Contemporary ballet

Texture Contemporary Ballet closes its season with a program of new works | Dance | Pittsburgh

Texture Contemporary Ballet closes its home season with Speed, a program of new ballets by members of the company, from March 17-19 at the New Hazlett Theatre.

As usual, the production includes premieres from Artistic Director Alan Obuzor and Associate Artistic Director Kelsey Bartman, starting with Bartman’s “When a Fairytale Ends.” Set to music by Ludovico Einaudi, Dustin O’Halloran and others, the 22-minute ballet pays homage to Bartman’s late grandmother. “It’s both inspired by who she was and touches on how my family coped with her loss,” Bartman says.

Also from Bartman, the new eight-minute solo “Is it so?” for dancer Brynn Vogel, set to music by Bon Iver. The character in the ballet is an amalgamation of the female half of several romantic couples from Bartman’s past works, revisiting her after the couple break up.

Obuzor’s “Together We Stand Before the Fall to Higher Ground,” set to music by Two Steps From Hell, continues his penchant for letting music spark his creativity. Obuzor says of the 22-minute ballet: “I was captivated by the grandeur and fullness of their music. I used this as inspiration to create a fast-paced, athletic piece that pushes dancers to match its intensity and energy.

Former Pittsburgh Ballet Theater intern Alexandra Tiso brings a certain levity to the program with her new 20-minute ballet, “Cloudy With a Chance of Splash.” Danced to music by Leroy Anderson, Jacques Offenbach and others, the five-part ballet for six dancers in rain boots with umbrellas is “silly, fun and hopefully will leave audiences feeling good”, Tiso said.

For her first choreography for a Texture main program, Point Park graduate Vogel looked to her own life for inspiration. Fifth-year company member’s “Whelm” is a 13-minute sock ballet (i.e. ballet danced in socks) about how people acclimate to new settings by adopting the characteristics of those around them and vice versa. Performed to music by Jóhann Jóhannsson and Ôlafur Arnalds, the ballet follows a central character who becomes rooted in the mannerisms and personalities of a new group she has joined and struggles to break free from the group to pursue other dreams.