Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's 2013-14 season is packed with powerhouse pieces and choreographers from classical and contemporary dance.
The 44th season will open in October with a tribute to American dance icon Twyla Tharp that features two of her works. "In the Upper Room" from the 1980s is a stamina-testing piece set to a Philip Glass score that PBT last performed in 2010, packaged with Paul Taylor's 1940s period piece "Company B." This time, the program also will feature "Nine Sinatra Songs," one of the many times Ms. Tharp has choreographed to the music of Ol' Blue Eyes.
In December, the company will help families rekindle their holiday spirit with the annual production of artistic director Terrence S. Orr's Pittsburgh-themed "The Nutcracker." The production is peppered with references to local places, such as the Kaufmann's (now Macy's) clock and the F.W. McKee residence in Shadyside, and people, including area surnames Heinz and Kaufmann. This year, PBT plans to add a few more shows to the schedule.
"Of course we'll be doing some different things with 'Nutcracker,' " Mr. Orr says. "I always do."
In 2014, "Swan Lake," the classic tale of good, evil and love ever after, will be staged just in time for Valentine's Day. The century-old ballet, performed with the orchestra, is considered a permanent fixture of the classical dance canon and contains some of the most coveted roles. Next February will be the first time PBT has revisited the work since its 40th anniversary season in 2009-10.
PBT will return in March 2014 to the August Wilson Center for African American Culture for another mixed repertory lineup staged to live music, a formula that has proven to be a favorite in recent seasons due in part to the intimate performance experience. Dwight Rhoden's "Smoke 'n Roses" will take to a Pittsburgh stage for the first time since 2007 with live vocals by local singer Etta Cox. PBT dancers also will premiere Julia Adam's "Ketubah," inspired by her heritage and Jewish marriage customs choreographed to traditional Klezmer music.
The season will close with another classic, "Don Quixote," with the orchestra. Love, mystery and adventure intertwine in this ballet based on the Spanish novel by Cervantes. April 2014, will mark the first time PBT has incorporated the ballet into its season in seven years.
Subscriptions for the 2013-14 season are $66 to $484 at www.pbt.org or 412-454-9107.
Single tickets will go on sale in September.
Sara Bauknecht: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @SaraB_PG.