Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre to perform Wednesday at Chautauqua

CHAUTAUQUA – In a one-night-only performance, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre will perform on tour in the open-air amphitheater of the scenic Chau-tauqua Institution Wednes-day at 8:15 p.m.

As part of the 2013 Summer performance lineup, PBT will present a trio of works featuring the distinct styles of three ballet innovators.

PBT presents an encore performance of Mark Morris’ bright and energetic “Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes” set to 13 playful piano etudes by American composer Virgil Thomson.

Described as “undeviating in his devotion to music,” Morris’ “Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes” immerses dancers in a joyful exploration of Thomson’s unconventional score and an inventive interpretation of classical ballet vocabulary. Originally choreographed in 1988 for American Ballet Theatre, PBT gave this work its Pittsburgh premiere in March at the August Wilson Center.

Antony Tudor’s 20th Century masterpiece “Jardin Aux Lilas (Lilac Garden)” paints a poignant portrait of the Edwardian Era through the bittersweet farewell of two lovers and the music of Ernest Chausson’s “Poeme for violin and orchestra Opus 28.” Despite its brief 18 minutes, “Jardin Aux Lilas” is a true story ballet.

Free from mime and extraneous gestures, the story is held solely in the steps as Caroline, on the eve of her marriage to the man she does not love, parts from her lover at a garden reception. The party encapsulates the repressed emotion of the characters amid the societal restraints of the Edwardian Era.

At the time of its 1936 world premiere, “Jardin Aux Lilas” broke with balletic conventions by placing dancers in colloquial Edwardian dress and society rather than the fanciful settings of the classical story ballets. Rooted in pure, classical style, Tudor distinguished his choreography with emotional exploration of realistic situations that challenged dancers to project the ballet’s meaning through clear intention in each step.

The worlds of popular American music and ballet converge in “Step Touch,” featuring the fast-paced contemporary choreography of Dwight Rhoden set to a dozen hits of the Doo Wop Era, including “Under the Boardwalk,” “Up on the Roof” and “This Magic Moment.” Rhoden pairs his own distinct movement vocabulary with the signature movements of the Doo Wop groups, such as simple patterns danced in unison and that famous “Step Touch.”

For more information about visiting Chautauqua Institution and purchasing performance tickets, visit www.chqtickets.com/ or call 357-6250.