Byam Stevens who also worked closely with Susan Jaffe during her career. Then, of course, I’m being coached by Susan herself. Creating that dialogue and personal story in my head and with my partner is really important. 

Jessica McCann dances as a Little Swan in PBT’s 2018 production of Swan Lake | Photo: Aimee DiAndrea

How many pairs of pointe shoes have you used during the rehearsal process?
I easily kill one pair of pointe shoes within an hour of rehearsing the White Swan adagio from Act ll. With all the repetition and getting the steps just right, or that tender moment with my partner just right, it really kills the shoes. I dry the shoes out, glue them and wear them again the next day for something else, but on average I’m currently going through roughly four to five pairs of shoes a week, and that’s squeezing by. 

Thinking about my performance and what my “shoe plan” will be feels like a gamble. I’m currently thinking about wearing new shoes for Act ll, Act lll Black Swan and a third new pair for Act IV, so I’d have to prep three pairs of shoes per dress rehearsal and each performance. 

Can you talk about your pre-show ritual?
It’s different with every production because it depends on what role I’m doing, but I usually like to keep to myself. For big roles like this I’ll probably be ready early because I like living in the costume for a bit to make it feel normal and I fall into the role easier when the costume is on. I calm myself mentally, do positive visualization and make sure I’m in the right headspace. That’s extremely important to me. I also check in with my partner and we might try a few things after class. I just try not to psych myself out or get in my head too much about anything. After so much rehearsal I have to trust it’s in my body so the mind must be calm. You’ll probably also find me fussing over my pointe shoes until the show starts because they have to be just right.

Jessica McCann dances in the Pas de Trois in PBT’s 2018 production of Swan Lake | Photo: Rich Sofranko

Walk us through what it is like to embody both Odette and Odile.
I think we all have different sides to us as people, so drawing that out in yourself to the maximum in each direction is what it feels like to go from rehearsing Odette to Odile and back to Odette in the same rehearsal day. They are completely different. In order to make that switch, you have to know your character really well, which is what I’ve been working on. I’ve really just thrown myself into the experience and rehearsal process. I have to put myself there mentally to really dive deeper into these two roles.

Odile is a temptress — she’s seductive and finds joy in playing this game with Rothbart of Siegfried’s heart. Odette is a princess that has been taken by Rothbart and she’s essentially a hostage, a victim of a horrible curse. She’s kind, still has pride as queen of the swans and she knows what she must do at the end of this story, which takes a strong person to make that choice. She’s the kind of person who forgives the prince for his mistake of falling for Odile’s tricks, but knows she must sacrifice herself so the curse can be lifted. I really enjoy playing both types of characters. I’ve always loved roles with deep acting involved, so this is honestly a challenge I’m extremely excited about. 

Jessica McCann rehearses the Black Swan Pas de Deux with Corps de Ballet Dancer Colin McCaslin | Photo: Aviana Adams

What part of the ballet holds a special place in your heart?
The music. The story. The emotional depth of this ballet — it’s a masterpiece. I bring myself to tears listening to the music and watching the story unfold in my mind, specifically in Act IV where Odette has been betrayed by Siegfried. Even though she forgives him, the damage has been done. She says goodbye to her love and fights to break free from Rothbart to kill herself and break the spell. The music there is so overwhelming to me I’ll probably cry on stage. Another amazing moment in the music and story is in Act lll where it’s Odile’s first entrance with Rothbart. Arriving fashionably late of course, turning every head in the ballroom and immediately seducing Siegfried. I mean, what an entrance!!

Jessica McCann rehearses the Black Swan Pas de Deux with Corps de Ballet Dancer Colin McCaslin | Photo: Aviana Adams

Jessica will perform as Odette-Odile on Sunday, May 8 at 2 p.m. and Saturday, May 14 at 2 p.m. See the full casting list here and don’t miss your chance to see Swan Lake with the PBT Orchestra May 6 – 15 at the Benedum Center!

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Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Welcomes Two New Apprentices

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT) is pleased to welcome two promising young dancers as company apprentices for the 2022 – 2023 season. Ariana Chernyshev and Maria Eduarda Pinto will gain exceptional professional experience and enjoy exciting performance opportunities with the PBT company under the leadership of Artistic Director Susan Jaffe.

“After the success of the inaugural year of the apprenticeship program, I am excited at the possibilities inherent in these dancers’ futures,” Ms. Jaffe says. “I look forward to nurturing them throughout the course of the 2022 – 2023 season and helping them take their artistry to new heights.”

