April 3, 2012
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
PITTSBURGH, PA – April 3, 2012 – To mark the announcement of its first international tour in several years, and in celebration of Israel as the destination, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre will perform Step Touch at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s JFest – A Celebration of Israel Independence Day and the Jewish Community on April 26 in the city’s Oakland neighborhood.
The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre will make this special appearance in anticipation of an overseas tour that will take them to Israel this August to perform at the 25th Anniversary of the Karmiel Dance Festival, which hosts some 5,000 dancers from Israel and abroad and attracts more than 300,000 visitors and guests. Karmiel and the Misgav region are Pittsburgh's sister communities in Israel through the Partnership2Gether program, a project of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, in cooperation with the Jewish Agency for Israel, that builds people-to-people connections between Israeli and global Jewish communities .
“We are thrilled with the exciting developments that have brought the Jewish Federation and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre together, and we’re pleased to share their talents and tour news with Pittsburgh at our biggest- ever Israel Independence Day celebration,” said Jeff Finkelstein, President and CEO, Jewish Federation of
Greater Pittsburgh. “In addition to the international recognition for the Ballet as one of our city’s most treasured cultural assets, this tour to Israel is particularly meaningful because of our city’s and the Federation’s relationship with Karmiel and the Misgav region as Pittsburgh's sister communities.”
At JFest and at the Karmiel Dance Festival, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre will be performing Step Touch, choreographed by Dwight Rhoden. The ballet is set to a dozen songs of the Doo Wop era, and is an energetic and fast-paced contemporary ballet. The music creates a general sweep of feelings and mood that is infectious, both for dancers and the audience.
“Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is excited to revisit the many relationships we established while performing Light, The Holocaust and Humanity Project in 2009. Touring to Pittsburgh’s own sister city of Karmiel, Israel, speaks on an even larger scale to the powerful role the arts can play in forging cross-cultural connections,” said Harris Ferris, executive director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. “The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has been instrumental in building this international partnership, and it will be a privilege to represent a part of the Pittsburgh arts community in Israel this summer.”
As part of its year-long Centennial Celebration, the Jewish Federation has expanded its annual Israel Independence Day festivities into an enhanced event with more diverse programs that will appeal to a broad audience of all ages and affiliations. The event will take place Thursday, April 26, 4-8:45pm at Schenley Plaza (between Hillman and Carnegie Libraries in Oakland) and in the nearby Carnegie Music Hall, where the PBT dancers will perform at 6:45pm.
Among the other activities for JFest participants of all ages will be: the PJ Library Archeological Dig, where children can dig in the "sands of Israel" and unearth treasures; Krav Maga demonstrations and workshops, showcasing the self-defense discipline used by the Israel Defense Forces; mitzvah projects sponsored by the Jewish National Fund (planting) and the Squirrel Hill Food Pantry (food drive and packing snack bags); Passport to Partnership, a scavenger-hunt-style activity highlighting Karmiel and the Misgav region, Pittsburgh's Partnership2Gether sister communities in Israel; performances by Seeds of Sun, one of the leading Israeli-Jazz ensembles in North America, and the Spirit of Israel Teen Delegation from Karmiel and Misgav; Israeli dancing; the "Jerusalem Biblical Zoo," ; and Tel Aviv's Luna Park, the ever-popular bounce-houses.
For a complete JFest 2012 Schedule and more activity details, including regional shuttle services to the event, visit: www.jfestpgh.org or contact Eric Probola of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh at 412-992-5247.
The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is a community based and internationally recognized professional ballet company that performs traditional and contemporary ballet and develops innovative new works. It seeks to perpetuate excellence in the art of ballet through performances, superior training of student dancers and community engagement activities. For more information, visit: www.pbt.org.
Photos: Rich Sofranko
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