Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Unveils Its 2021-2022 Season

Hannah Carter and Lucius Kirst. Photo by Duane Rieder.

By Katie Drozynski

PITTSBURGH, PA (May 6, 2021) – After more than a year since the curtain came down abruptly on Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s (PBT) 50th Anniversary Season, PBT Artistic Director Susan Jaffe is proud to announce a 2021-2022 Season that brings ballet back to the Benedum Center and August Wilson African American Cultural Center. PBT’s triumphant return to the theater ignites innovative voices, revisits beloved classical ballets and brings fan favorites to life on stage. This will be the first complete theater season planned by Jaffe, who took the helm as the company’s seventh artistic director in June 2020. 

“I’m so happy to be able to bring ballet safely back to the theater with a season full of programs I’m truly excited about,” Jaffe said. “This season celebrates the dynamic work of courageous, passionate and creative choreographers, and shows the full depth and breadth of the art form.”

“PBT’s ‘Here + Now’ program celebrates women who have contributed important work to our art form. A full program choreographed by women is still uncommon, and I’m thrilled to bring their talent, passion and artistry to Pittsburgh.”

With the help of MSA Safety, PBT’s 2021-2022 Season safety sponsor, patrons will be invited back to the theater with increased safety measures including masking, social distancing, a guest pledge and a pledge from the venues to maintain a safe and comfortable environment. For more information on safety measures in the theater, visit https://trustarts.org/pct_home/pages/know-before-you-go

Single tickets start at $28 and will be available this September at www.pbt.org or 412-456-6666. Subscription packages start at $81 at www.pbt.org or 412-454-9107 and offer 20 percent savings over single tickets and a variety of subscriber benefits. 

“Season Premiere” with the PBT Orchestra

October 22-24, 2021 | Benedum Center

Choreography & Music: Mixed Repertory

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre makes its triumphant return to the Benedum Center with a Season Premiere of four distinct works that capture the essence and evolution of the art form. Ballet’s innovative future is exemplified by Helen Pickett’s vivacious “Petal” and a world premiere work by Jennifer Archibald. Experience Balanchine’s glittering “Diamonds,” an embodiment of the precision and grace of the classical tradition set to the music of Tchaikovsky, and Victor Gsovsky’s exacting “Grand Pas Classique.”

“The Nutcracker” 

December 10-29, 2021 | Benedum Center

Choreography: Terrence S. Orr | Music: P.I. Tchaikovsky

Snow settles on the Steel City as a wonderful adventure begins in PBT’s “The Nutcracker.” Join Marie, her Nutcracker prince and the Sugar Plum Fairy on a journey into the Land of Enchantment. Five fanciful scenes, over 150 unique costumes and Tchaikovsky’s enduring score make “The Nutcracker” a can’t-miss holiday tradition. 

“The Nutcracker” is sponsored by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Giant Eagle and Clearview Federal Credit Union. 

“Alice in Wonderland”

February 11-13, 2022 | Benedum Center

Choreography: Derek Deane | Music: P.I. Tchaikovsky, additional music by Carl Davis

Step into a surreal world of outlandish illusion, dreamlike scenery and your favorite Lewis Carroll characters in Derek Deane’s “Alice in Wonderland.” A whimsical medley of Tchaikovsky’s music provides the perfect backdrop to the madness of deranged tea parties, unhinged games of croquet and extraordinary dance. Don’t miss the madcap ballet the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette calls an “old-fashioned romp through [the] British classic, ripe with an over-the-top music hall flavor.”

“Here + Now”

March 24-27, 2022 | August Wilson African American Cultural Center

Choreography & Music: Mixed Repertory

PBT’s revamped “Here + Now” brings the cutting-edge voices in dance to the August Wilson African American Cultural Center. See the world premieres of “SKIN + saltwater,” created by local choreographer and PBT Artist in Residence Staycee R. Pearl, sponsored by Arts, Equity, & Education Fund, and a new work by Aszure Barton, an internationally acclaimed choreographer who has been described as an innovator of form. Revisit the excitement of a new trio by award-winning choreographer Helen Pickett – first seen during PBT’s annual performance at Hartwood Acres – and experience the depth of Anabelle Lopez Ochoa’s intimate “La Pluie” and Gemma Bond’s expressive “Depuis le Jour.”

Swan Lake with the PBT Orchestra 

May 6-15, 2022 | Benedum Center

Original Choreography: Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov | Staged By: Susan Jaffe 

Music: P.I. Tchaikovsky

Classical precision, superb storytelling and Tchaikovsky’s seminal score collide to create 

one of ballet’s most iconic works of art. The beautiful Odette, cursed to live as a swan, meets the prince who could break the spell – but the wicked Von Rothbart has plans of his own. Artistic Director Susan Jaffe’s own acclaimed history culminates in a new restaging of “Swan Lake.”

About Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre has been Pittsburgh’s premier professional ballet company since 1969. Today, PBT is a nationally recognized ballet company of 30 professional dancers, a training institution for over 1,200 students of all ages, and an incubator for education and accessibility programs in classrooms, libraries and community centers throughout the region. The company performs a wide-ranging repertoire of classical ballets, contemporary masterworks and new commissions in more than 50 performances annually at home and on tour.