In addition to the invaluable experience of rehearsing and performing alongside PBT company dancers, the apprentices will have the option to pursue certificate or college degree programs through partnerships with Point Park University, Seton Hill University, Community College of Allegheny County and Chatham University. PBT is grateful to Leslie Fleischner and her late husband Hans for their thoughtful support of young dancers pursuing careers in the arts.

About the Apprentices

Ariana Chernyshev

Ariana Chernyshev was born in Pittsburgh and trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School (PBT School) from Pre-Ballet all the way through to the Graduate program. Additionally, she attended summer programs at Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Cincinnati Ballet and The Washington School of Ballet. In 2019, Ariana accepted a trainee position at The Washington School of Ballet, where she performed with the company and danced lead roles in classical and contemporary works with the school. As a Graduate student at PBT School, she has had the honor of performing with the company in George Balanchine’s Rubies, Terrence S. Orr’s The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. In 2022, Ariana performed as a guest artist of Tulsa Ballet’s Swan Lake. Ariana enjoys teaching yoga to the high school students at PBT School and is thrilled to perform Susan Jaffe’s Swan Lake in May!

Pittsburgh is home, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to perform for my beautiful city and its vibrant community,” Ariana says. “We are so lucky to have Susan Jaffe as artistic director and I’m beyond excited to be a part of this new chapter for PBT!”

 

Maria Eduarda Pinto

Maria Eduarda Pinto was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she started taking ballet class at the age of two. She joined the Maria Olenewa Dance School and finished her studies at the Lyceu Dance School supervised by Lorena Boaventura. In 2020, she trained at Miami City Ballet with Aranxta Ochoa and Alexander Iziliaev. She won several awards in competitions in Brazil and was a finalist in the Latin America Selections of the Prix de Lausanne and the Youth America Grand Prix, in addition to participating in several international competitions such as Tanzolymp, ADCIBC, WBC and VKIBC.

I am very happy and excited to join Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre as an apprentice because it has always been my dream as a dancer to start a professional career in a company with several renowned masters and excellent dancers,” Maria says. “It makes me very excited to give my best this season.”

Principal Dancer Alexandra Kochis Prepares to Take Her Final Bow

Alexandra KochisAfter 27 years as a professional dancer and 16 years at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Principal Dancer Alexandra Kochis has announced that she will be retiring at the end of the 2021-2022 season. Her performance as Odette-Odile in Swan Lake with the PBT Orchestra on Saturday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m. will be her last with the company. Alexa has been a principal dancer with PBT since 2009.

“It has been a pleasure to have the chance to work with Alexa over these last two years,” says Artistic Director Susan Jaffe. “The exquisite artistry of her performances will truly be missed by all of us. We wish her well on her next chapter.”

Originally from North Andover, Massachusetts, Alexa began her ballet training at the age of 5, and studied six days a week throughout her childhood. After graduating high school, she planned to attend college at Georgetown University, but changed her mind when Boston Ballet’s Artistic Director of the time Anna Marie Holmes offered her a position with Boston Ballet II in the corps de ballet. Alexa joined Boston Ballet II in 1995 and the company in 1998, where she met her husband Christopher Budzynski. 

In 2006, Alexa and Chris relocated to Pittsburgh and both joined Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre — Alexa as a member of the corps de ballet and Chris as a soloist. Alexa became a principal dancer in 2009. 

“I felt very supported and valued by Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre for the dancer that I was,” she says. “That allowed me to put myself out there more. Because the repertoire was so diverse, it was really food for growth. I certainly have danced roles and worked with choreographers that I never dreamed I would.”

Alexandra Kochis in “A Streetcar Named Desire” | Photo: Rich Sofranko

Favorite productions for Alexa from her career include Don Quixote, Giselle, Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Romeo et Juliette, George Balanchine’s Diamonds, Jerome Robbins’ The Concert, William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort and John Neumeier’s A Streetcar Named Desire, a production that she calls “a seminal moment for PBT.”

“What a wonderful experience it has been to watch Alexa’s journey through this art form,” says Alexa’s husband and PBT School Faculty member Chris. “She has touched many lives and souls as she transcended the boundaries of the technique.”

Of her final performance in Swan Lake this May, Alexa says she is thankful for the technically difficult, physically demanding nature of the role of Odette-Odile. “The technique takes my mind off the emotional aspect of retiring because I focus on the work,” Alexa says. “I’m a big dramatic enthusiast, so it’s always nice when I get to die at the end of a ballet,” she adds.

