Vouchers are no longer available for this performance. There may be a waiting line for performances at the door.
The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Pre-Professional Ensemble will be performing Act II divertissements from The Nutcracker. The Nutcracker is “nothing short of magical” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). Propelled by Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, this soaring story captures the awe and expectation of the night before Christmas when a mysterious gift sparks a wondrous adventure. As the colossal tree shoots skyward and snowflakes blanket the stage, the journey glides into a radiant Land of Enchantment brimming with virtuosic dances from faraway lands. Set in turn-of-the-century Pittsburgh, this holiday tradition resounds with more than 150 dancers, radiant scenery, astounding magic tricks and new surprises each season.
The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Pre-Professional Ensemble was born from a growing demand for PBT performances and a desire on the part of young artists training at PBT School to test their prowess in a broader range of repertory. These young dancers, on the cusp of their professional careers, perform regularly in PBT’s main-stage company productions, such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, La Bayadère, and Beauty & The Beast. The dancers you’ll see at Highmark First Night Pittsburgh will also be appearing in PBT’s 2016/17 main-stage company productions, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, and Romeo and Juliet. This ensemble expands PBT’s performance reach so that audiences throughout the region are able to enjoy the superb training and artistry of these young dancers.
The ensemble prepares each dancer for a professional career. Dancers, from ages 18 to 22, hail from places across the Americas, Canada, Europe and Asia. These dancers have studied for many years in their quest to become professional dancers and have been selected from an international group of candidates by the artistic staff of PBT and PBT School.
Under the leadership of PBT Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr and PBT School Co-Directors, Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall, ensemble dancers participate in an extensive schedule of daily classes, rehearsals and performances. To complement daily ballet technique class, the dancers study character, modern, contemporary, Pilates and yoga. Ensemble dancers enhance their experience through performances, lecture-demonstrations, and by working closely with renowned choreographers.
Each year, many dancers from this ensemble go on to join PBT’s company or receive contracts and apprenticeships with other prestigious national companies around the country and world. Ensemble alumni have performed with companies including American Repertory Ballet, Aspen Sante Fe Ballet, Atlantic City Ballet, Ballet Arizona, Ballet Austin, Ballet Met Columbus, Ballet West, Boston Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Columbia Classical Ballet, Complexions, Columbia City Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Nashville Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Nevada Ballet Theater, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Richmond Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and our own Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, where more than 50% of the Company roster is composed of PBT School alumni.