Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School directors kick off nation-wide audition tour

The Shaker

PITTSBURGH, PA (January 2013) – Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School  – the official training institution of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre – kicks off a nation-wide audition tour this weekend for its 2014 Intensive Summer Program, an immersive five-week training program held at PBT Studios in the Strip District for professional-track student dancers.

As part of the 2014 audition tour, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School Directors Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall and School Principal Janet Popeleski will hold auditions in 26 cities and 15 states to bring young dance talent to Pittsburgh. The team selects students from each audition to attend the school’s five-week Intensive Summer Program, which will be held June 23, through July 26, 2014 at PBT Studios in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. The U.S. audition tour concludes in Pittsburgh on February 16, with registration beginning at 1 p.m. and the audition at 1:30 p.m. at PBT Studios, 2900 Liberty Ave.

The PBT School ISP is a five-week program of diverse dance curriculum, including ballet technique, partnering, pointe and repertoire as well as jazz, modern and character dance. Under the direction of PBT Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr and School Directors Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall, ISP includes instruction by PBT School faculty, PBT company artists and prominent guest instructors. ISP students attend classes six days a week, including seminars and workshops focused on nutrition, choreography, injury prevention and the psychology of dance. PBT School’s ISP is designed to instill long-term value for the art form through the study of diverse techniques that adapt well to the demands of professional ballet companies.

The nation-wide audition tour draws more than 700 candidates from around the country who are interested in studying dance in Pittsburgh. Each year, the audition tour also sees a number of international students, who are invited to audition by video. Past ISP students have represented countries including, Australia, Brazil, China, Canada, France, Italy, Guam, Japan and Mexico.  Recent years have also seen a surge in participation from Japanese students as a result of Mr. Marshall’s involvement with the annual Japan Grand Prix ballet competition, where he serves on an international panel of judges.

PBT School brings an average of 175 students to Pittsburgh each summer to participate in the five-week Intensive Summer Program, which culminates in a performance of repertoire classics and student-choreographed works at PBT Studios. Following the summer program, many ISP students return to PBT School to continue their training during the regular school year. PBT School’s current 2013-2014 enrollment includes 61 out-of-state students and 14 international students, who have relocated to Pittsburgh to enroll in the full-time High School and Graduate programs of PBT School’s Pre-Professional Division.

About the 2014 Intensive Summer Program

The 2014 Intensive Summer Program takes place June 23, to July 26, at PBT Studios, 2900 Liberty Ave., in Pittsburgh’s Strip District.  Find the complete list of audition tour sites and dates at http://www.pbt.org/pittsburgh-ballet-theatre-school/audition-tour. Directed by PBT Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr and School Directors Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall, ISP includes instruction by prominent PBT faculty members and accomplished guest instructors.  Faculty members at the Intensive Summer Program include: PBT Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr, PBT School Directors Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall, PBT School Principal Janet Popeleski and Pollyanna Ribeiro among others. The Intensive Summer Program also features guest instructors, including: PBT Ballet Master Steven Annegarn; PBT Ballet Mistress Marianna Tcherkassky; former PBT Artistic Director Patricia Wilde; current PBT Company Dancers Nurlan Abougaliev, Christopher Budzynski, Alexandra Kochis, Robert Moore, Christine Schwaner; and other notable guests from around the world, including:  Carrie and Li Chou Cheng, Reina Gen, Mireille Leterrier, Gyula Pandi, Viktor Plotnikov, and Larissa Ponomarenko.

As part of the ISP curriculum, various enrichment seminars will be offered on topics, including stress management, dance psychology, nutrition and injury prevention. The roster of ISP 2014 seminar presenters will include: Leslie Bonci (M.P.H., R.D., LDN, CSSD, Director of Sports Nutrition at the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine), Antoine Douaihy (M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Medical Director of Addiction Medicine Services at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and WPIC Inpatient Dual Diagnosis Unit), and Kathleen Nachazel (ATC, Assistant Director, UPMC Center for Sports Medicine).

Supervised room and board accommodations for students are available at Fickes and Woodland Halls on the beautiful campus of Chatham University as well as PBT’s own student residence, Byham House. The Byham House, which can accommodate up to 21 students, occupies three floors in a historic 7,000-square-foot property located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, less than one mile away from PBT Studios.

Audition Guidelines

The auditions and program are open to male and female ballet dancers 12 and older. For additional details about audition requirements and dates, please visit www.pbt.org.

PBT School to Offer New “Company Experience” Workshop
New to the summer curriculum this year, PBT School also will offer a new, two-week “Company Experience” workshop from June 9-20, at PBT Studios, 2900 Liberty Ave. The workshop will offer aspiring professional dancers, ages 16 and up, the opportunity to work with company dancers in a professional setting. Students will learn choreography and repertoire from PBT company dancers, artistic staff and choreographers, and learn more about the dynamics of dancing with a professional ballet company. Workshop faculty members will include PBT principal dancers Julia Erickson, Christopher Budzynski and Alexandra Kochis as well as a number of other company dancers and artistic staff. For more information, or to submit a pre-application form, visit http://www.pbt.org/company-experience.

About Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School

As the official training institution of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School is recognized as one of the nation’s finest schools for dance education and training. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr and School Directors Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall, PBT School offers classical ballet training and a diverse dance curriculum to approximately 1,000 students of all ages, levels and degrees of interest taught by faculty and guest teachers of international acclaim. Strengthened by daily exposure to PBT’s professional company of dancers, PBT School provides dance training through Children’s, Student, Pre-Professional and Adult Open divisions.

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