After retiring, Alexa says there are many new possibilities on the horizon that she looks forward to, including teaching dance, writing fiction — an endeavor she began investigating during the pandemic — and lots of travel and camping trips in the mix. 

“Throughout my career, I feel like PBT has preserved a familial ethos. I’m really glad to have been a part of it,” Alexa says.

Audiences can see Alexa’s final performances with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre at Swan Lake with the PBT Orchestra, running May 6 – 15 at the Benedum Center. Her retirement will be recognized at her final performance on Saturday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m.

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Alexandra Kochis and William Moore in George Balanchine’s “Diamonds” | Photo: Rosalie O’Connor

Swan Queen Spotlight: Alexandra Kochis

Since she began her professional dance career in 1995, Principal Dancer Alexandra Kochis has danced six full length productions of Swan Lake, including two productions with Boston Ballet and four with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She has danced a variety of roles, from a guest in the First Act and Swan Corps to the Pas de Trois, Cygnets, Neopolitan and Odette-Odile. As she prepares to play the Swan Queen for her fourth and final time, Alexa shares with us why this production is special to her and why you should go see it!

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Artists: Alexandra Kochis and Alejandro Diaz | Photo: Rich Sofranko

What has it been like to learn Swan Lake under the direction of Susan Jaffe, who was such an iconic Swan Queen?
The experience of being coached by Susan has been very inspiring. I love that she comes at the role of the Swan Queen from such a human perspective. She very much wants us to convey the underlying emotions — of uneasiness, trepidation, elation and, ultimately, betrayal and heartbreak — that make up Odette’s character arc throughout the story. Because, underneath it all, Odette is a woman who has been transformed into a swan, but she still thinks and feels and loves like you and I. Susan also has such a lush and full style that really encourages us to bend and move and use our entire bodies to fully depict the emotions we are trying to convey.

What part of the ballet holds a special place in your heart?
I feel like there are too many favorite moments to pick just one! I love the moment, in the second act adagio when Odette chooses to submit to falling in love with Seigfried. She clasps Seigfried’s hand to her cheek and turns to face him. It’s an intimate and still moment I get to share with my partner — in this case William Moore — in the midst of all this difficult technique. I love when we can speak to each other with our eyes and convey how full our hearts are across the vast expanses of the theater.

I love that the music builds to a frenzied crescendo during the coda of the second act. It is intensely empowering to stand in the wings as the corps de ballet charges across the stage in their final arabesque chugs and then, as I run out for my coda, the music hushes and the conductor seems to hover on my very breath.

I love dancing as Odile in the end of the third act pas de deux when Siegfried kneels before me and I know that I have succeeded in my seduction. I throw my head back in a movement full of wicked, maniacal triumph and I am soaring on this wave of physical endorphins and music-induced euphoria. It’s pretty incredible.

And, I always love dying on stage, so getting to hurl myself into the lake at the end of this marathon of a ballet that I have just run — that’s pretty great, too.

How do you prepare for this role?
Ballet class everyday. Many hours of rehearsals and coaching with Susan and our rehearsal directors Steven Annegarn and Marianna Tcherkassy for the pas de deuxs and variations. Then, as we get closer to the shows, we start putting the acts together with the corps and other dancers. Finally, we run through the whole ballet to get a feeling of the stamina and pacing required. I also try to work in cross training with pilates, gyrotonics and cardio.

We are also fortunate to be working with a dramaturg, Byam Stevens, for this production. Byam is focusing on the acting, mime and character development for each individual partnership.

Walk us through what it is like to embody both Odette and Odile.
Swan Lake is special because I get to work on two very different flavors of movement — the slow, soft lyricism of Odette as well as the crisp, sharp dynamism of Odile. It allows a dancer to tap into two different sides of themself because, really, everyone has a little of both characters within.

Artists: Alexandra Kochis and Alejandro Diaz | Photo: Rich Sofranko

How many pairs of pointe shoes have you used during the rehearsal process?
It’s hard to calculate exactly how many pairs of pointe shoes I’ve used to rehearse Swan Lake because we have been working on it off and on for a while (since about January, I believe). I try to keep a rotation of shoes going so that each individual pair will have time to dry out and be re-glued between wearings so they last a bit longer. Plus, the different acts of the ballet require shoes to be slightly harder or softer depending on the types of steps I’ll be doing. All told, I will probably go through 20 pairs or so by the time May 14th rolls around.

