Four other dancers depart from PBT


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The four other dancers who departed Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre this year are following different career paths, but three will find their way back to Pittsburgh.

Soloist Eva Trapp and corps member Nicholas Coppula, a couple in real life, opted to move to dance mecca New York City, where they are collaborating with American icon Twyla Tharp on her latest project. They are part of a group of 10 dancers who will spend a year developing new work for the noted choreographer.

“I was really into classical ballet at the start of my career but found that contemporary had more freedom,” said Mr. Coppula, who also has a talent for the technical side of dance, including lighting, recording and photography, some of which Ms. Tharp has already started to tap.

He said they will miss the “great group of people” at PBT.

“Everyone is so humble,” he said of dancers like veteran John Selya, who appeared in “Movin’ Out” and “Come Fly Away” after a notable career with American Ballet Theatre.

Ms. Trapp said she also “started to embrace a different side of dance” as her career progressed, including a vulnerable Blanche in “A Streetcar Named Desire.” A native of Florence, Ky., she gravitated to the PBT School and had a stint with Ohio Ballet before rejoining PBT.

In New York, she said they are enjoying being “valued as a couple.” In the fall, they will return to Pittsburgh (Mr. Coppula is a North Hills native) to be married.

Principal dancer Christine Schwaner hoped to close her 10-year PBT career with leading roles in “Swan Lake” and “Don Quixote,” both suited to her strong classical technique. But a serious case of shin splints forced her to sit on the sidelines as the PBT season came to a close.

“It was a good run,” she said. “I felt ready. The body tells us.”

The Brazil native will return to teaching, remaining in Pittsburgh with PBT soloist and husband Alexandre Silva. But that‘‍s not the only reason she’‍s sticking around.

“I love Pittsburgh,” she said of her adopted home.

Soloist Robert Moore has opted not to return for his seventh season at PBT and instead will pursue opportunities with Smuin Ballet in San Francisco. During his tenure with the company, he danced such parts as Jay Gatsby in “The Great Gatsby,” Stanley in “A Streetcar Named Desire” and Cavalier in Terrence Orr’s annual “Nutcracker” production.


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