Ballet Arkansas Announces 40th Anniversary Season

 

For over 40 years, Ballet Arkansas has been a pillar of the Little Rock community. In 1978, Ballet Arkansas was founded as a non-profit organization and the Board of Directors formed the Ballet Arkansas professional dance company in 2009. Each year the organization has expanded its reach in the community and throughout the state, remaining committed to providing excellent educational and performance experiences in a variety of settings. As the foremost professional ballet company in the State, Ballet Arkansas enters its 40th Anniversary Season with an expanded roster, fresh new energy from the Artistic Team, and an exciting lineup for the 2018/19 season.

Main Stage Performances

A visually stunning world premiere of Dracula at UA – Pulaski Technical Center’s Center for Humanitiesand Arts (CHARTS) kicks of the Ballet Arkansas 2018/19 season. Between the dates of October 19-21, audiences of all ages will be treated to four performances of the classic tale, based on Bram Stoker’s telling. A full-length production, Dracula is suitable for children of all ages, and features high resolution mixed media projections, and 360 sound. Combining the beauty of visual art and breathtaking original choreography by Artistic Director, Michael Fothergill, Dracula tells the story of love and loss, and will keep audiences on the edge of their seats. Performances Friday, October 19, 7pm, Saturday, October 20 2pm/7pm, and Sunday, October 21, 2pm. Tickets will be $30-35 for individual tickets, $20-25 for student/senior, and $15 for 12 and under. Tickets go on sale June 14, 2018.

Accompanied by the talented musicians of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Arkansas is pleased to present the 40th Annual Nutcracker Spectacular at the Robinson Performance Hall on December 7 –9th for four performances. This magical production features nearly 200 local children and adults, in addition to the professional artists of Ballet Arkansas. “The Nutcracker is a beloved Holiday classic that families look forward to each year as a part of their traditions, and this year’s production features fully updated choreography, a handful of holiday surprises, and much more!” says Associate Artistic Director,Catherine Fothergill. Get your “Sweet Seats” to receive a special gift with your purchase and sit in the best seats in the house! Performances Friday, December 7, 7pm, Saturday, December 8 2pm/7pm, and Sunday, December 9, 2pm. Tickets $23 – 73 and $99 for “Sweet Seats”. Tickets go on sale June 1, 2018.

The second of their annual Winter productions, Fire & Rain is the perfect storm! Join Ballet Arkansas at the CHARTS Theater at UA Pulaski Tech on February 14 – 17th and experience a brilliant program, with something for every taste! Fire & Rain combines the drama and precision of classical ballet with the power and athleticism of contemporary dance. Enjoy the romantic Romeo & Juliet Balcony Scene, a Tribute to the music of James Taylor choreographed by Artistic Director Michael Fothergill, and a fiery Don Quixote suite! Performances Thursday, February 14, 7pm, Friday, February 15, 7pm, Saturday, February 16 2pm/7pm, and Sunday, February 17, 2pm. Tickets will be $30-35 for individual tickets, $20- 25 for student/senior, and $15 for 12 and under. Tickets go on sale June 14, 2018.

The perfect finish to the season, their wildly popular collaboration with internationally acclaimed musician Dr. Drew Mays returns for a second year. Forte hits the stage at UA – Pulaski TechnicalCollege’s Center for Humanities and Arts on May 3 – 5th for four performances. Presented in part by the Stella Boyle Smith Trust, Forte is a dynamic mixed repertory program featuring some of the most prolific classical and contemporary dance pieces of today. Audience members will be mesmerized by the grace and athleticism of contemporary creations by world renowned choreographer Ma Cong, and Artistic Director, Michael Fothergill. Swan Lake Suite, and George Balanchine’s Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, bring the beauty of classical ballet to the forefront. Dr. Drew Mays will accompany the Swan Lake Suite and Michael Fothergill’s new creation. Performances Friday, May 3, 7pm, Saturday, May 4 2pm/7pm, and Sunday, May 5, 2pm. Tickets will be $30-35 for individual tickets, $20-25 for student/senior, and $15 for 12 and under. Tickets go on sale June 14, 2018.

Children’s Series

Ballet Arkansas’ popular Children’s Series returns for the second year. On February 17, 2019 at 12:00 pm, for one performance only, Ballet Arkansas presents a highly interactive Mary Poppins at the UA Pulaski Tech CHARTS Theater. Children are invited on stage to participate in songs and dances with none other than Mary Poppins herself! Featuring video projection and 360 sound, young audiences will leave mesmerized by this incredible performance. The final production of the 2018/19 Children’s Series, The Ugly Duckling on May 5, 2019 at 12:00 pm, is a timeless tale that teaches children to accept others along with their differences. Featuring laugh out loud comedy, The Ugly Duckling is a stimulating look at life, and delicately confronts the issue of bullying. The Ugly Duckling is the perfect production for children of all ages. Tickets for Ballet Arkansas Children’s Series Productions will be $10 for children and $15 for adults. Tickets go on sale June 14, 2018.

Tours

Ballet Arkansas is looking forward to taking Dracula to the Reynolds Performance Hall at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas on October 14th for one performance. Based on Bram Stoker’s telling, Dracula is a full-length story ballet that features breathtaking original choreography by Artistic Director, Michael Fothergill, and is appropriate for all ages. Combining the beauty of visual art and mixed multimedia, Dracula tells the story of love and loss. More details at balletarkansas.org and http://uca.edu/publicappearances/ to be released Summer 2018.

Special Events

Ballet Arkansas will host several special events, such as the 40th Anniversary Season Kick Off Party on September 15th, 2018, The Land of the Sweets Nutcracker Tea on December 9th, 12:00pm on the Robinson Center Stage, the Winter Wine Taste sponsored by Colonial Wines and Spirits on January 19th, 2019, The Art Movement with Matt McLeod Fine Art Gallery on April 5th, 2019, and the 8th Annual Turning Pointe Gala in March of 2019. These special events bring people of all backgrounds together for an exhilarating experience, and all events feature a live, up close, performance by Ballet Arkansas.

“Ballet Arkansas’ 40th Anniversary Season is a perfect time to honor our past and forge new pathwaysthat will last for the next 40 years,” says Associate Artistic Director Catherine Fothergill. “Ballet Arkansasstrives to provide our community with a variety of enriching and exhilarating programming, both educational and collaborative.”

Partnerships

Ballet Arkansas and the Arkansas Arts Center are finalizing a long-term partnership. Both organizations are on board and are beginning to investigate funding for the collaborative projects, which we are both very optimistic will be achieved.

“Our 40th Anniversary brings with it the announcement of new community partnerships that help take Ballet Arkansas to the next level. As an organization we want to think outside the box and positively impact people from all walks of life. If you are a new face to the organization or a season supporter, there is always something exciting to see at Ballet Arkansas,” says Executive and Artistic Director, Michael Fothergill.

Learn more about Ballet Arkansas’ 40th Anniversary Season at www.balletarkansas.org.

About Ballet Arkansas

Ballet Arkansas, the foremost professional ballet company of the State of Arkansas, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Through a roster of talented artists and dancers, Ballet Arkansas presents vibrant and diverse repertory featuring classical, neoclassical, and contemporary works by world renowned choreographers. A driving force in the State, Ballet Arkansas is committed to creative collaboration, community outreach, high quality dance education, the evolution of arts programming across the region, and is devoted to making high quality professional dance performance accessible to all. The productions of Ballet Arkansas promise to enrich the lives of all in attendance. Under the artistic direction of Michael and Catherine Fothergill, Ballet Arkansas enters the 2018/19 season with renewed energy, bold programming, and plans for growth.

Photo by Jamison Mosley

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