Can you talk about your pre-show ritual?
My pre-show ritual is pretty straightforward. I like to allow myself lots of time. I don’t like to rush. I’ll take company warmup onstage with the rest of the company. I love taking class onstage. There is a hallowed-ness about it — the darkened theater, the space. Then I’ll wrap myself up in a warm blanket, put on some chill, feel-good music and do my makeup. Then, about a half hour before showtime, I’ll start putting my shoes and costume on to warm them up and get settled in them. It takes a bit of body heat to soften everything up and get them feeling like a part of my own body. At about 15 minutes out, I’ll head to the stage, check any props, pre-set water and tissues, feel the floor a bit and maybe practice any tricky moments with my partner. Then, I just take a few deep breaths and try to savor every moment.

What does it mean to you for Swan Lake to be your final performance before you retire?
I love that I am able to dance a full-length story ballet for my final performance because portraying a character and the dramatic side of ballet has always been one of my favorite things about this art form.

Being able to dance full-length Swan Lake — a big, beautiful ballet — on the Benedum Center stage — a big, beautiful theater — to music played by a live orchestra is truly one of the pinnacles of any dancer’s career. It will be somewhat of a “full circle moment” for me as I can still VISCERALLY feel what it was like to stand on the side of the stage in my pose as a member of corps de ballet in my second year as a professional dancer. I remember how it felt to hear that gorgeous Tchaikovsky score soaring out of the pit during the second act adagio. It gave me absolute goosebumps back then, and now that I am the one dancing that adagio as Swan Queen — well, it feels that much richer, I suppose.

Alexa will perform as Odette-Odile on Saturday, May 7 at 2 p.m. and her final performance will be Saturday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m. Don’t miss your chance to see her final bow with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre!

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Susan Jaffe: Swan Queen

When Susan Jaffe was 19 years old, she danced the lead role in Swan Lake for the first time with American Ballet Theatre. Forty years later, Susan’s journey with Swan Lake has come full circle as she finishes out her first full season as artistic director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre with her own choreography of this iconic show. Read on to learn more about how Susan’s extensive experience informed her choreography for this new production, running May 6 – 15 at the Benedum Center!

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It all started when Susan’s coach at American Ballet Theatre (ABT) Elena Tchernichova taught her Swan Lake behind closed doors. As a very young member of the corps de ballet, Susan had to learn the role in secret for fear that the company members would be upset that someone so young was learning the role. At the age of 19, she danced the first of what would be many performances of Swan Lake as Odette-Odile while on tour with ABT in Miami, with Mikhail Baryshnikov playing Prince Siegfried. 

Susan Jaffe Dancing the Role of Odile | Photo: Rosalie O’Connor

When she danced Swan Lake for the first time in New York City on April 28, 1982, The New York Times published a glowing review of her performance. “Susan Jaffe is the American Ballet Theatre’s wonderful new discovery, the star of the future who radiates a star quality so vibrantly now at the age of 19 that one is dazzled at the prospect of her development,” wrote New York Times Dance Critic Anna Kisselgoff. The review continues, “[Susan’s performance] was a beautiful triumph, a performance of amazing depth for a novice, but also thrilling in itself, in a young dancer’s understanding of this great Tchaikovsky ballet.” Read the full review here.

Susan danced Swan Lake every year after that, and was coached by some amazing people, including the legendary ballerina Natalia Makarova. In 1989, Susan was introduced to Irina Kolpakova, who had been Baryshnikov’s mentor and was the last student of the great Russian pedagogue Agrippina Vaganova.

“I wanted to learn from Kolpakova so much, I would’ve done anything,” Susan says. “So I basically stood in front of her with my arms at my side and said, ‘I don’t know anything. Teach me from scratch.’ I learned so much more than technique from her. She was one of the most brilliant, heartfelt performers that the world has ever seen.”

Susan went on to dance Swan Lake all around the world, guesting with companies in Sweden, England, Vienna and more. “I got to work with a lot of brilliant partners and experience other companies dancing Swan Lake as well,” Susan says.

Watch Susan performing the role of the Black Swan for American Ballet Theatre here:

Having danced the role of Odette-Odile so many times, Susan developed a keen understanding of the characters’ motivation, the symbolism in the music and dancing, and the themes of the ballet.

“It’s a great story of love and betrayal, and it really reflects our humanity,” Susan says. “When I sit in the audience and watch it, there are so many moments that I am moved to the depth of my soul.”

Susan says that one of the reasons why she loves Swan Lake is because of the wide range of emotions that the dancer portraying Odette-Odile has to convey. “It is the ultimate test of a ballerina’s powers, not only in character, but in physicality,” Susan says. “The dancer must show the softness and vulnerability of Odette, and the attack of Odile, a femme fatale. You have to develop all of those things in order to be a real interpreter of this role.

