Ballet Theatre announces repertory with Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra

Submitted Photo Pictured are artists Alexandra Kochis and Stephen Hadala.

CHAUTAUQUA — Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr has announced the repertory for the company’s 8:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, performance at the scenic Chautauqua Institution in southwestern New York. The one-night program marks PBT’s first with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. PBT’s appearance at the Chautauqua Institution is sponsored by Carol Hefren Tillotson and Richard E. Rauh.

The company will perform excerpts from two great classics: the comic story ballet “Coppelia,” featuring vivacious classical choreography by 19th-century choreographer Arthur Saint-Leon, and the virtuosic pirate saga “Le Corsaire,” with choreography after Marius Petipa and Konstantin Sergeyev.

In a contrast with the classics, PBT also will stage one of the great modern masterworks of the 20th century: Czech choreographer Jiri Kylian’s “Petite Mort.” Six men, six women, six fencing foils, voluminous folds of fabric and black baroque dresses accent a striking movement vocabulary offset by two of Mozart’s most lyrical piano concertos. Kylian, who the New York Times called “one of the most influential choreographers of the last thirty years,” created “Petite Mort” for the Salzburg Festival in Germany on the second centenary of Mozart’s death. It received its world premiere on Aug. 23, 1991.

The CSO, under the baton of Music Director Rossen Milanov, will bring to life music from three world-renowned composers. “Coppelia,” features a textured score by French composer Leo Delibes. “Le Corsaire” features a score composed by Adolphe Adam and enriched by excerpts from numerous composers, including Cesare Pugni, Prince Oldenberg, Leo Delibes and Riccardo Drigo. For “Petite Mort,” Kylian chose Mozart’s “Piano Concerto in A Major KV 488” and his “Piano Concerto in C Major KV 467.”

“I am thrilled to have Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre joining Ailey II, Charlotte Ballet and Irene Rodriguez Compania on Chautauqua’s 2017 dance season,” said Deborah Sunya Moore, vice president and director of programming at Chautauqua Institution. “We are fortunate to have such a nationally recognized company so close to home and I look forward to showcasing this talent as we broaden and diversify dance at Chautauqua.”

As part of the staging of “Coppelia,” students from the Chautauqua School of Dance will join PBT’s professional company on stage after learning some of the character dances from Orr.

“We are honored to be part of Chautauqua’s summer dance season and to perform with Maestro Milanov and the talented CSO,” Orr said. “Chautauqua is a beautiful place with an exhilarating creative atmosphere. We think audiences will be fascinated by the brightness and classicism of ‘Coppelia’ and ‘Le Corsaire’ contrasted with the unconventional, thought-provoking vocabulary of ‘Petite Mort’.'”

Located on the banks of Chautauqua Lake, the Institution specializes in the arts, education, religion and recreation and annually hosts over 2,200 summer events, ranging from performing arts to guest lectures. PBT last performed in August 2013 in the open-air amphitheater of this summer community.

Event tickets for PBT’s Chautauqua performance cost $43 and are on sale now at or 357-6250. The Institution’s Athenaeum Hotel also offers a special all-inclusive Symphonic Saturday package for overnight guests, complete with dinner, breakfast and Sunday brunch for two, at a discounted rate of $299.