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Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Julia Erickson to give farewell performance in October

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, 3:00 p.m.
Cooper Verona (Dracula), and Julia Erickson in Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's 'Dracula.'
Duane Rieder
Cooper Verona (Dracula), and Julia Erickson in Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's 'Dracula.'
Julia Erickson as Odile in 'Swan Lake' by Sonja Sweterlitsch
Box Heart Gallery
Julia Erickson as Odile in 'Swan Lake' by Sonja Sweterlitsch
Dancers Julia Erickson and Alejandro Diaz in 'Serenade,' part of Pittsburgh Ballet Theater's 'Unspoken.'
Credit: Aimee DiAndrea
Dancers Julia Erickson and Alejandro Diaz in 'Serenade,' part of Pittsburgh Ballet Theater's 'Unspoken.' Credit: Aimee DiAndrea

Julia Erickson, one of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's longest-tenured principal dancers, has announced her plans to end her 17-year career following the company's 2018-19 season opener in October.

Fans can still see Erickson dance one of her signature roles, Odette/Odile in "Swan Lake," Feb. 16-25 at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh at the 8 p.m. performance Feb. 23. She is also premiering original choreography in "New Works" program March 16-25 at the August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh as well as preparing for the lead singing role of Anita in "West Side Story Suite," part of the ballet's Jerome Robbins and Leonard Bernstein celebration May 4-6 at the Benedum Center.

The date of her fall farewell performance will be announced in early October.

Erickson joined the ballet in 2001, advanced to soloist in 2004 and was promoted to principal in 2009. She has spent the majority of her nearly 20 years as a professional dancer in Pittsburgh. After her final performance, she plans to branch out to the Joyce Theater in New York City with Barak Ballet.

Erickson is a smart, charismatic dancer, with versatility and dramatic range that set her apart on stage, says Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre artistic director Terrence S. Orr. She brings a special presence to every role and has gathered an immense following over her years with the ballet.

"I have treasured my time at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre," says Erickson in a news release. "The rich and rewarding personal and professional relationships I have developed will be with me forever. In this spirit I will relish my last months here with the company in the rehearsal studio and on the Benedum Center stage more than ever. As bittersweet as my departure is, I will remain connected to all of the people in the community who mean so much to me as I branch out and engage in new opportunities. I am excited to see where this new direction takes me, while knowing that I am forever better because of my time with this organization. I love PBT and I love you Pittsburgh."

Details: pbt.org

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-853-5062 or jharrop@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Jharrop_Trib.

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