Friday, March 10, 2017

Free Events Embellish Ballet Experience

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT) and Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) will present a panel discussion on diversity in ballet at 4:45 p.m. Sunday, March 19, at the

August Wilson Center. The event is free, open to the public and presented in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Humanities Festival.

The panel discussion is part of PBT and DTH’s two-week residency, which includes nine performances at the August Wilson Center and more than 25 programs in

dance studios, community centers and libraries throughout Pittsburgh.

Panelists include artistic directors Virginia Johnson, of Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Terrence S. Orr, of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre; dancers from both companies; and

PBT Education and Community Engagement Director Christina Salgado. Darryl Ford-Williams, vice president of content for WQED Multimedia, will moderate the

discussion, which includes a Q&A session.

DTH was founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook, who were inspired to start a school that would offer children – especially in Mitchell’s home

community of Harlem – the opportunity to train in dance and the allied arts. The first African American to be a permanent member of a major U.S. ballet company,

New York City Ballet, Mitchell continued to break barriers with his own organization. From a successful school, DTH soon grew into a professional company featuring

a roster of diverse, exceptional dancers. Today, DTH tours extensively throughout the United States and abroad with a continued commitment to inclusivity in dance.

Throughout the two-week residency, the companies aim to engage as many people as possible with programs that bring ballet beyond the stage and generate dialogue

about inclusion, access and opportunity in the art of ballet.

Other free events open to the public include:

Screening of “Black Ballerina”
2 p.m. Saturday, March 11, 2017 // Kelly Strayhorn Theater // Free and open to the public
PBT is partnering with Kelly Strayhorn Theater to present the film documentary “Black Ballerina,” which tells the inspirational stories of several dancers of color who
confronted the barriers of racism, exclusion and unequal opportunity in the pursuit of their ballet careers. Register at

Panel Discussion: Diversity in Ballet
4:45 p.m. Sunday, March 19 // August Wilson Center // Free and open to the public
Join dancers and artistic directors for a thought-provoking discussion on the advancement of diversity and inclusion in the art of ballet.  Register at

Meet the Artists: The Story of Our Collaboration
10:30 a.m. Tues., March 21 // Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Homewood Branch
6 p.m. Wed., March 22 // Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Allegheny Branch
Free and open to the public
Try out simple ballet steps, meet ballet dancers from both companies and learn the story of this exciting cross-company collaboration. Perfect for kids and families.

Register at

Informance: Discussion & Demonstration
4 p.m. Tues., March 21 – Point Park University’s Rowland White Performance Studio
4 p.m. Wed., March 22 – University of Pittsburgh Alumni Hall
Free and open to the public
Explore the training and technique of classical ballet through engaging commentary and dancing by DTH and PBT artists. The program includes repertory excerpts, an

audience engagement activity and a Q&A session. Register at

The companies also will offer a series of pre- and post-performance talks with the artistic directors and dancers. These programs are held at the August Wilson Center

and free for all audience members. A full listing is available at

Throughout the residency, PBT and DTH artists also will connect with local students and dancers through a series of master classes and demos presented in partnership

with the following organizations: Boys and Girls Club, CAPA, Hill Dance Academy, Hope Academy, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Orange Arrow, PearlArts Studios,

Point Park University and the University of Pittsburgh.

The performances, which run March 16-26, at the August Wilson Center, mark Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s first joint performance with another professional dance

company.  The eclectic mixed repertory production celebrates the diversity of talent and styles in American ballet with works by renowned contemporary

choreographers, including Glen Tetley, Dwight Rhoden and Robert Garland, set to music from artists like Johannes Brahms, Aretha Franklin, James Brown and

Pittsburgh native Billy Strayhorn.

The production is presented in collaboration with Pittsburgh Dance Council and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and made possible with support from BNY Mellon; Richard

King Mellon Foundation; Edith L. Trees Charitable Trust; The Benter Foundation; Richard E. Rauh; Point Park University; University of Pittsburgh; Mr. Edwin H.

Beachler III; Mr. & Mrs. Tom Hotopp; Ms. Mary McKinney & Mr. Mark Flaherty; Mr. & Mrs. Chris Fleischner; Mr. & Mrs. Mark Popovich; Mr. & Mrs. Thomas

Todd; Ms. Lois A. Wholey and Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.

Performance tickets, which are now at limited availability, start at $28 and are available at, by calling 412-456-6666 or visiting the Box Office at Theater


Prime seats are still available for the 6 p.m. March 16, Private Performance and Preview Party, which kicks off the collaboration with a special performance and

celebration with the artists. Festivities, which include dancing and themed food stations, benefit PBT’s Community Youth Scholarship program. Tickets are available at

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