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Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Receives $25,000 Grant From Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Fund For Innovation In Dance


PBT's “Season Premiere” with the PBT Orchestra marks the company's first theater performance in 20 months.

When Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre presents its first pandemic-era theater production this weekend, it will be supported by a $25,000 grant from a fellow ballet company that reimagined its mission amid the challenges of COVID-19.

The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Fund for Innovation in Dance will sponsor PBT's performance of Helen Pickett's "Petal," which Aspen Santa Fe Ballet commissioned in 2008. PBT will perform "Petal" as part of "Season Premiere" with the PBT Orchestra, on stage Oct. 22-24 at the Benedum Center.

In March 2021, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet announced that, after 25 years, its nationally renowned ballet company would not return to the stage due to the challenges of COVID-19. Instead the company unveiled an innovative new initiative to invest in the future of the art form and help reinvigorate ballet companies across the country.

In addition to facilitating Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's thriving schools, Folklórico program and presentation series in the Aspen, Colorado, and Santa Fe, New Mexico areas, the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Fund for Innovation in Dance will develop initiatives to support the needs of dance companies and artists across the country.

"It is an honor to be able to give back to the field that was so good to us for the past 25 years and to continue the legacy of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in a new way," said Tom Mossbrucker, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet artistic director.

"It gives us great pleasure to know that Helen Pickett's stunning ballet, 'Petal,' will continue to inspire dancers and audience members through its new life with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre," said Jean-Philippe Malaty, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet executive director.

PBT is among the first ballet companies in the country to receive funding through this new initiative.

"We are very grateful to Tom Mossbrucker and Jean-Philippe Malaty for their extraordinary contribution to the ballet and dance world. Not only did Aspen Santa Fe Ballet support new artists in the creation of their work while the company was dancing their beautiful and innovative performances, but they have extended their contribution in their new role as Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's Fund for Innovation in Dance," said PBT Artistic Director Susan Jaffe. "We are deeply moved by their gesture to support us in presenting to Pittsburgh the work of one of my favorite choreographers, Helen Pickett. I can't wait for Pittsburgh to see her stunning ballet, 'Petal.' I have so much gratitude."

PBT's "Season Premiere" with the PBT Orchestra marks the company's first theater performance in 20 months. On stage Oct. 22-24 at the Benedum Center, the mixed repertory production features Helen Pickett's "Petal," Jennifer Archibald's world premiere "Through the Window," George Balanchine's "Diamonds" and Victor Gsovsky's "Grand Pas Classique." Tickets are available at or 412-456-6666.

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