Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Season Opener Showcases Four Poignant Works Including Two Premieres
The Company Names Two of Its Artists as Choreographers-in-Residence for the 2023-24 Season
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT) will open its 2023-24 season with Light in the Dark, October 27th to 29th at the Byham Theater. The mixed repertoire program features four contemporary works that showcase powerful stories and passionate dance. The program includes works from acclaimed choreographers, including Jennifer Archibald‘s world premiere, Sounds of the Sun, Barak Marshall‘s company premiere Monger, Loss by Sasha Janes, and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Lacromosa. These emotional ballets tell compelling stories of tragedy, hope, and human connection.
“We are excited to present these four moving and inspiring works to open our 2023-24 season,” said Adam W. McKinney, artistic director at PBT. “The stunning dancing and momentous stories in these remarkable ballets provide important opportunities for emotional connection.”
The central work is renowned choreographer Jennifer Archibald’s world premiere, Sounds of the Sun. This documentary-based contemporary ballet celebrates the life and bravery of Florence Waren, a Jewish dancer who lived in Paris during World War II and worked with the French Resistance. Sounds of the Sun is presented in partnership with Violins of Hope Greater Pittsburgh. One of the violins from the Violins of Hope collection will be played onstage by Rachel Stegeman, PBT Orchestra’s co-leader, during the performance of this ballet. Archibald’s last work with PBT was Through the Window, part of the Season Premiere program in the 2021-22 season.
PBT will also present the company premiere of Monger by award-winning Israeli-American choreographer Barak Marshall. Monger follows the lives of a group of domestic workers trapped in an abusive employer’s house and explores the dynamics of hierarchy, power, dignity, and the compromises people make to survive.
Completing the program are two Pas de deux – Loss by Sasha Janes and Lacrimosa by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. Loss tells the story of a couple’s loss of their child. The choreography, set to Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, is a heart-wrenching and emotional duet through which the couple expresses their grief. Inspired by Baroque religious iconography, Lacrimosa is a moving work filled with daring lifts and expressive dancing.
PBT Resident Choreographers
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is also announcing that Yoshiaki Nakano, a PBT principal artist, and William Moore, a PBT soloist, have been named choreographers-in-residence for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons. This is the first time PBT has named resident choreographers and is part of artistic director Adam W. McKinney’s vision and commitment to providing professional development opportunities for PBT artists.
Nakano will create works for the company in 2023-24, one of which is a co-production with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; he will then focus on PBT School for 2024-25. Nakano has choreographed over 50 works, including pieces for PBT, Point Park University, and multiple schools and companies in Japan. He created Catharsis for PBT’s 2022-23 season opener.
In 2023-24, Moore will be the choreographer-in-residence for PBT School, creating works for its Spring Showcase and a dance film with school students. Previously, Moore has choreographed for PBT School, Estonian National Ballet workshops, Royal Ballet School, and En Pointe Indiana Dance School. His choreography for PBT includes Four Marks, Response, and Weighted Affair. During 2024-25, Moore will focus on creating work for the company.
“Yoshi and Will are extremely talented choreographers with considerable experience in creating meaningful and inspiring work,” said Adam W. McKinney, PBT artistic director. “I am absolutely delighted to appoint them as PBT’s inaugural choreographers-in-residence, and I am excited to see and support the amazing ballets they will create.”
TICKETS AND DETAILS
Three performances of Light in the Dark will be held at the Byham Theater on:
- Friday, October 27th, 2023 – 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, October 28th, 2023 – 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, October 29th, 2023 – 2:00 p.m.
Expand your experience at the ballet with these free PBT Education programs, open to all ticket holders.
- Virtual Performance Preview | Details to come Join online to learn about the production before the performance weekend.
- Performance Preview | Saturday, October 28th | 6:30 – 7 p.m. Choreographers discuss their works and answer your questions.
- Artist Q&A | Saturday, Oct. 28 | After the performance PBT artists talk about their roles in the performance, working with the choreographers, and the journey of preparing for a production. The panel also includes Sandy Rosen, chair of Violins of Hope Pittsburgh, and PBT artistic director Adam W. McKinney.
- Curtain Up! | Sunday, October 29th | 1 p.m. Join PBT for this special opportunity to talk with Rachel Stegeman, PBT Orchestra’s co-leader and Adjunct Professor of Strings, Mary Pappert School of Music, Duquesne University, about her performance in Sounds of the Sun. The violin is one of the featured instruments in the Violins of Hope project and exhibition. This program begins with the audience observing 15 minutes of company class on stage.