PBT's Danielle Downey Stays on Pointe for the Cancan

Swishing skirts, high-kicking choreography…and the rond de jambe? Surprisingly, the chorus line staple, the Cancan, incorporates classical ballet influences from the quick circles of the lower leg to the flying splits of the grande ecart. Today, all Moulin Rouge® performers must bring a solid base in classical ballet training. PBT dancer Danielle Downey offers her take on staying on pointe for Moulin Rouge®  – The Ballet.

By Danielle Downey 

Artist Spotlight: Choreographer Jorden Morris

Moulin Rouge® – The Ballet choreographer Jorden Morris shares behind-the-scenes insights on bringing the famed cabaret to the Benedum Center stage.

How did you conceive of the underlying story and style of this ballet? What are the different sources you looked to for inspiration?

PBT School Holds Pittsburgh Auditions for 2013 Intensive Summer Program


Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School  - the official training institution of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre – concludes a nation-wide audition tour for its 2013 Intensive Summer Program with Pittsburgh auditions on  Sunday, Feb. 17, at 1 p.m. at the PBT Studios in the Strip District.

Elenora Morris at the Prix de Lausanne - Video Blog

Elenora was interviewed for the video blog on Day 5 at the Prix.  Check her out about 4:20 into the video!

Elenora Morris at the Prix de Lausanne - Day 6 - Selection Day!

Today was selections day.  I was obviously excited last night, but after taking a hot bath and watching some Pride and Prejudice with my mom I slept wonderfully!  In the morning I felt ready to perform my variations for the jury!  Since I didn't have to be at the theater until lunchtime, I got to have a nice breakfast with my mom and spent the morning stretching and listening to music.  

Elenora Morris at the Prix de Lausanne - Day 5!

I can't believe how fast the week has gone.  Today was our last day of classes and coaching before we perform our variations tomorrow!

Elenora Morris at the Prix de Lausanne - Day 4!

Today was wonderful!  After a good night's sleep, I headed to the theater for 9:30 class.  Since the jury weren't watching, we had a shortened ballet class that was all on flat.  It was nice to have a low pressure class, and the teacher was able to give us more feedback and corrections.  She focused a lot on arms and epaulment, and encouraged us to initiate our arms with our backs.  Polly and my mom got to observe class from the balcony, and it was fun to dance for them.

Elenora Morris at the Prix de Lausanne - Day 3!

Today started out with some excitement. I have had a bit of jet lag the past two nights and couldn't fall asleep last night, so, unbeknownst to me, my mom let me sleep in later than we had planned.  I woke up in a panic.  For some reason I thought that my first class was at 9am, and I jumped out of bed, shouting that I was going to miss it!  My mom had to reassure me that I wasn't due at the theater until 11:15!

Elenora Morris at the Prix de Lausanne - Day 2!

Today I had a late start since my first class wasn't until 3pm.  After sleeping in a little, I read and stretched in my room while my mom went outside to go for a run and visit the grocery store.  By noon, I was more than ready to head to the theater.  Polly and my mom dropped me off at the stage door, and I grabbed lunch in the candidate's lounge.  I sat at a table with four other girls: one from Germany who dances in England, two from Australia, and one from Japan.

Elenora Morris at the Prix de Lausanne - Registration Day!

PBT student, Elenora Morris has arrived safe and sound in Lausanne for the Prix de Lausanne competition!  She will keep us posted during the whole experience, so be sure to keep checking back for her updates!