New Developments

Canned 'Carmen' generates protesters at ballet
Oct 9, 2004

Pre-'Carmen' concerts planned outside Benedum to protest ballet cuts
Oct 5 2005

 

“What the Audience is saying about “The Nutcracker”

  Pictures

A look at the Orchestra

 

  News & Articles

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, musicians anticipate more talks

Nov 23, 2005

 

Canned 'Carmen' generates protesters at ballet
Oct 9, 2004

Pre-'Carmen' concerts planned outside Benedum to protest ballet cuts
Oct 5 2005

PBT Dancers Show Support
Aug 20, 2005

PSO musicians & respond to PBT
Aug 11, 2005

Pittsburgh Tribune
Aug 4, 2005

We are 40+ professional musicians residing in metropolitan Pittsburgh who have given years of dedication and compromise to aid the growth of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Many of us have played every Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT) performance since the orchestra was formed at the opening of the Benedum Center in 1987. Together with our Artistic Director, David Briskin, we are skilled in the specialized art of accompanying live dance.

Why loss of live music will hurt the PBT:

No two dancers are alike. The orchestra conductor is intimately aware of every dancers skills and artistic interpretation.  He watches and responds instantly to a dancers needs and wishes on stage.  For example, when a principal dancer achieves a balance on stage or wishes to hold an arabesque, the conductor follows her and directs the orchestra to sustain the music with her.  If a male dancer needs time in the music to execute an extra rotation or two during his variation, the elasticity of the live orchestra allows him the time to do so.   So those moments in the dance in which the artists particular strengths can shine through are wedded to the flexibility that a live orchestra can provide.  If the music is pre-recorded, there is no flexibility in the performance and the art form dies. The ballet is no longer an entirely living art. Through no fault of the dancers, the overall performance will suffer.

Loss of the live orchestra will begin a downward spiral for the company.  All world class ballet companies use live orchestras.  Loss of the orchestra will result in dancers leaving the PBT for companies that allow for their artistic interpretation; dancers will not choose to stay in Pittsburgh, and the company will become a revolving door for students to pass through before they find a company that satisfies their artistic needs.

The Pittsburgh audience is sophisticated. They are accustomed to the highest standards in live performance. However, the PBT Board of Trustees said our audience does not come to the ballet for the music, they come only for the dance. They feel the audience will not notice that the orchestra WOULD BE MISSING! If the board has its way ticket sales will diminish, grants and private funding will wane. The ballet company will no longer be the artistic force it once was in the region.