Susan Jaffe receives applause for her performance in “Swan Lake” | Photo: Rosalie O’Connor

Susan is bringing her expertise to this new production with her own choreography created after the original choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. “It feels incredibly scary, but also incredibly exhilarating to be choreographing my own Swan Lake,” Susan says. While the storyline in Susan’s production will remain traditional, the new production coming to the Benedum this May will be her own rendition.

For example, Susan’s critical eye has adjusted Odile’s choreography. “When I was growing up, I saw a lot of Odiles that were just plain mean, and I thought, ‘The prince isn’t that stupid,’” Susan says. “If you’re going to be deceptive, you’re going to be alluring, kind, everything that the prince wants. So, I think that honors that the prince is truly deceived, not just by magic but by intention. I think, in that way, it’s almost more evil.”

Of course, when the prince isn’t looking, Susan says Odile will be glancing an eye at Rothbart, letting the audience in on the trickery happening onstage. “That’s how I interpreted the Black Swan — not as being mean spirited, but as being a siren,” Susan says. “I certainly had a lot of fun with that.”

The ending is another place where Susan has added her personal touch. “There are many endings to Swan Lake,” she says. “Mine is one of tragedy and redemption all at the same time. Because life is a dichotomy.”

Hear Susan discuss the inspiration behind her new choreography and get a peek into rehearsals:

You won’t want to miss your chance to see this new production of Swan Lake, running May 6 – 15, 2022 at the Benedum Center. If you would like to hear Susan speak about her new choreography in a conversation with acclaimed dance historian Elizabeth Kaye, join us for Director’s Cut at 6:30 p.m. on opening night.

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Announcing Casting For Here + Now!

Casting has been announced for Here + Now featuring five incredible pieces from an impressive lineup of internationally acclaimed — and all female — choreographers.

Get your tickets today and be sure to join us for this showcase of excellence in contemporary ballet!

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Casting for Here + Now

Learn about our company dancers and read their bios here.

SKIN + saltwater

Choreography: Staycee Pearl
Music: Original music by Soy Sos

Thursday, March 24 | 7:30 p.m.
Grace Rookstool and Josiah Kauffman
Jonathan Breight
Erin Casale
Sam DerGregorian
Danielle Downey
Christian Garcia Campos
Marisa Grywalski
Joseph Parr
Cooper Verona

Friday, March 25 | 7:30 p.m.
Gabrielle Thurlow and Corey Bourbonniere
Jonathan Breight
Sujanya Dhillon
Madeline Gradle
Jack Hawn
Caitlyn Mendicino
Jacob Miller
Luke Mosher
JoAnna Schmidt

Saturday, March 26 | 2 p.m.
Grace Rookstool and Josiah Kauffman
Jonathan Breight
Erin Casale
Sujanya Dhillon
Sam DerGregorian
Christian Garcia Campos
Danielle Downey
Joseph Parr
Cooper Verona

Saturday, March 26 | 7:30 p.m.
Gabrielle Thurlow and Corey Bourbonniere
Jonathan Breight
Sujanya Dhillon
Madeline Gradle
Jack Hawn
Caitlyn Mendicino
Jacob Miller
Luke Mosher
JoAnna Schmidt

Sunday, March 27 | 2 p.m.
Grace Rookstool and Josiah Kauffman
Jonathan Breight
Erin Casale
Sam DerGregorian
Danielle Downey
Christian Garcia Campos
Marisa Grywalski
Luke Mosher
Cooper Verona

Depuis le Jour

Choreography: Gemma Bond
Music: “Depuis le Jour” from Act III of the French opera Louise by Gustave Charpentier

Thursday, March 24 | 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 26 | 7:30 p.m.
Hannah Carter
Colin McCaslin

Friday, March 25 | 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 27 | 2 p.m.
Alexandra Kochis
Joseph Parr

Saturday, March 26 | 2 p.m.
JoAnna Schmidt
Jonathan Breight

La Pluie

Choreography: Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
Music: Aria from The Goldberg Variation by J.S. Bach BWV 988

Thursday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 27 at 2 p.m.
Jessica McCann
Yoshiaki Nakano

Friday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 26 at 2 p.m.
Marisa Grywalski
Colin McCaslin

Three — 4, 6, 8

Choreography: Helen Pickett
Music: Knee Play No. 1 by Philip Glass

Thursday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 26 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, March 27 at 2 p.m.
Corey Bourbonniere
Kurtis Sprowls
Josiah Kauffman

