Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Amanda Cochrane Announces Her Retirement

The Principal Dancer Has Been a Staple at PBT for More Than 14 Years

Artist: Amanda Cochrane, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre; Photographer: Rich Sofranko

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT) long-time principal artist Amanda Cochrane has announced her retirement. Cochrane has danced with PBT for 14 years and was and was promoted to the rank of principal in 2014. Due to an ankle injury, Cochrane will not give a final performance. Her last performance with PBT was as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker in 2021. 

“I am so thankful to have worked at this organization for the last 14-plus years. I’ve met and learned from incredible people, performed iconic ballets, and forged lasting friendships,” Cochrane said. “My career here has been a whirlwind of disbelief that I could be so fortunate. I am eternally grateful to the people who gave me the chance to be onstage and pursue my passion.”

Amanda Cochrane joined Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in 2009 and was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2013. She advanced to soloist in 2012 and to principal in 2014. She has loved to dance since childhood and began her early training in her hometown of Spokane, Washington, at Sandra Olgard’s Studio of Dance and Ballet Arts Academy. In 2007, she continued her training with the PBT School Graduate Program in Pittsburgh.

“Amanda is such an incredibly talented artist, and PBT is so fortunate to have had her as a key part of our company for so many years,” said Acting Executive Director Kathryn Gigler. “We’re all very sad to see her retire. We’ll miss her artistry, her personality on stage and off, and her compassionate spirit. The entire company wishes Amanda all the best in future endeavors!.”

Some of Cochrane’s favorite roles include the title role in Giselle, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Kitri in Don Quixote, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Russian Girl in George Balanchine’s Serenade, Cinderella in Cinderella, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Marie and the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Tinkerbell in Peter Pan and Svetlana in Dracula, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Caroline in Antony Tudor’s Jardin Aux Lilas, Ballerina in Jerome Robbins’ The Concert. She’s also performed featured roles in Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort and Sechs Tänze; Dwight Rhoden’s Ave Maria; Aszure Barton’s Awáa; Jerome Robbins’ In the Night; George Balanchine’s Rubies; and Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room and Nine Sinatra Songs.

“I am sorry to leave PBT at such an exciting time and wish Adam McKinney every success as he steps into the role of PBT’s artistic director,” said Cochrane. “I am so appreciative of the memories, people, and patrons of PBT- past and present. It has been an honor.”

After retiring, Ms. Cochrane says there are many new possibilities on the horizon that she looks forward to, including relocating with her husband to their hometown in Washington to be closer to their families. 

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