Point Park University's Conservatory Dance Company presents Pittsburgh Connections Nov. 13 - 15 and 20-22 at the George Rowland White Performance Studio on the downtown campus. The program features the work of Marissa Balzer, Jeffrey Bullock, Patrick Frantz and Kristofer Storey; all four are seasoned artists with Pittsburgh roots.
Things Behind the Sun was choreographed by Marissa Balzer. Balzer, a Point Park alumna, is founder and artistic director of rEvolve Dance Theater, a contemporary company that debuted in the winter of 2006. Previously in 2002, she was named an "Outstanding Choreographer" by the American College Dance Festival for her work Beautiful... Still. She is also an instructor for Pittsburgh Youth Ballet and Abbey Lee Dance Company.
Trio for Four, a neoclassical ballet piece, is choreographed by Jeffrey Bullock, a former dancer for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. He has also performed with the North Carolina Dance Theater, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Bullock's work At Midnight earned him a Dance Magazine's nomination for Best Choreography at the 1996 ACDFA at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He is currently an associate professor in the dance department of Hollins University.
Patrick Frantz is a Point Park guest faculty member and former artistic director of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. His piece, Coté Jardin, is an original work for the University and was inspired by the whimsical gardens of Versailles. Frantz trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School and was named Premier Danseur of the Paris Opera Ballet in
1966. He has also worked with the Pennsylvania Ballet and New City Ballet of Maryland. Frantz was also the artistic director of the Tucson Ballet, and founded the Tucson Ballet School during his time there. During his illustrious career, Frantz has worked with Serge Lifar, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Yvette Chauvire, Maurice Bejart, Leonide Massine, Mikhael Baryshnikov, Roland Petit, Harald Lander, George Skibine, John Butler, Milko Sparemblek, Gene Kelly and Kenneth McMillan.
Kristofer Storey is a former dancer with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. His contemporary/modern piece Stimela (what is African debt?) will be performed in the program. Winner of the Hubbard Street 2 2000 National Choreography Competition, Storey has also worked with Alvin Ailey, Parker Robinson Dance, Donald Byrd/The Group, and Dancers Responding to AIDS.
Pittsburgh Connections performances run for two weekends: Nov. 13 through Nov. 15 and Nov. 20 through Nov. 22 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 -$20 and can be purchased by calling the Pittsburgh Playhouse box office at 412-621-4445 or online at www.pittsburghplayhouse.com.