From budding ballet dancers to next-generation professionals, more than 200 students of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School will take the stage this month for two year-end productions in downtown Pittsburgh.
PBT School presents its annual Pre-Professional Showcase May 15-17, at Point Park University’s George Rowland White Performance Studio, followed by Spring Performance 2015 at 7 p.m. Friday, May 22, at the Byham Theater.
The Pre-Professional Showcase will debut original works by PBT company dancers Yoshiaki Nakano, William Moore and Cooper Verona as well as choreography after Arthur Saint-Léon’s classic “Coppélia” and Lew Christensen’s “Beauty & the Beast,” which received its PBT premiere in February. The program also will feature Christensen’s exuberant abstract work, “Sinfonia,” set to Luigi Boccherini’s “Sinfonia” in A Major, opus 37. In addition to several works from the Pre-Professional Showcase program, the Spring Performance will depict the training journey of a ballet dancer from preparatory to pre-professional in a work conceived by PBT School Faculty and set to Antonio Vivaldi’s lyrical “The Four Seasons.”
This year’s program gave PBT School’s Pre-Professional students the chance to work closely with company dancers and experience the creative process first-hand. Principal Dancer Yoshiaki Nakano choreographed his “Something Unforeseen” on a group of graduate students. Nakano said of the piece, “I always want to be connected with the audience when I’m dancing. I wanted to create something the audience would find exciting.”
Corps de Ballet Dancer Cooper Verona chose to set his work for 10 graduate students to Spring 1, 2 and 3 from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” recomposed by Max Richter. “I love Vivaldi’s music and ‘The Four Seasons’ is especially beautiful and works wonderfully for dance. Max Richter’s re-composition keeps a lot of familiar motifs and melodies from the original score while bringing fresh texture to it,” Verona said.
For his work, “Five,” Corps de Ballet Dancer William Moore choreographed on ten full-time high school students to music by composer Andy Cowton, which inspired the piece. “I like music that builds and I like a sense of anticipation, which the music gives,” Moore said. “I want it to be just purely about the movement and the relationship with music.”
Pre-Professional Showcase 2015
The Pre-Professional Showcase features students of the PBT School Pre-Professional Division in the intimate setting of Point Park University’s George Rowland White Performance Studio, 201 Wood St. (Lawrence Hall).Tickets are available for $25, and can be purchased by calling 412-281-0360, or by visiting www.pbt.org/performances.
· Friday, May 15, at 7 p.m.
· Saturday, May 16, at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
· Sunday, May 17, at 2 p.m.
Spring Performance 2015
The Spring Performance will more than 200 students, ages 8 to 22, of PBT School’s Student and Pre-Professional Divisions onstage at the Byham Theater. Tickets start at $22 and can be purchased by calling 412-456-6666 or visiting www.pbt.org/performances.
· Friday, May 22, at 7 p.m.
About Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School
Under the direction of PBT Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr and School Co-Directors Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall, PBT School provides a diverse dance curriculum to 1,000 students annually across its Children’s, Student, Pre-Professional and Adult Open Divisions. Ranging from pre-ballet to Pre-Professional, PBT School fosters the expression, discipline and joy of ballet at every level and cultivates the next generation of professional dancers. Strengthened by daily exposure to the professional company, PBT School students experience training that extends from the studio to main-stage performance opportunities in student productions and PBT productions at the Benedum Center.