Dance Beat:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Complexions choreographer Dwight Richardson was celebrating his 48th birthday in the company’s Pittsburgh Dance Council performance at the Byham Theater last weekend. Given the company’s audience reception, he must have enjoyed it.

VOTE NOW. For all you ballroom buffs, Pittsburgh Public Schools is up for a Pepsi grant worth $25,000 to aid in financing Dancing Classrooms, the terrific program that is about more than dance. (Check the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for more information.) Anyhow, Pittsburgh has to get into the Top Ten and is currently 107. Voting ends April 30, so click on Dancing Classrooms to cast your ballot.

DIVERSITY IN DANCE. That’s one of the most enticing things about the art form. Olivia Kissel in opening a new studio to capitalize on that aspect in one of the most diverse Pittsburgh neighborhoods, the South Side. Her vision for Zafira Dance Company Studios: International, Vintage and Hybrid Dance (ZDC Studios for short) on Carson Street will include instruction in flamenco, Rajasthani Kabelia Dance, bellydance, tango, hip hop and Pilates, with plans for expansion. Zafira artistic director Olivia Kissel is looking for sponsorships, ranging from $50 to $1,000. If you are interested, click on ZDC.

RADIO VIDEO. In  you missed Kyle Abraham’s premiere of “The Radio Show” at the Kelly-Strayhorn, he has a video up and running. Click on “Radio Show.”

MORE PBT CHANGES. While I reported on the retirements of veterans Kwang-Suk Choi, Kumiko Tsuji and Kristen Rusnak, there are three more company members who will be leaving: Christopher Ouelette, Damien Martinez and Cynthia Castillo. Artistic director Terrence Orr was in Monte Carlo last week shopping for new dancers. Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo artistic director Jean-Christophe Maillot invited him and selected other directors to view some young talent. Could his trip bear artistic fruit for PBT?


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