Terrence Orr to retire from Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre | TribLIVE.com
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JoAnne Klimovich Harrop

The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s 50th season will be the last for artistic director Terrence S. Orr.

He plans to retire in June 2020 after 22 years.

Orr debuted story ballets like “La Bayadère,” “Romeo et Juliette” and “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

His original production of The Nutcracker has been a Pittsburgh classic for close to 20 years.

“I have made Pittsburgh my home and certainly my life ever since,” said Orr, who has lived in Sewickley with his wife, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s mistress Marianna Tcherkassky, since becoming artistic director in 1997, in a statement. “It has been exciting to watch the company grow and rise to incredible heights.”

“We’ve developed a distinct voice and special place in the city where you can experience the great classics, the great choreographers and the emerging voices moving this art form into the future. It has been my honor to lead this company for the past 22 years and great privilege to lead it through its 50th anniversary. I want to thank the dancers, musicians and patrons who have become like family. You have made my time here something I will always cherish.”

Orr, a California native, began his dance career at San Francisco Ballet, where he became a principal dancer by age 17. He went on to lead a celebrated career at New York City’s American Ballet Theatre, rising from corps de ballet to principal dancer, according to the release.

“Hundreds of students and professional dancers can attest to the immeasurable influence and passion that Terry passes on to future generations,” said Dawn Fleischner, chair, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre board of trustees.“Terry is beloved by the entire organization and we can’t say enough about the indelible legacy he created in Pittsburgh. His vision has set the stage for an exciting future for this company and we will be forever grateful for his leadership.”

The ballet theatre’s 50th anniversary season opens in October at the Benedum Center.

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