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Building on its partnership with Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater (PBT) created "Brand New Day," a tribute to rock star Sting, for the final performance of its Spring 2002 season. According to Steven Libman, PBT's managing director, audiences approached "Brand New Day" with the kind of high expectations they've enjoyed ever since "Indigo in Motion" expanded their sense of what's possible.
"We raised the bar for ourselves," said Libman. "Our audiences are expecting new and wonderful things from us, and so far, we've been able to exceed their expectations."
"Brand New Day" featured two short ballets set to the music of Sting and a third set to a live jazz band performing the music of Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Benny Goodman and a Latino big band. The show was a hit with PBT's traditional audience as well as a new, younger audience, surpassing all previous audience satisfaction surveys measurements.
Now, PBT faces the challenge of keeping the innovations, and the audiences, coming.
"We're continuing to work with Manchester Craftsmen's Guild because we feel we've just scratched the surface of Pittsburgh's rich jazz heritage," Libman explained. "We're also exploring the work of other pop artists, such as Paul Simon and Carly Simon, performers whose music withstands the test of time and crosses the generations. We know that the audiences and the material are there; we just need the support to make it happen."