Monday, April 9, 2012

PBT Students Invited to Artist Residency Program

Meghan McNamara


PITTSBURGH, PA (April 2012) - PBT School has been invited to participate in an Artist Residency Program in Wickenburg, Arizona hosted by the Del E. Webb Center for Performing Arts and in partnership with the Flying E Ranch. The residency program is designed to give performing arts groups the opportunity to learn new works created by established and emerging artists.

Eighteen students from PBT School’s Graduate Program have been selected by School Directors, Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall to participate in the residency from April 24-29. The 5 male and 13 female student dancers range in age from 17-22 and hail from across the United States, Canada, Japan, and Brazil. The students’ residency schedule will be both intense and challenging, consisting of classes, rehearsals, repertoire, and learning a new piece in a five day period.

Joining the group in Wickenburg will be choreographer Viktor Plotnikov, who will spend the week creating and rehearsing a new piece specifically for the residency. Plotnikov has set a number of pieces on both the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Company and the Pre-Professional students of PBT School. Plotnikov is originally from Kharkov City, Ukraine and has danced with the Donetsk Ballet Company, Ballet Mississippi, and the Boston Ballet. At the close of the week, on Sunday, April 29, Plotnikov’s new work will premiere alongside other mixed repertoire during a performance at the Del E. Webb Center for Performing Arts and will be open to the public.

Overview of Artist Residency Program and Facility

The residency, officially the “Wellik Series” performance and residency, is made possible through financial support from the Wellik Foundation and is a partnership between the Del E. Webb Center for Performing Arts and the Flying E Ranch. The residency is designed to foster the creative, collaborative and performance projects of established and emerging performing artists. Each residency is designed to allow artistic companies the opportunity to pursue new projects, mount work or collaborate with other artists, free from every day pressures.

Other notable dance troupes that have participated in the Artist Residency include ABT II, Northwest Dance Project, and Ballet Arizona.

The Residency program was created in the summer of 2009 and in addition to dance, includes disciplines of music, theatre, and film. Those participating in the program stay at the Flying E Ranch, a working dude and cattle ranch open to guests November through April, located 1.25 hours NW of Phoenix on 20,000 acres of wide open range land in the high Sonoran desert. The residencies (up to 3 per year) are intended to take place during the slower periods at the Ranch. As a result, each artist will have the opportunity to enjoy all that the Ranch has to offer, including horseback riding, tennis, hay rides, and campfire cookouts.

In addition to exposing artists, managers, and production staff to the Flying E Ranch and Del E. Webb Center, the Residency also helps to connect the local community with exciting artistic endeavors through open rehearsals, readings, and performances.

Admission for the April 29 Performance at 3 p.m. is free, but, tickets are required (nominal handling fees).

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School is the official training institution of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and has an enrollment of over 900 students, including the Children’s, Student, Pre-Professional and Open Divisions. The Children’s Division gives young students an introduction to ballet and prepares them for advancement to the Student Division. Dancers in the Student Division work to refine their technique and dancers in the Pre- Professional Program prepare for professional careers in classical ballet. Many students perform in an annual School Spring Performance at the Byham Theater, and some students are chosen by Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr to perform with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre at the Benedum Center. Each year, PBT School students can audition for The Nutcracker, and in 2011 more than 150 were cast in a variety of roles.

PBT School Graduate Program

The PBT School Graduate Program prepares the student for a professional career. Graduate Students are offered a comprehensive curriculum of classical ballet studies. The curriculum is supervised by the School Directors and is taught by a distinguished faculty. The faculty works closely with Terrence S. Orr, Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, to achieve a style that reflects his vision and adapts well to the demands of PBT and other professional ballet companies.

The Graduate Program curriculum may include: Ballet Technique, Pointe, Variations, Partnering, Men’s Class, Repertoire, Character, Contemporary, Modern, Jazz, and Pilates Mat classes. Graduate students receive résumé seminars, assistance with audition photos, cover letters and letters of recommendation, and conferences with Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr as well as PBT School Directors.

Each year, PBT School Graduate students are offered contracts and apprenticeships with many prestigious companies around the country such as American Repertory Ballet, Aspen Sante Fe Ballet, Ballet Arizona, Ballet Austin, Ballet Met Columbus, Ballet West, Boston Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Complexions, Columbia City Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Nevada Ballet Theater, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Richmond Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, among others.

For more information, please contact Meghan McNamara at 412.454.9117 or

For information on the guest ranch or the Webb Center, please visit or

Posted on behalf of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates.  Joyce Kane is the owner of Cybertary Pittsburgh, a Virtual Administrative support company, providing virtual office support, personal and executive assistance, creative design services and light bookkeeping.  Cybertary works with businesses and busy individuals to help them work 'on' their business rather than 'in' their business.

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