One of the most exciting ballet companies in the United States, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre has built a legacy of excellence and innovation since 1969.
The company’s eclectic style and irrepressible energy have been shaped by a series of distinguished artistic directors over five 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. From 1997 to 2020, the company flourished under the direction of Terrence S. Orr, former American Ballet Theatre ballet master and principal dancer. Mr. Orr 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.
In June 2020, Susan Jaffe, a former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer became PBT’s seventh artistic director. Jaffe’s two-year role as artistic director was marked by a new version of Swan Lake and the creation of the Fireside Nutcracker during the COVID-19 pandemic. The latter of which won three Telly Awards. In May 2022, Jaffe announced that she would leave PBT to become the next artistic director of American Ballet Theatre.
In March 2023, Adam W. McKinney became Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s (PBT) seventh artistic director and first artistic director of color. McKinney has a diverse and accomplished background in arts leadership across the globe, having served as an arts organization director, tenured professor, choreographer, dancer, educator and activist. He is a gifted teacher of classical ballet, whose expertise lies in creating environments that support the training and development of artists. McKinney will continue the legacy of his predecessors by centering classical ballet repertoire as well as introducing new contemporary works and choreographers to Pittsburgh audiences. He is looking forward to being active in both the dance and Pittsburgh communities, as well as helping to make dance accessible to everyone.
To unleash ballet’s vast potential to enrich lives.
To be Pittsburgh’s source and ambassador for extraordinary ballet experiences that give life to the classical tradition, nurture new ideas and, above all, inspire.
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is committed to increasing equity, access and opportunity in the art of ballet. We believe that bringing together people with diverse perspectives, histories and life experiences will make ballet richer, stronger and more innovative — resulting in vibrant experiences for all.