This weekend brings a whole host of Pittsburgh dance to the stage, from local favorites to newer, visiting artists.
Last weekend, Attack Theatre premiered their latest work, “Soap Opera.” But the show will continue its run with five additional shows, beginning tonight. Known for their light-hearted and humorous choreography, this show veers into a more serious realm.
Directors of the company, Michele de la Reza and Peter Kope, have always been interested in opera. Long before they began choreographing for operas in Pittsburgh, de la Reza spent a childhood surrounded by classical singers. Before transitioning into dance, she performed with a children’s chorus in Houston.
In “Soap Opera,” the two were originally inspired by the epic themes of opera - love, betrayal, remorse, and of course, death. They turned to the tale of Scheherazade to hone in on one particularly relatable story. Of course, they put their own, contemporary spin on the classic. In short, Katarina and George, a musical duo, fall in love and tour together. But George is dying prematurely. Katarina will do anything to lengthen his life, and reads to him to “prolong the inevitable.”
The show is set in two acts (with a surprise transformation of the space for the second half), and features eight dancers. In addition, local actor Mark Staley, and Pittsburgh Opera’s Nicole Rodin, will join the cast.
De la Reza says, “The show is about the process of saying goodbye. It is something that we feel very comfortable can translate to a more global understanding.
The show runs February 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th at 8:00 p.m., and February 10th at 2:00 p.m. at The George R. White Studio (Attack Theatre and Pittsburgh Opera Building). 2425 Liberty Avenue, Strip District. Click HERE for tickets.
The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater will host its annual “Next Stage Residency,” where talented choreographers are provided the opportunity to create new material during a week long creative residency that culminates in an informal performance.
T. Lang and her company explore complex cultural traditions. In her piece, “Mother/Mutha,” she looks at our own American history. She says, “For this work, I researched literature of the courageous Harriet Jacobs, the sinister Willie Lynch, and the images of the audacious Kara Walker to reveal the unspoken pain and fortitude brought about by atrocious acts in the pursuit of capitalism and power."
Mazarick brings a humorous style that uses text and movement to convey her images. In “Calvary, Calvary,” themes of “horses, guns, empty landscapes, loneliness, and Christian symbolism will be explored through movement, gestures, and character studies.” Local dancers, Jil Stifel and Darcy Shattner, will perform in this work-in-progress.
The show will run one night only, February 9th, 8:00 p.m. (7:00 mixer) at The Alloy Studios in Friendship (the former Dance Alloy Theater). Click HERE for tickets.
Lastly, another residency at the Pearl Arts Studios will conclude with a studio showing this weekend. On Friday, local artists, Beth Ratas and Maree ReMalia, will present work they have created over their time at the space.
Ratas collaborated with cellist, Gordon Kirkwood, in her piece, “walk barefoot and the thorns will hurt you.” The title is an Iraqui-Turkmen proverb that warns against “those who challenge societal norms.” Ratas says the story of Eve “explores choice, wonder, and decision on her own terms.”
ReMalia and Hyunjung Lee created a duet called “slants,” using their influences in an array of dance styles including Korean, classical ballet, and the Gaga movement language. For their first two months of working together, they solely used Skype and video. In addition to the duet, ReMalia will also share a preview of her documentary, Gagadim, “which showcases the diverse group of dancers from the first official Gaga Teacher Training.”
The show runs one night only, February 8th, 8:00 p.m. at the Pearl Arts Studios, 201 N. Braddock Avenue in Point Breeze. Tickets are $10 at the door.