Dance Beat: Back at Chautauqua

Photo by Tom WolfIt’s time to catch up on some events from a very busy summer. I was invited back to Chautauqua Institution three times this summer to review the North Carolina Dance Theater for the Chautauquan Daily, a great way to refresh at this lakewide retreat.

There is a strong Pittsburgh community there and I took the opportunity to visit with four young dance talents from the area and write about them in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The teaching staff there is excellent and I had the opportunity to watch former New York City Ballet principal Patricia McBride coach her students in “Voices of Spring,” where she created the starring role. Some members of the cast were rehearsing with NCDT, so there were understudies galore. But Patricia’s generosity and passion were sopped up by the students, creating a memorable sense of excitement. Loved watching her elicit a flowing waltz throughout.

The ballet program also brings in stellar guests like NYCB principal dancer Daniel Ulbricht,  who was student there himself and continues to give back. Heads up — Daniel will be in Pittsburgh October 15 at the Byham Theater with some of his NYCB friends.

In the meantime, enjoy a short bucolic tour of one of my favorite vacation spots.

Photo by Mark Anderson

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