Off Stage: Behind the Scenes with PBT and the Tammies

November 24, 2009

“LIGHT” TRIBUTE. It was a magical evening prior to the local premiere of Stephen Mills’ “Light/The Holocaust & Humanity Project” at the Renaissance Hotel. If you’ve never been there, the second floor has the flexibility to house a variety of events. The area near the elevators (accessible for those who couldn’t negotiate the stairs) featured hors d’oerves and a  bar. But the great space was to be found at the other end at a banquet facility where guests could overlook the 6th Street Bridge and more. Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre paid tribute to over 50 survivors of the Holocaust (out of 115) in a moving program that served as a prelude to the performance. Congratulations to PBT for its efforts in one of Pittsburgh’s premiere collaborative events. More information in my Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review.

LIGHT NEWS. Newly ordained company member Caitlin Peabody performed most of the weekend with bruised ribs. She elected to sit out the athletic tosses of “Sirens,” but was on stage for the rest of the rest of the ballet. Soloist Eva Trapp sat out the weekend with with a foot infection and PBT split her role between five  ballerinas at the last minute.

FAN FAVORITES. In response to “Ten from Forty,” my list of ten of the most influential dancers during PBT’s 40 years, John McCarthy wrote in to add some of his favorites, which included Dagmar Kessler, Eleanor D’Antuono and, no surprise here, his sister, JoAnn McCarthy. John has played viola in the orchestra for many of those 40 years and maintains that PBT is definitely his favorite “pit” option. PBT principal dancer Erin Halloran logged on to CrossCurrents to add a pair of her favorites, Jennifer Davis and Daisuke Takeuchi.

FLU TO YOU. Duquesne University Tamburitzans artistic director Paul Stafura reports that the Tammies had to cancel a recent concert due to the H1N1 virus that infected the troupe.