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Malpaso Dance Company

7. Malpaso Dance Company at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater: February 27 & 28

The buzz about Cuba has been growing since President Obama’s recent decision to normalize diplomatic relations with and ease sanctions imposed on the country—followed by a new bill that proposes to lift all travel restrictions for Americans wanting to visit Cuba as tourists. If you’re like us, you’ve been thinking about travel plans ever since the announcement in January that Allegheny County Airport Authority officials are in discussions with a Florida-based company to start nonstop charter flights to Cuba.

A rich cultural exchange with Cuba is reflected in exciting new programming hosted by the Kelly Strayhorn. Pittsburghers will be among the first to see two world premieres performed by Havana’s own Malpaso Dance Company, making their Pittsburgh debut. The acclaimed troupe will present of Despedida (Farewell), a work choreographed by Malpaso co-founder Osnel Delgado that features an original score by Grammy-award winning musician Arturo O’Farrill. The second work featured was created by the prolific American choreographer Trey McIntyre and commissioned by NYC’s Joyce Theater and Jacob’s Pillow.

The collaboration with Malpaso also includes pre-show mixers, post-show discussions, master class and student matinees. Purchase tickets.

Craving more Cuban culture in your life? Catch the three-time Grammy-nominated Miami-based ensemble Tiempo Libre at The Byham Theater on February 18.

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8. Ira Glass & Monica Bill Barnes Company at The Byham Theater: February 28

Ira Glass recently lit up social media feeds with his poignant “1-Minute Will Change Your Life” video and now the renowned public radio personality is teaming up with the Monica Bill Barnes Company for a US tour of select cities. Yes, that’s right, the beloved host of This American Life is sharing the stage with dancers. Working together to combine two art forms that, as Glass himself has said, “have no business being together–dance and radio,” the heartwarming show debuted in 2013 at New York’s famed Carnegie Hall.

Dubbed “Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host,” the refreshing, witty and endearing production makes for for one very special night of movement and storytelling. Via radio interviews restaged as dance pieces, along with stories from the lives of each of the three performers—Glass, Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass—the show explores the job of being a performer, falling and staying in love and the concept of forever. A marriage of storytelling with and without words, the work has spawned a new kind of art form for the collaborators. See how it all comes together at the end of the month.

Purchase tickets.

Looking for family activities? Check out our Top 10 Family Adventures this February in Pittsburgh feature.