WOMEN ROCK! We know they do and Dress for Success Pittsburgh underscored that with its second annual event at the August Wilson Center. Although DFSP primary goal was to honor the women that it serves, giving them support in facing a challenging life transition, it was great to see local Pittsburgh artists giving their support. Among them were husband and wife duo Laurie Klatscher and Gregory Lahane, appearing together for the first time in 30 years in Tammy Ryan’s charming play, “DINKS,” directed by Marci Woodruff, and a trio of female (what else?) singers Phat Man Dee, Gena and Kenia. But I was there for Attack Theatre, which had a couple of thoughtful contributions to the festivities. Ashley Williams and Peter Kope danced beautifully together in “Mobias,” while Pittsburgh Opera artists Shannon Kessler Dooley, vocalist, and James Lesniak, piano, skillfully provided “Lascia chi’o pianga” from “Rinaldo.” Think of it — two men providing support for two women! Then a compelling Michele de la Reza resurrected a solo — so appropriately — from “The Fitting Room.”
PRIX DE LAUSANNE. The people at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School are jumping (or saute-ing) for joy over the news that Aviana Adams and Anwen David are two of 80 dancers who qualified for the renowned Prix de Lausanne (out of more than 300 applicants). The Prix, a competition for non-professional dancers 15-18, selected two female dancers from only PBT in America. So this could be considered quite a feather in PBTS’ cap. Pittsburghers will be able to root for the duo via live streaming in February. In the meantime, check out the complete list of dancers on the Prix website.
PPPCP. That stands for Point Park Pittsburgh Connections Podcast. The local university has an interview with one of the choreographers (with Pittsburgh connections, of course) for the upcoming production beginning Nov. 12 (see Listings). For insight on Craig Kaufman’s new work, “A Path Home,” click on Connections.
WILDE EARLY DAYS. Talking with Patricia Wilde is like slicing into a piece of ballet history. At our latest chat, she reminisced about her very first job with the Marquis de Cuevas’ Ballet International. She recalled sitting during the entire month of July while Bronislava Nijinska “banged on my shoulders.” The dancers were sitting on chairs in a circle at a Carnegie Hall studio rehearsing “Bolero.” “She would come and beat on your shoulders to give you the rhythm,” she recalled. “And she had this long cigarette holder, so the ash would be falling in your lap.” Patricia had to be no more than 15 at the time. Ah, the good old days…
NSAL CHAUTAUQUA. I wrote about the National Society of Arts and Letters solo competition as it pertains to the Pittsburgh area (click on Pittsburgh). But those of you who live in the Chautauqua area have a similar opportunity sponsored by the Chautauqua Area Chapter of NSAL, which will take place on Sunday, March 13, 2011 at The American Academy of Ballet in Williamsville (Buffalo), New York. Information about the national competition can be found by clicking on NSAL. Email Dance Chair Bonnie Crosby at email@example.com with any questions.