Pittsburgh dance schools gear up for recital season

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Art often imitates life, or vice versa. Take Lifetime's reality television show "Dance Moms," which ended its latest season with Abby Lee Miller hinting that she will be looking at properties for a new studio in Los Angeles. It probably isn't a coincidence that her Penn Hills studio's annual recital this year is titled "Abby Lee Dance Company Goes Hollywood."

Other studios in this year's list of recitals will also be "on the road." Ideal Dance will be "Disneyfied" and the Dance Factory, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary (along with Sandra Lynn's School of Dance), will take "A Tour of New York," including Broadway's "Wicked" and "Rent."

Sticking to the Great White Way, Karen Prunzik's Broadway Dance Center will produce "Notes on Broadway," celebrating Broadway's most notorious composers from Leonard Bernstein's "West Side Story" to Cyndi Lauper's 2013 Tony nominee, "Kinky Boots."

Of course, major productions will provide inspiration for locally produced ballets, including "Aurora's Wedding" from "The Sleeping Beauty" (Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh) and "Cinderella" (Laurel Ballet). Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School will go from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" to excerpts from the second act of "Swan Lake."

On the choreographic front, Maria Caruso's Bodiography Contemporary Ballet will perform Ms. Caruso's premiere, "Led By Light" on the school recital. And Carnegie Performing Arts Center will present its emerging choreographer award to Natalie Irwin, who will premiere "Rhapsody." Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School will also have original works from August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble's James Washington and faculty member and former San Francisco Ballet principal Andre Reyes.

Student Sophie Silnicki will be busy, not only appearing at the PBT school performances, but also at her original school, Movements in Dance, in Fairmont, W.Va. There she will also showcase two solos, one classical and one contemporary, that she performed in New York City in April at the finals of the largest of the international competitions, Youth American Grand Prix.

At the other end of the spectrum, some people never stop. Jean Gedeon's Pittsburgh Youth Ballet will celebrate its 30th anniversary with the signature Balanchine ballet "Serenade" and Dance Factory will have its DIVAS - 10 former students who continue to find enjoyment in movement and perform at the annual recital. "Once Upon A Time" is the theme for Dance Workshop by Shari. "Everyone's life is a story to be told," says owner Shari Opfermann.

Others will "Rock On!" (Joy School of Dance), "Move to the Beat" (Arena's Performing Arts Centre), proclaim "We're Dancin'" (Wilkins School Community Center), find a "Fascinating Rhythm" (Larry Cervi School of Performing Arts) and revel in "Lucky Number 13" (Evolving Artists Dance Studio LLC).

Wexford Dance Academy, meanwhile,will be golden. The entire studio will gather onstage for "One," the finale from "A Chorus Line," and, in the process, become singular sensations in their own right. Here's the list:


May 9-11: Chartiers Valley High School Performing Arts Department, Chartiers Valley High School, 412-429-3712.

May 10-11: The Butler Center for the Performing Arts Children's Show, Succop Theater at Butler County Community College, 724-283-5182 or www.leesdanceschool.com.

May 10-11: Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, August Wilson Center, 412-456-6666 or www.pbt.org.

May 11: Dance Showcase (Reserve and Marzolf), Shaler Area Middle School, 412-860-7764 or www.danceshowcasell.com.

May 11: Sandra Lynn's School of Dance, Palace Theater in Greensburg, 412-287-0515 or http://sandralynnsdance.com.

May 17-19: Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Pre-Professional Showcase, George Roland White Performance Studio at Point Park University, 412-281-6727 or www.pbt.org.

May 18: The Dance Company for the Performing Arts, West Mifflin Area High School, 412-672-2200 or http://dancecoperformingarts.com.

May 18: Shaler Area Performing Arts, Shaler Area Middle School, 412-486-6565 or www.saperformingarts.com

May 18-19: The Thomas Studio of Performing Arts, West Allegheny High School, 412-257-2000 or www.thomasdance.com.

May 19: Dancespace304, Shady Side Academy, 412-421-6694 or www.dancespace304.com.

May 25-26: Amie's Dance Academy, Woodland Hills Jr. High, 412-823-3188.

May 25-26: Wexford Dance Academy, Shady Side Academy, 724-934-9233 or www.wexforddance.com.

May 31-June 1: Pittsburgh Youth Ballet, Byham Theater, 724-969-6000 or www.pybco.com.


