Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Promotes 3 Dancers to Principal

Three company dancers will rise to Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s highest rank at the start of the coming ballet season. PBT Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr has promoted Hannah Carter, Alejandro Diaz and Luca Sbrizzi to principal for the company’s 2016-2017 Season, which opens Oct. 28-30, with Giselle.

“These three dancers have proven themselves in principal roles for quite some time. They really deserve this, and it’s a joy to recognize them for their exceptional talent and work ethic,” Orr said. “Throughout the company our dancers are taking on ambitious roles and really pushing themselves on the stage and in the studio. It’s a deep pool of talent, and we’re lucky to have it.”

Carter, Diaz and Sbrizzi will next take the stage for PBT’s 2015-2016 Season finale, the classical pirate saga Le Corsaire with the PBT Orchestra, onstage April 15-17, at the Benedum Center. Tickets start at $28, and can be purchased online at pbt.org, by calling 412-456-6666 or visiting the Box Office at Theater Square.

Hannah Carter – Promoted from Soloist to Principal
A native of England, Hannah Carter joined PBT in 2013 and advanced to soloist in 2015. Since joining the company, her leading roles have included Nikiya in “La Bayadère,” Marie and the Sugar Plum Fairy in Terrence S. Orr’s “The Nutcracker,” Beauty in Lew Christensen’s “Beauty and the Beast” and Wendy in Jorden Morris’ Peter Pan. She’s also performed featured roles in George Balanchine’s “Western Symphony” and in contemporary masterworks like Twyla Tharp’s “Nine Sinatra Songs,” Jiří Kylián’s “Petite Mort” and “Sinfonietta,” and William Forsythe’s “In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.” Carter graduated with honors from The Royal Ballet School in London, where she performed with both the school and company. Before moving to Pittsburgh she danced professionally with Estonian National Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet.

Alejandro Diaz – Promoted from Soloist to Principal
Alejandro Diaz joined PBT in 2008 and was promoted to soloist in 2014. Originally from Miami, Fla., Diaz received his early dance training with Tony Catanzaro, and danced with Boston Ballet II prior to joining PBT. With PBT, he’s performed major classical leads, including Basilio in “Don Quixote,” Prince Siegfried in “Swan Lake,” Prince Desire in “The Sleeping Beauty,” Solor in “La Bayadère” and the Sugarplum Cavalier in Terrence S. Orr’s “The Nutcracker” as well as featured roles in Antony Tudor’s “Jardin Aux Lilas (Lilac Garden)” and Balanchine’s “Serenade.” His contemporary credits include Twyla Tharp’s “In the Upper Room” and “Nine Sinatra Songs,” Jiří Kylián’s “Petite Mort,” and William Forsythe’s “In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.”

Luca Sbrizzi – Promoted from Soloist to Principal

After dancing with Boston Ballet II, Luca Sbrizzi joined PBT in 2007 and advanced to soloist in 2011. Sbrizzi was born in Udine, Italy, where he trained with his sister, Alessia Sbrizzi, at Abidance and Pino Carbone at “Club il Vortice.” He has received honors, including Premio Speranza, Giovanissimi Talenti and XVII Trofeo Internazionale Citta’ di Palmanova. Dance Magazine ranked Sbrizzi, and his partner Gabrielle Thurlow, among its “Top 10 Standout Performances of 2014” for their leading roles in PBT’s “Don Quixote.” Sbrizzi’s other principal roles include Frederick and Renfield in Ben Stevenson’s “Dracula,” the title role in Jorden Morris’ “Peter Pan,” Matthew in Jorden Morris’ “Moulin Rouge® – The Ballet,” the Prince in Septime Webre’s “Cinderella,” Prince Desiré in “The Sleeping Beauty,” the Beast in Lew Christensen’s “Beauty & the Beast” and Solor in “La Bayadère.” He lives with his wife, Jenna, in their home in Stanton Heights.