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Ballet Theatre's 2012-13 season to include 'Giselle,' 'Moulin Rouge'

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Friday, Feb. 3, 2012

The five productions of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's 2012-13 season will include a new full-length ballet, other additions to the company's repertoire and the revival of two popular classics, in addition to the perennial "The Nutcracker."

The ballet will return to the August Wilson Center, at which it makes its debut this weekend, for one set of performances next season. The other four productions will be at the Benedum Center, two featuring live orchestra.

"I love to turn to some classics and to explore new repertoire," says artistic director Terrence S. Orr. "Our brand-new full-length ballet, 'Moulin Rouge,' will be a fantastic introduction to our repertoire. I am excited by our return to the August Wilson Center and doing another Mark Morris ballet. And we're doing our first Anthony Tudor ballet. He didn't do that many ballets, but they are great. He's underutilized by many people. And it's a fabulous story."

The season opens with "Giselle," Oct. 26 to 28, with Charles Barker conducting the ballet orchestra in music by Adolphe Adam. The 19th-century ballet is the story of a young woman who is betrayed by love and dies of a broken heart. She rises from the dead for revenge, but ultimately protects her former lover from evil spirits.

The ballet, which is one of Orr's favorites, will be performed in his staging. "It's a pass-me-down situation of the classics, the same with 'Swan Lake,'" he says. "They change over time and are not the same as the original productions. People probably wouldn't want to watch the originals, because ballet has improved its art form both physically and artistically."

"The Nutcracker," Dec. 7 to 30, returns for its 11th season in Orr's staging, which sets the story of a girl's magical Christmas Eve in Pittsburgh.

"Moulin Rouge," Feb. 14 to 17, 2013, is the new ballet by choreographer Jorden Morris. Set at the famous cabaret Moulin Rouge in Paris, the ballet is said to feature "high-kicking choreography and a passionate story of love, ambition and heartbreak."

"Unspoken," March 8 to 17 at the August Wilson Center, will feature "Lilac Garden" by Anthony Tudor, "Valse Fantasie" by George Balanchine and "Joyride" by Mark Morris.

"Lilac Garden," created in 1936, is one Tudor's most celebrated ballets. It is the story of a woman on the eve of a marriage to a man she does not love trying to say farewell to the one she does love.

"Cinderella," April 19 to 21, closes the season with Barker and the orchestra performing the great score by Sergei Prokofiev. It will be performed in Septime Webre's choreography, which the company presented in April 2009.

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