Photographic Memories: 2015-2016 Edition

The 2015-2016 Season was a blur of exciting stories, world premieres and high-voltage dance. Take a twirl down memory lane with us through some of our favorite photos from the season.

We started our season with a powerhouse triple bill, and we had to pick a photo from each to do these works full justice. Beginning with its opening salvo of male leaps and orchestral fanfare, the expansive movement of Jiří Kylián’s Sinfonietta summons a strong sense of freedom, elation and wide-open spaces, illustrated below by dancers Yoshiaki Nakano and Alejandro Diaz.

From the first pulse of music, William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated is razor-sharp and positively electrifying. Here, Corps de Ballet Dancer Jessica McCann and Alejandro Diaz perform choreography made famous by lengendary dancer Sylvie Guillem and her partner Laurent Hilaire.

George Balanchine’s Western Symphony is a western romp danced by sassy cowgirls and show-off cowboys. We love getting this up-close angle on the personality that principals Julia Erickson and Yoshiaki Nakano are projecting. The silhouette of that stunning hat doesn’t hurt either. 

The Nutcracker is magical from start to finish, but the snow scene, with our own turn-of-the-century Pittsburgh skyline, carries an enchantment all its own. The awe that falls over the audience as the snowflakes drift toward the stage holds a special place in our hearts. 

In his Peter Pan, choreographer Jorden Morris infuses each character with lovable traits that make this timeless tale feel more real. This shot of the Darling children’s first flight triggers instant nostalgia for Neverland.

Of course Tinker Bell stole our hearts (and sometimes the show), but we couldn’t pass up this stunning shot of another strong female role – Mrs. Darling, danced here by Principal Julia Erickson. Her yearning, heartfelt dancing provided a poignant counterpoint to the action scenes. 

Our March mixed repertory program gave our dancers latitude to take their artistry to new places. The program revealed new sides of them, from James Kudelka’s stripped-down Johnny Cash tribute to Yoshiaki Nakano’s world-premiere work created on his fellow dancers. 

In Antony Tudor’s mini period drama, Jardin Aux Lilas (Lilac Garden), the genius is in the details. The work requires intense character studies from its dancers, and here soloists Gabrielle Thurlow and Luca Sbrizzi are completely submerged in their roles as Caroline and the man she loves, stealing a moment alone at a garden party. 

In this next photo, soloists Hannah Carter and Alejandro Diaz are bringing the passion. And that’s what this sensuous Michael Smuin work is all about. The Eternal Idol was inspired by the male and female forms of French sculptor Auguste Rodin, and we think ballet provides the perfect parallel for sculptural lines and silent, yet profound expression. 

We definitely saw new sides of our dancers in James Kudelka’s The Man in Black. This celebration of American working-class grit moves through a montage of poetic images that give us a stripped-down glimpse of the human spirit: at once proud, independent, vulnerable and resilient. 

Principal Yoshiaki Nakano’s A Fellow Feeling looked good on his fellow dancers. In his main-stage world premiere, Nakano played on the individual strengths and personalities of his colleagues to create this inventive neoclassical ballet.

Finally, our season finale Le Corsaire pulled out all the stops. This mind-blowing pirate saga is action start to finish, and its gravity-defying leaps and lifts left us breathless. In honor of these technical pyrotechnics, we’re ending with a triple: 


Experience moments like these LIVE next season. Opening in October, our 2016-2017 Season features four exquisite stories – Giselle, The Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, and Romeo & Juliet – plus a fist-time collaboration with Dance Theatre of Harlem. You can guarantee premium seats, 20% savings and VIP extras by subscribing today. Build your own three, four or ballet package here


Take a Twirl Down Memory Lane