Friday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Sam DerGregorian
Jonathan Breight
Masahiro Haneji

Bright progressions

Choreography: Aszure Barton
Music: The Hour of Judgement, Mo’ Wiser, My Queen is Anna Julia Cooper, and To Never Forget the Source by The Sons of Kemet

All Performances
Corey Bourbonniere
Masahiro Haneji
Tommie Kesten
William Moore
Amanda Morgan
Yoshiaki Nakano
Grace Rookstool
Kurtis Sprowls
Victoria Watford
Diana Yohe

Announcing Casting for The Nutcracker

Casting for The Nutcracker has arrived! It’s the most magical time of the year as Marie and her Nutcracker prince journey to the Land of Enchantment encountering the Snow Queen and King, the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, and the cast of memorable characters, performed by the talented artists of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School.

View the full cast list here.

The Nutcracker returns to the Benedum Center December 10-29, 2021.

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Explore The Nutcracker

  • Watch: View the trailer here.
  • For Kids: Download The Nutcracker Children’s Guide for a kid-friendly synopsis and games or register for our virtual Dance the Story event on Dec. 9.
  • Synopsis & More: Read the story of the ballet, the history of the music and costumes, and more here. Find even more free virtual programs, videos and in-theater programs here.

Casting for Season Premiere is Announced!

Casting has been announced for our Season Premiere with the PBT Orchestra, featuring four distinct works that capture the essence and evolution of the art form – echoing voices of four internationally-acclaimed choreographers.

Get your tickets today and join us for PBT’s triumphant return to the Benedum!

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Casting for Season Premiere with the PBT Orchestra

Learn about our company dancers and read their bios here.

Petal

Choreography and Concept: Helen Pickett
Music: Philip Glass, Thomas Montgomery Newman

Friday and Saturday, October 22 & 23 – 7:30 p.m.

Jessica McCann, Grace Rookstool, Victoria Watford, Diana Yohe
Corey Bourbonniere, Lucius Kirst, William Moore, Yoshiaki Nakano

Sunday, October 24 – 2 p.m.

Marisa Grywalski, Tommie Kesten, Jessica McCann, Gabrielle Thurlow
Sam DerGregorian, Masahiro Haneji, Josiah Kauffman, Kurtis Sprowls

Grand Pas Classique

Choreography: Victor Gsovsky
Music: Daniel-Francois Auber

Friday and Sunday, October 22 & 24 – 7:30 p.m. & 2 p.m.

Amanda Cochrane and Yoshiaki Nakano

Saturday, October 23 – 7:30pm

Gabrielle Thurlow and Masahiro Haneji

Through the Window

Choreography: Jennifer Archibald
Music: Uno Helmersson, Frans Bak, Tokio Myers, Peter Gregson

Friday and Saturday, October 22 & 23 – 7:30 p.m.

Amanda Morgan, Jessica McCann, JoAnna Schmidt, Victoria Watford, Diana Yohe
Corey Bourbonniere, Masahiro Haneji, Josiah Kauffman, Kurtis Sprowls, Cooper Verona

Sunday, October 24 – 2 p.m.

Erin Casale, Tommie Kesten, Alexandra Kochis, Grace Rookstool, Gabrielle Thurlow
Jonathan Breight, Lucius Kirst, William Moore, Yoshiaki Nakano, Joseph Parr

Diamonds

Choreography: George Balanchine
Music: P. I. Tchaikovsky

Friday and Saturday, October 22 & 23 – 7:30 p.m.
Marisa Grywalski, Lucius Kirst

Sunday, October 24 – 2:00 p.m.
Alexandra Kochis, William Moore

Jessica McCann
JoAnna Schmidt
Gabrielle Thurlow 10/22 & 10/23, Marisa Grywalski 10/24
Diana Yohe
Corey Bourbonniere
Masahiro Haneji
William Moore 10/22 & 23, Lucius Kirst 10/24
Joseph Parr

Erin Casale
Elizabeth Devanney
Christian Garcia Campos
Madeline Gradle
Kara Hunter
Corabelle Kennedy
Tommie Kesten
Caitlyn Mendicino
Amanda Morgan
Grace Rookstool
Victoria Watford
Andres Angel
Nathan Bender
Jonathan Breight
Sam DerGregorian
Jack Hawn
Jesse Joiner
Josiah Kauffman
Jacob Miller
Colin McCaslin
Luke Mosher
Kurtis Sprowls
Cooper Verona