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 declared by the New York Times to be “America’s quintessential American ballerina,” became PBT’s seventh artistic director. Ms. Jaffe’s prolific career as an internationally acclaimed dancer, ballet mistress, choreographer and dean of dance at a university, set the stage for a new evolution of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. In her two years as artistic director of PBT, Ms. Jaffe accomplished major milestones, including choreographing a new Swan Lake that debuted in May 2022; 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; guiding a successful return to the stage with Season Premiere with the PBT Orchestra in October 2021; and promoting innovative and classical works by leading choreographers, including a showcase of five female choreographers at Here + Now in March 2022. In May 2022, Ms. Jaffe announced that she would leave PBT to become the next artistic director of American Ballet Theatre.
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.