June 1: Dance Showcase (Jeffrey), Shaler Area High School, 412-860-7764 or www.danceshowcasell.com.

June 1: Larry Cervi School of Performing Arts, Norwin High School, 412-856-7713 or www.cervi-school.com.

June 1: Wilkins School Community Center, McKeesport Area High School, 412-829-5467 or www.wsccpgh.org.

June 1-2: The Thomas Studio of Performing Arts, Chartiers Valley Intermediate School (preschool-age dancers only), 412-257-2000 or www.thomasdance.com.

June 1-2: Carnegie Performing Arts Center, Carnegie Library & Music Hall in Carnegie, 412-279-8887 or www.carnegieperformingartscenter.com.

June 1-2: Dance Workshop By Shari, Upper St. Clair High School, 412-884-5099 or www.danceworkshopbyshari.com.

June 2: The Dance Conservatory of Pittsburgh, Shady Side Academy, 412-344-3900 or www.dcpdance.com.

June 2: Movements in Dance, Graston High School, W.Va., 304-288-3081.

June 7: Dance Factory, Jeannette Senior High School, 724-527-6190 or dancefactorydancers@yahoo.com.

June 7-8: Karen Prunzik's Broadway Performing Arts, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Musical Hall, Carnegie; 412-920-1841 or www.prunziksbroadwaydancestudio.com.

June 7-8: Pittsburgh Ballet House, Seneca Valley Intermediate High School, 724-772-3399 or http://pittsburghballethouse.com.

June 8: Bodiography Center for Movement, Byham Theater, 412-521-6094 or www.bodiographycbc.com.

June 8: Ideal Dance, Scotus Hall in Mount Alvernia, 412-782-3823 or www.idealdancepittsburgh.com.

June 8: Laurel Ballet, The Palace Theater in Greensburg, 724-837-7776 or http://thepalacetheatre.org.

June 8-9: Ken and Jean Dance Studio, Gateway High School, 412-823-2753 or www.kenandjeandance.com.

June 9: The Butler Center for the Performing Arts Pre Professional Concert, Succop Theater at Butler County Community College, 724-283-5182 or www.leesdanceschool.com.

June 12 and 15: Kickline Dance Center, Baldwin High School, 724-941-9839 or www.kicklinedancecenter.com.

June 13: Evolving Artists Studio LLC, Chartiers Houston High School, 724-503-4541 or www.evolvingartistsdancestudio.com.

June 14: Mary Ann & Company Dance Studio, West Mifflin Area High School, 412-461-7229 or www.maryannandcodance.com.

June 15: Arena's Performing Arts Centre, Cornell Educational Center, 412-264-9925 or www.arenaspac.com.

June 20-22: Michele's Dance Center, Shadyside Academy's Hillman Performing Arts Theater, 412-366-4134 or www.michelesdancecenter.com.

June 14-15: Starlight Dance Academy, Deer Lakes High School, 412-767-0400 or www.starlightdanceacademy.net.

June 15: Elite Dance by Damian, North Hills Jr. High School, 724-779-1880 or www.elitedancebydamian.com.

June 22: Joy School of Dance, Chartiers Valley High School, 412-922-0907 or www.joyschoolofdance.com.

June 19-20: Pittsburgh Pro Performance Centre, West Allegheny High School, 724-695-8890 or www.pittsburghprodance.com.

June 16: Abby Lee Dance Company/Reign Dance Productions, Norwin High School Auditorium, 412-795-6234 or www.abbyleedancecompany.com.

June 21-22: The Academy of Dance By Lori, Upper St. Clair High School, 412-851-1422 or www.theacademyofdancebylori.com.

June 21-22: Laura Lynn School of Dance, Butler Intermediate High School, 724-443-1897 or www.lauralynnschoolofdance.com.

June 22: Karen Tobias Dance Studio, West Mifflin Area High School, 412-882-9669 or www.traacbuilding.com.

June 30: Cynthia's School of Dance and Music, Carson Middle School, 412-367-3330 or www.cynthiasschoolofdance.com.

Former Post-Gazette critic Jane Vranish can be reached at jvranish1@comcast.net. She also blogs at pittsburghcrosscurrents.com.

Correction/Clarification: (Updated May 16, 2013) The wrong location for the Karen Prunzik's Broadway Performing Arts dance recital on June 7-8 was published in an earlier version. theater - mobilehome


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