Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Kicks Off 45th Anniversary Season with Free “Ballet Under the Stars” Performance at Hartwood Acres


Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre presents its annual free, open air performance and picnic at Hartwood Acres on Sunday, Aug. 17. “Ballet Under the Stars” begins at 5 p.m. with free family activities and a ticketed pre-show picnic dinner followed by the 7:30 p.m. performance.

As part of the Allegheny County Summer Concert Series, PBT invites community members to gather their families, lawn chairs and blankets, and enjoy a summer evening of classical and contemporary choreography at the Hartwood Acres Middle Road Concert Area. “Ballet Under the Stars” gives audiences their first look at the 2014-2015 company roster and builds excitement for PBT’s 45th Anniversary Season, which opens in October at the Benedum Center. This year’s performance will present a sneak peek of the 2014-2015 Season opener with a scene from “The Sleeping Beauty.”  The program also will reprise 2013-2014 Season highlights with bravura dancing from the classic “Don Quixote” and an encore performance of choreographer Viktor Plotnikov’s contemporary ballet, “In Your Eyes,” which PBT gave its world premiere in March.
Audience members also can take advantage of a special single ticket pre-sale for PBT’s 45th Anniversary Season, which opens Oct. 24-26, with “The Sleeping Beauty” at the Benedum Center. The five-ballet lineup – all presented at the Benedum Center – continues with “The Nutcracker” in December, “Beauty and the Beast” in February, “PBT Premieres” in March and “La Bayadère” in April.

Free Pre-Show Family Activities — 5 P.M.
Prior to the Hartwood Acres performance, PBT will offer free, family-friendly fun, including photo opportunities and dance activities, beginning at 5 p.m. on the lawn. The BRGR food truck and homemade popsicle stand, Pop Stop, also will be on-site for families to enjoy before the performance.                                           

Pre-Show Picnic Dinner — 5 P.M.

Also prior to the performance, PBT will host a savory summer barbecue under the PBT tent in celebration of the upcoming 45th Anniversary Season. Guests are invited to enjoy dinner, musical entertainment and cocktails with PBT company dancers and artistic team members. Tickets are available for $75 for adults and $20 for children. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit pbt.org or contact Heather Dougherty at 412-454-9138.

Free Performance — 7:30 P.M.

“Ballet Under the Stars” will feature a sneak peak of PBT’s 2014-2015 Season opener, “The Sleeping Beauty,” with a performance of the Act III wedding pas de deux of Princess Aurora and the Prince who awakens her from her enchanted slumber. Choreographed by Marius Petipa – considered the “father of classical ballet” – “The Sleeping Beauty” epitomizes grand, classical ballet set to a classic Tchaikovsky score.

The performance also will feature scenes from the first and third acts of the ballet classic, “Don Quixote,” which closed PBT’s 2013-2014 Season at the Benedum Center in April.  Inspired by the literary classic, “Don Quixote” has mesmerized audiences with complex choreography, balletic bravado and virtuoso variations for more than a century.

Set to one of Ludwig Minkus’ most masterful ballet scores, the production’s charismatic characters and tour de force dancing add vibrancy to the classic story.

PBT also will reprise choreographer Viktor Plotnikov’s contemporary ballet, “In Your Eyes,” set to Antonín Dvořák’s “American” String Quartet #12 Op. 96 in F Major. Artistic Director Terrence S.O Orr commissioned Plotnikov to create the original new work on the company for PBT’s 2013-2014 Season mixed repertory production at the August Wilson Center. “In Your Eyes” features six couples performing inventive, ballet-based movement to music that the Kennedy Center describes as “among the sunniest and most endearing creations in the instrumental repertory.”

PBT opens its 45th Anniversary Season in October with a five-ballet lineup presented exclusively at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts. The 2014-2015 Season features “The Sleeping Beauty” with the PBT Orchestra, “The Nutcracker,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “PBT Premieres” with the PBT Orchestra and the season finale, “La Bayadère” with the PBT Orchestra. Season ticket packages start at $69, and can be purchased online at pbt.org or by calling 412-454-9107. Single ticket sales open in late August. Learn more about season ticket packages here

The Sleeping Beauty with the PBT Orchestra  Oct. 24-26, 2014
The Nutcracker – Dec. 5-28, 2014
Beauty and the Beast (Pittsburgh Premiere) – Feb. 6-15, 2015
PBT Premieres with the PBT Orchestra  Mar. 6-8, 2015
La Bayadère
  with the PBT Orchestra – Apr. 17-19, 2015