A Message from PBT’s New Artistic Director

Hello, Pittsburgh! Last month, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre made a small but triumphant return to live performances outside at our Strip District studios, and I had the honor of introducing our company dancers on stage as the new artistic director. What a humbling and emotional experience. One word best describes how I got here – serendipity.

As some of you may already know, former Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr was a mentor of mine when he was a rehearsal coach at American Ballet Theatre. What you may not know is that his guidance influenced not only the trajectory of my career, but also how I approached performing. 

I recall it so well. I was standing backstage before a performance, visibly nervous. Upon noticing, Terrence approached me and asked, “Have you heard what golfers do? They see the hole-in-one before they take the stroke.

Susan Jaffe

That wisdom prompted me to learn how to retrain my mind and visualize my performances going well. This idea was life-changing! A positive mindset is crucial, especially during times of challenge and adversity. 

Maintaining positivity resonates now more than ever.

The more I get to know the dancers of PBT and the people who hold them in such high esteem, the easier I can visualize us rising from these challenging times even stronger than before.

As evident in our recent television broadcast at Hartwood Acres and at our Open Air Series, our dancers are hungry to move their bodies freely again and perform for more intimate audiences this fall. We’re also lucky to have an industrious and talented staff working behind the scenes to deliver the kind of creativity and energy that only arts organizations can provide. 

The key to our success now lies with you, our patrons. I am inspired by your Pittsburgh pride and loyalty to PBT, and I look forward to seeing how our company, school and community partnerships can transform. With your support, the possibilities to keep us dancing are limitless.

Whether it be outside in your neighborhood, at our Strip District campus or at the Benedum Center, I look forward to sharing the beauty of ballet with you this season! 

On behalf of all of us at PBT, we thank you for all you do. 

Susan Jaffe

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