Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pbt under the Stars Hartwood Acres Performance Is the First Look at New Season

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pbt under the Stars Hartwood Acres Performance Is the First Look at New Season

Article excerpt

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre will unofficially open its 2013-14 season Sunday when the company presents its annual "Ballet Under the Stars" free performance at Hartwood Acres.

Audiences will be treated to revivals of Dwight Rhoden's "Step Touch" (2009) featuring doo-wop era tunes and Mark Morris' "Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes" (1988; piano etudes by Virgil Thomson), which PBT premiered in Pittsburgh in March at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture.

Dancing the evening's featured pas de deux from "Giselle" will be Amanda Cochrane and Yoshiaki Nakano, who won a gold medal in the 19- to-26-year-old senior division at this year's Beijing International Ballet and Choreography Competition, which attracts competitors from around the world.

The following week, PBT will bring some of these pieces, as well as Antony Tudor's "Jardin Aux Lilas," to the Chautauqua Institution in New York for a performance.

When the company takes the stage, it will be accompanied by four dancers new to PBT this season.

"I'm always looking for dancers who have a classical background but also can do contemporary work," said artistic director Terrence Orr. "That's what we do. It's very important."

He recognized these traits in Ruslan Mukhambetkaliyev, Hannah Carter and William Moore, additions to the corps de ballet, and Diana Yohe, who will join as an apprentice after time with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School's graduate program.

Mr. Orr has been monitoring Ms. Yohe's growth for a while, encouraging her full-time training with the graduate program.

"She performed with us during the year and did extremely well," he said, including parts in mainstage productions "Cinderella," "Giselle," "The Nutcracker," "Moulin Rouge -- The Ballet" and George Balanchine's "Serenade." Summer intensive programs at San Francisco Ballet, the Juilliard School and Cincinnati Ballet supplemented her training. …

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