Courtesy Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.

Hartwood Acres
August 21
5 p.m.

The stars will align—on stage and in the sky—when Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT) ushers in its exciting upcoming season at Hartwood Acres.

Courtesy Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.
Courtesy Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.

Setting up shop at the park’s tranquil Middle Road Concert Area, the al fresco evening will blend classical ballet, summer picnicking and family-friendly fun. From grand Russian techniques to contemporary Americana, the special open-air production features something for every ballet fan of any age.

Attendees will be the first to see the company’s 2016-2017 season roster—which showcases the talents of new dancers Daniela Moya, Amanda Potts, Victoria Watford and Yuto Ideno—before the main stage shows officially open in October.

Part of Allegheny County’s ongoing Summer Concert series, Ballet Under the Stars will also feature the debut of an original work set to Balkan music that is choreographed by PBT Corps de Ballet dancer Cooper Verona, and a reprise of two blockbuster works from the company’s most recent season.

Audiences will be swept away by portions of the iconic Russian masterwork, Le Corsaire (The Pirate), which contains some of the most exciting examples of classical dancing around. Watch for the legendary Act II pas de trois—filled with overhead lifts and soaring leaps, and additional scenes set to a score composed by Adolphe Adam, Cesare Pugni, Leo Delibes, Riccardo Drigo and Prince Oldenbourg.

Courtesy Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.
Courtesy Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.

Fans of the Man in Black won’t want to miss the excerpts from James Kudelka’s poignant and pioneering Johnny Cash tribute, which is set to six cover songs the iconic singer-songwriter recorded late in his career.

Families with kids in tow will love the free children’s activities, photo opportunities and hands-on crafts, offered from 5 to 7 p.m.

Make a night of it with the PBT’s special, VIP barbecue dinner catered by Big Black Grill, where you can dine and enjoy cocktails with the company’s dancers and artistic team. The ticketed dinner runs from 5 to 7 p.m.

As part of the festivities, audiences can take advantage of a single ticket pre-sale offer for PBT’s upcoming season, which opens with Gisele on October 28 at the Benedum Center.

And mark your fall calendar now for the Grand Opening of the PBT’s Byham Center for Dance in the Strip District, including a Free Community Day on Sunday, September 25.

The free mixed repertory performance at Hartwood starts at 7:30 p.m.

Looking for more events? Read our 10 Pittsburgh events not to miss in AugustEverything you need to know about Pittsburgh concerts in August and Top 10 things for families to do in August in Pittsburgh feature stories.Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.