Dance: 2018-2019 Pittsburgh Dance Council, Cultural District | Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

Dance: 2018-2019 Pittsburgh Dance Council, Cultural District



PITTSBURGH—The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces a new season for the 2018-2019 Pittsburgh Dance Council. Pittsburgh Dance Council is a division of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. The new season of programming was announced on Saturday, April 14, 2018.

This season highlights the voices of female choreographers. Although there is an abundance of female performers, women have historically been underrepresented in positions of artistic leadership. We will have the opportunity to experience the namesake companies of Deborah Colker, Yabin Wang*, Jessica Lang, and Camille A. Brown; and Paul Taylor Dance Company will combine an evening of Taylor masterworks with a commission by former company member Lila York**.

“The Pittsburgh Dance Council provides a window to the world for dance audiences in our region. My goal as director is to ensure that this window is open to everyone and that it has the best and broadest view possible. I strive to create seasons that build on an existing appreciation for dance and movement while providing an opportunity for us to explore and challenge our assumption by showcasing the diversity that exists in dance,” said Randal Miller, Director of Dance Programming and Special Projects for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “The founders of each of the companies on this season are considered visionaries for their contribution to shaping and reshaping how we experience dance. Individually they represent excellence, and collectively they demonstrate the value of opening the conversation to include more voices.”

2018-2019 Dance Council performances will take place at the Byham Theater (101 6th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222) and the August Wilson Center for African American Culture (980 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222), both located in Downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. 

2018-2019 Dance Council Season

DEBORAH COLKER | Cão sem Plumas

Saturday | October 6, 2018 | 8:00 p.m. | Byham Theater


Rio de Janeiro choreographer Deborah Colker has redefined the rules for what can be done in dance. She was catapulted to the world stage with her visual spectacle dance at the Rio 2016 Olympics. A Laurence Olivier Award-winner for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, she received international acclaim for her choreography of Cirque du Soleil’s Ovo.

The company’s newest work takes inspiration from a poem by Brazilian writer João Cabral de Melo Neto. Cão sem Plumas, or Dog Without Feathers, is set in the beautiful yet impoverished Capibaribe River Region in Brazil. Tension between the elite and the river people come to a head as the dancers cover themselves with mud. Projections by critically acclaimed filmmaker Cláudio Assis were filmed over a month when the entire company traveled to the river.

YABIN WANG | The Moon Opera*

Saturday | November 3, 2018 | 8:00 p.m. | Byham Theater


Yabin Wang is China’s superstar. One of the most promising and pioneering choreographers in contemporary dance in China, her work was commissioned by English National Ballet and was performed by the company at Sadler’s Wells for their prestigious She Said series. Westerns know her best for her incredible dance in the film House of Flying Daggers.

In her newest work, Moon Opera*, she has collaborated with a multi-disciplinary team of award-winning designers and composers to unveil a dramatic modern-day story of an artist. Through the lens of Chinese culture, contemporary dance tells the story of a Peking Opera performer struggling between her dreams of artistic stardom and the harsh realities of maintaining her traditional role as a woman in society.  *This performance is part of the 2018 Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts.

JESSICA LANG DANCE | Lyric Pieces, The Calling, Glow, Sweet Silent Thought, Thousand Yard Stare

Saturday | January 26, 2019 | 8:00 p.m. | Byham Theater

“Jessica Lang has a knack for conceiving a complete universe in each dance—distinctive in its look, mood, sound and atmosphere.” – Los Angeles Times

Jessica Lang Dance combines exquisitely constructed choreography with striking visual design to the effect of one resounding word: gorgeous! Astoundingly beautiful and emotionally moving, the company will present five unique works. Her signature piece, The Calling, features a solo dancer costumed in a giant white skirt that cascades down and pools widely out onto the stage.

PAUL TAYLOR DANCE COMPANY | Continuum (**choreography by Lila York),
Additional Paul Taylor Dance Company repertory TBA

Saturday | February 23, 2019 | 8:00 p.m. | Byham Theater

Dance maker Paul Taylor continues to shape the homegrown American art of modern dance that he has helped define since he became a professional dancer and pioneering choreographer in 1954. After 60 years as Artistic Director of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, he has begun commissioning a new generation of choreographers to make dances for his company so that modern dance flourishes long into the future.

The evening presentation will include classic Paul Taylor works alongside a new work, Continuum, by former company dancer Lila York. Since her days as a staring dancer with the company, she has gone on to choreograph critically-acclaimed work for top companies such as American Repertory Ballet and The Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble. CAMILLE A. BROWN| ink

Saturday and Sunday | March 9 & 10, 2019 | 8:00 p.m. | August Wilson Center

Camille A. Brown is a prolific Black female choreographer whose work examines the cultural narrative of African American identity. A Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award-winner and Guggenheim Fellowship-recipient, her bold work taps into both ancestral stories and contemporary culture to capture a range of deeply personal experiences.

Drawing on historic and contemporary rhythms and rituals of the African Diaspora, ink examines the culture of Black life that is often appropriated, rewritten, or silenced. Stunning modern dance melds with pedestrian interactions in poignant vignettes about Black superpowers. The work will be performed with live music that blends blues, hip-hop, jazz, and swing.  This performance is presented in partnership with the August Wilson Center for African American Culture.


Saturday | April 13, 2019 | 8:00 p.m. | Byham Theater

Returning to Pittsburgh after its sold-out show in 2013, the TROCKS is drag ballet at its finest. The visionary company of all male dancers has elevated drag to the concert stage like no other. Presenting a playful, entertaining view of traditional, classic ballet in parody form, the company has performed in 34 countries and 600 cities worldwide since its founding in 1974.

The TROCKS highly comedic work exaggerates the foibles, accidents, and underlying incongruities of serious dance. Delicately balancing on toes as swans, sylphs, water sprites, and romantic princesses, the male ballerinas delight and amuse.

Single tickets (as low as $10) for the 2018-2019 Pittsburgh Dance Council season will be available at a later date at, by calling 412-456-6666, or in person at the Box Office at Theater Square, 655 Penn Avenue. Subscription packages are available for: $60-$330. Subscriptions can be purchased in packages of 4 show, with pricing beginning at $40. To subscribe, call 412-456-1390. Groups of 10 or more tickets, please call 412-471-6930. For more information visit,

Pittsburgh Dance Council
The Pittsburgh Dance Council joined the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust as a programming division in 2002. The mission of Pittsburgh Dance Council is to bring the best contemporary dance companies from around the world to the Cultural District. Each season, Pittsburgh Dance Council presents diverse, world-class contemporary works, including U.S. and world premieres.

Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts*
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust will present its fourth Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts—a city-wide, performing and visual arts festival to be held in the Fall of 2018. The festival programming will be announced spring 2018.  Highlights include seven dizzying weeks featuring exclusive events by renowned international artists and contemporary performing arts companies premiering for the first time in the U.S. and in some cases the world. Thirty international companies and artists from eighteen countries will capture your imagination, challenge you to think outside the ordinary and leave you seeing the world in an entirely new way.  Festival events will be presented in association with other Pittsburgh cultural organizations and events, offering visceral experiences for audiences at various traditional and non-traditional venues throughout the downtown Cultural District.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Cultural Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts.

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