Sinatra, Tchaikovsky combine in ballet program in Greensburg

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A creative pairing of music from crooner Frank Sinatra and composer Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky will make up a special one-time performance by Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra at 3 p.m. March 23 in The Palace Theatre, Greensburg.

The program comprises Tony-winning choreographer Twyla Tharp’s ballroom-ballet fusion “Nine Sinatra Songs” and the entire moonlit Act II and dark twin, the Black Swan Pas de Deux, from “Swan Lake.” The Symphony will accompany the Tchaikovsky ballet excerpts while songs such as “Strangers in the Night” and “That’s Life” will be sung, in absentia, by Old Blue Eyes himself.

The Tharp and Tchaikovsky works were both part of longer programs during the ballet’s 2013-14 season. “There will be a very different feeling to the two parts of the [March 23] performance,” said Ballet Theatre Marketing Coordinator Meghan McNamara.

Forty-four symphony musicians will perform the 1877 Russian classic, the full orchestra number reduced slightly to those who may fit in the orchestra pit. However, “all parts of the orchestra will be represented,” said Symphony Managing Director Morrie Brand.

Fourteen ballet theatre dancers will perform the Sinatra works and most of the 29-member company will be represented in the overall program.

Ms. Tharp founded her dance company, Twyla Tharp Dance, in 1965, and she has choreographed more than 160 works. Her web site describes “Nine Sinatra Songs” as “a glamorous portrait of seven couples that traces the arc of romantic relationships. The dancers swing, swirl, tango and cha-cha through a glittering ballroom.” It premiered in 1982 and is among her most often performed pieces. Dresses and tuxedos were designed by Oscar de la Renta.

In addition to the above, the Sinatra songs are “Softly As I Leave You,” “One For My Baby (and One More For the Road),” “My Way,” “Somethin’ Stupid,” “All the Way,” “Forget Domani” and a reprise of “My Way” with all the Sinatra dancers.

Tickets are $25 to $49 and may be purchased at www.thepalacetheatre.org or 724-836-8000.


Post-Gazette art critic Mary Thomas: mthomas@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1925.

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