I am a former critic at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where I primarily wrote about dance, along with occasional forays into classical music and theater, for 34 years. During that time, I have served on the board of the Dance Critics Association, written for Newsday, Ballet Review and The Chautauquan Daily and appeared as a panelist at the first National Performing Arts Convention. Favorite interviews have included international figures such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Merce Cunningham, Jiri Kylian, Jean-Christophe Maillot and Paul Taylor. But local artists in Pittsburgh’s vibrant landscape have also tapped issues that reach to the heart of dance and, as a result, I still find great pleasure both in theater performances and the creative process to be found in the studio.

CrossCurrents is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, beginning with the unparalleled nighttime view of the city from atop Mt. Washington, surrounded by the tricky currents of its three rivers. The images associated with the title can also tap into the choreographic act itself, where dancers move in sometimes strange and often wonderful ways. It also opens the door for outside opinions and/or guest blogs on virtually any dance topic.

Blog design by Rebecca Himberger.

  • PIFOF: Manifold - We see plenty of ballet onstage at the Benedum Center, mostly from Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, but we’ve never seen a ballet (of sorts) projected onto the facade of the former movie palace. Then came Manifold. There it was — an eight-minute example of projection mapping by Filip Roca and set to an original score by […]
  • PIFOF: Beyond - It’s the signature face of the Festival of Firsts, a tunnel-like structure that sits in a parking lot across Penn Avenue from the Benedum center. Unlike a tunnel, it’s rather transparent, but ringed with lights that have a computer masterminding their dazzling patterns and music. This immersive experience is relatively short — 5-6 minutes — […]
  • PIFOF: Quantum Theatre - The Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts comes around once every five years and I’ve seen virtually everything that its sponsor, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, has had to offer. I feel like it’s taken me around the world and transformed the way I looked at dance in a cross-disciplinary, cross-distance way, with art and theater from […]
  • Dance Beat: New Security Regulations - FYI Arts Lovers: The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust will be instituting new security measures in the near future. Below are the details from the Trust:  After a thorough benchmarking and vetting process against numerous performing arts venues across the country, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is launching enhanced guest entry practices for the Byham Theater, the August […]
  • Dance Beat: An Exciting Dance Fall (Part 2) - Last time, the dance roster included what might be termed the major players, given budget and presence. But it is the small arts initiatives, driven by individual passion and imagination, that give Pittsburgh its richness, its true essence. Try to take in a performance during the coming year: Bodiography. After a summer that took her […]
  • Dance Beat: An Exciting Dance Fall (Part I) - The fall has a special place in dance. Not the season upon us, but the purposeful way of quickly changing levels and embracing the floor. However, Fall 2018 may truly become a singularly memorable time in Pittsburgh dance. Various organizations in the dance community have put together fascinating prospects or, in one instance, have gone above and […]
  • Dance Beat: Paul and Arthur, Arthur and Paul - How sad that two dance giants chose to make their exit in such a quick succession! Paul Taylor is one of two modern dance choreographers born in the Pittsburgh area (the other being Martha Graham). He told me that he lived here in early childhood, but now his birthplace is being listed as Wilkinsburg. Much […]
  • Dance Beat: A New Space Downtown - Point Park University has done it right. It has finished a substantial expansion to its Downtown campus — the new Pittsburgh Playhouse, a theater complex just across from the Tower at PNC Plaza that will add to Pittsburgh’s already vibrant growth. Through the new Playhouse, PPU is embracing the future while it pays homage to […]
  • On Stage: Summer at the CLO - By now, most readers know that CrossCurrents focuses on all things dance, especially when the local scene tapers off, as it did this summer. However, Pittsburgh’s Civic Light Opera took up the slack, with a series of musicals that had plenty to offer in differing choreographic styles. In a thumbnail, there was:   On Your […]
  • Dance Beat: KST, PBT, slowdanger - In the News. Yes, that’s been the case for the Kelly Strayhorn Theater. Two more deserved grants have come its way: The Pittsburgh Foundation will support the organizations Tenth Anniversary KST Presents programming, allowing for a year-long celebration of artists who challenge our perceptions, something that KST does so well. In addition, the Allegheny Regional […]

9 Responses to About

  1. Kiesha Lalama-White says:

    Hi Jane!
    Congratulations on this new project! This site is fabulous! I will spread the word. Best wishes for continued success…

  2. Mary Louise Wotring says:

    How do I subscribe to your blog?

    • jvranish says:

      Hi Mary Louise — I’m looking into that, but it might take a while with the opening of the dance season. However, I’m on Facebook (Jane Vranish) and occasionally write teasers. Thanks for your inquiry — Jane

      • Mary Louise Wotring says:

        Thanks for the info…I’ll bookmark your site for now and send you a Facebook friend-quest…when you do add a subscription feature or create a Facebook site that I can be a “fan” of, add me to your subscriber list if possible…thank you – Mary Louise

  3. Bonnie Crosby says:

    A new chapter of NSAL has been formed. Juanita Jackson, a former Washington, D.C. chapter member is President, Steve Crosby, formerly of the Pittsburgh chapter is V.P. and Bonnie Crosby former Pittsburgh chapter President and Region I Director, is Dance Chair. The 2011 competition will be in Dance (choreography).
    To see the National website go to http://www.arts-nsal.og. Click on Competitions. The names of Dance Chairpersons for each chapter is available on this site. Details of the Chautauqua Area competition is forthcoming.

  4. Adam Butkus says:

    It is always a pleasure to read your columns and opinions. I enjoyed your recent review on PBT’s Dracula. Keep up the great work!

  5. Really enjoy reading the reviews and analysis. Thanks for maintaining a local voice for dance!

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