Opening next week is Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Masters Program: Balanchine and Beyond, a triple bill showcasing works by George Balanchine (Theme and Variations), Jorma Elo (1st Flash), and Christopher Wheeldon (Polyphonia).
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Masters Program
The performance begins with Elo’s 1st Flash, a unique sensory experience for audiences. Dancers appear to move at the speed of light while articulating a collective body in perfect harmony. The energetically-paced piece is a showcase for modern, avant-garde movements set to Jean Sibelius’s Violin Concerto in D minor.
Next is Polyphonia, widely regarded as Wheeldon’s breakthrough contemporary ballet. From dark to romantic to frenzied duets, Polyphonia features a brilliantly evocative movement vocabulary. The ballet, set to eclectic piano music by György Ligeti, highlights the artists’ athleticism and provides an intriguing contrast between contemporary and classical ballet elements.
To complete the program, audiences will delight in ballet legend Balanchine’s beloved Theme and Variations. Balanchine wrote that this piece is intended to “evoke that great period in classical dancing when Russian ballet flourished with the aid of Tchaikovsky’s music.” A work robust with gilded grandeur, Theme and Variations is set to the final movement of Tchaikovsky’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 and culminates in a full-stage, 26-artist polonaise.
All performances of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Masters Program will be held at the Benedum Center.
- Friday, April 14, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, April 16, 2023 at 2 p.m.
Complementing the shows are several events:
Virtual Preview | April 5 | 5:30 p.m.
Join choreographer Jorma Elo* on Facebook Live to hear about his high-speed and dynamic 1st Flash.
Meet & Greet with Adam W. McKinney, PBT’s new Artistic Director | Fri. April 14, Sat., April 15 and Sun., April 16 | During show intermissions and after each performance.
Director’s Cut | Friday, April 14 | 6:30 p.m.
Choreographer Jorma Elo (1st Flash) and répétiteurs Judith Fugate (Theme and Variations) and Michele Gifford (Polyphonia) join Artistic Director Adam W. McKinney to discuss the ballets. No registration necessary.
Artist Q & A | Saturday, April 15 | after the performance
PBT artists take your questions after the show. No registration is necessary.
Curtain Up! | Sunday, April 16 | 1 p.m.
This program begins with the audience watching the last few minutes of company class on stage – an enlightening way to begin your theater experience! We’ll also talk with PBT Artistic Director Adam W. McKinney and guest conductor Ormsby Wilkins. No registration is necessary.
Audio-described Performance | Sunday, April 16 | 2 p.m.
Live narration of the performance for those with blindness or vision impairment, or for anyone who’d like to listen! No registration is necessary.
Featured Photo for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre‘s Masters Program: Balanchine and Beyond of company artists David O’Matz and Grace Rookstool. Photo Credit Duane Rieder.
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