Announcing the PBT: New Works Lineup

Experience seven world-premiere works choreographed by PBT’s own company dancers in “Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre: New Works,” on stage March 16-25, at the August Wilson Center. Tickets start at $28 and are available at or 412-456-6666.

Company dancers Amanda Cochrane, Julia Erickson, Yoshiaki Nakano, Jessica McCann, William Moore, JoAnna Schmidt and Cooper Verona will each create a signature work on his or her fellow artists, offering audiences a compelling look at the next generation of dance makers.  There will be two different programs, each featuring different choreographers. Check out the lineup below and preview some of the music that inspired the choreographers here.


Program I:
8 p.m. Fri., March 16 | 2 p.m. Sun., March 18 | 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. Sat., March 24


Weighted Affair
Choreographer: William Moore
Food for Thought:

A dinner party with friends introduces a variety of human complexities and interpersonal exchanges. Moore pairs the old vinyl sound of the ballet’s score with clear, neoclassical movement to explore relationships among six women and four men – and the association between our inner emotions and exterior facades. Moore previously choreographed Four Marks for PBT’s Millennial Movement program in 2017 and has created works on PBT School’s pre-professional students.


Interlaced Motifs
Choreographer: Amanda Cochrane
Food for ThoughtFour individuals embark on a whimsical lark of lighthearted escapades through Impressionist artwork and music. Inspired by the implied colors and texture of the works of composer Claude Debussy, the dancers playfully meander through the paintings of Liebermann, Monet, Van Gogh and Whistler. Fleeting colors and light, shifting rhythms and harmonies and classical/neoclassical style combine to create fanciful vignettes that celebrate the humor found in daily living. This is Cochrane’s second commissioned work for PBT; she choreographed Systole on the company in 2017.


Choreographer: JoAnna Schmidt
Food for Thought:
“What is the magic that makes one’s eyes
Sparkle and gleam, light up the skies
The name of the game is lightworks.”

– From “Lightworks,” by Raymond Scott



Choreographer: Yoshiaki Nakano 
Food for Thought: Described as “lively and detailed,” Nakano’s classical-leaning choreographic style is based in a keenly observed understanding of the strengths of his fellow dancers. With “Infusion” he plumbs his own expressive powers with the goal of creating a physical version of the music for the stage. Nakano’s recent works include A Fellow Feeling, a 2016 work for PBT, and The Symphony, created in 2017 for PBT School.


Program II:
8 p.m. Sat., March 17 | 8 p.m. Fri., March 23 | 2 p.m. Sun., March 25


Choreographer: Julia Erickson
Food for Thought: Through a series of vignettes unified by a poignant strand of poetry, Erickson explores the human need for interconnectedness and self expression in a world of increasing fragmentation, detachment and distraction. Pedestrian movements and patterns and a quirky, contemporary movement style create a dreamlike version of reality, which challenges us to grasp moments of calm to seek our own wild, weird, imperfect truth. Erickson also created Demon Hostess for PBT in 2017.



Thick White Sheets
Choreographer: Cooper Verona
Food for Thought:
Thick White Sheets sheds light on the role of circumstance in our lives. Verona’s organic, natural movement style — based in energy rather than position and form — animates the human search for control despite an essential powerlessness. Past works for PBT include Walking With, brood and Gravitational Embrace. Verona has also created By the Sky and Spring for PBT School and Very Instinctual for Point Park University.



the silver line.
Choreographer: Jessica McCann
Food for Thought: With my ballet I wanted to show off the strength and skill in our company. Placing my ideas and movement onto my fellow company members and dear friends has been an exhilarating and challenging honor. I have my own ideas and story line for my ballet, but simply put, it’s inspired by and based upon the choices people make. When I watch contemporary ballet, I don’t always like being told what the ballet’s about – that puts my mind in a box. I prefer going on my own experience of the work and seeing where my mind takes me – and what the music and movement are saying. It’s always fun hearing what different people get out of watching the same ballet. I sincerely hope you enjoy. McCann has choreographed since she was a teenager in college, choreographing on students much older than she. Since then she has choreographed in summer program showcases and most recently, premiered works in Japan’s World Dream Gala.