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‘The Dirty Ball’ raises money for Attack Theatre with good, dirty fun

Performers in 'The Dirty Ball'
Performers in 'The Dirty Ball'Mark Simpson

Attack Theatre's 'The Dirty Ball'

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Attack Theatre’s annual fundraiser, “The Dirty Ball,” continues its reign as one of Pittsburgh’s hottest parties of the year. This time, directors of the company, Michele de la Reza and Peter Kope, transformed an ordinary South Side warehouse into a spectacular site for celebrating with hundreds of people.

The Dirty Donor Reception kicked off the festivities with specialty cocktails from Tender, wine, beer, and catered food from E2. The private party also featured a performance of “A Tiny Droplet of a Portrait.” Kaitlin Dann and Brent Luebbert performed the duet, accompanied by Chatham Baroque musicians.

As the sun set over downtown from the huge windows of the building’s top floor, we were ushered downstairs where the soiree officially began. As always, fashion for the party was “anything goes.” Some came in costume, abiding by the theme of “pirates and robots.” Some wore their most elegant attire. And some went “dirty,” scantily clad and ever creative.

While it is difficult to enjoy everything the event has to offer, guests delighted in the various games set up throughout the space. Near one end, a volunteer asked us to choose whose bare bottom we were seeing on a screen. Did the thonged buttocks belong to Miley Cyrus or Heidi Klum? We laughed, and easily played along.

Attack is always known to include games that inspire our artistic nature. In one corner, we were encouraged to dance in front of a camera that projected our movements onto a digital pirate and robot on the large screen above. And near the stage, a few long tables were set up with plenty of paper, markers and crayons for our best visual art.

Of course, there was dance throughout the evening. Behind various installations, performers moved in silhouette, using willowy gestures. In Richard Parsakian’s famous Velvet Lounge for VIPs, soloists improvised behind the swanky bar.

The main stage was where the group dancing took place. Kope led his troupe of pirates through a journey at sea where Jeff Davis was made to walk the plank, and Liz Chang (in her final performance with Attack) was plucked from the water as a mermaid and manipulated around the stage on her fins while ZZ Top’s “Legs” blared overhead.

The dance floor remained packed throughout the evening. One young woman glided around her friends on rollerblades. An older gentleman in a long, straight skirt moved solo to his own rhythm, while a younger man in a shiny unitard and sneakers bounced about. Mostly, clusters of party goers spun and shook and cheered as they joined in or watched with enthusiasm.

All in all, there was something for everyone at the event. A bit of grit for the adventurous, and a dose of class for those who love luxury. As always, there was an outpouring of creativity that makes Attack Theatre what they are today, an artistic staple in Pittsburgh that not only shares their clever and high-caliber dance with the community, but more importantly, motivates us to live our lives with imagination and good, dirty fun.