Thursday, February 10, 2011 , Updated 12:00 a.m., February 18, 2011
Texas Ballet Theater hopes to lure ballet novices
Their performance of "A Taste of Dance" is an abbreviated 40 minute performance geared toward those who aren't (yet) aficionados.
It’s not all pink tights and tutus, at least not when it comes to Texas Ballet Theater’s variety of ballet performance options – and that goes for both the novice and the ballet aficionado.
Founded in 1961 and celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Texas Ballet Theater (TBT) has grown from a small civic dance company into the second largest professional ballet company in Texas with more than 50 performances annually for over 100,000 people.
Indeed, proving there is an interest in ballet in North Texas, the ballet theater also believes there’s always room for more.
While most folks can remember their first performance of the “Nutcracker,” TBT is hoping to show newbie ballet goers even more performance options, particularly with several upcoming performances for first-time patrons called “A Taste of Dance.”
“This is a performance that was arranged specifically for the Fort Worth and Dallas gala evenings celebrating the 50th Anniversary Season,” explains TBT Executive Director Margo McCann. “It’s an abbreviated program both to accommodate the celebration after the show and also for any first time ballet viewers to get a sample of a variety of different styles of ballet.”
With an abridged, 40-minute performance, “A Taste of Dance” includes Three Preludes, Grand Pas Classique, and Jazz Lovin’, a world premiere by TBT’s Artistic Director Ben Stevenson featuring the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts Jazz Ensemble.
“I don’t think people are afraid of ballet; there may just be a lack of understanding of what they’re going to experience,” McCann explains in regard to the theater company’s plans on focusing on and recruiting more interest among first-timers.
In “A Taste of Dance,” you will see one piece performed to Rachmaninoff with a ballet barre on the stage in practice clothes. The second piece features a very classical tutu, and the third piece is set to traditional jazz music danced by a large group, as well as solos and duets.
“Because of the variety of music and styles of dance, “A Taste of Dance” does have a much broader appeal than many people might realize,” McCann adds
Still new to the world of ballet? McCann offers these user-friendly words of advice for first-timers:
Allow yourself a little extra time to sit in the theater prior to the performance to read over the program and enjoy being in the theater.
It’s always OK to applaud, and the dancers appreciate your response.
Relax and allow yourself to take in the entire experience.
Be prepared to be surprised.
“By offering different styles of dance and music, we allow you, our audience member, to explore what style of dance you most enjoy,” McCann says.
As the resident classical ballet company of Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth and the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Winspear Opera House in Dallas, McCann says it’s important to constantly work to build a broader audience while also keeping the current audience interested and entertained.
“A Taste of Dance” can be seen at Fort Worth’s Bass Performance Hall on Saturday, February 19 at 7 p.m. and at Dallas’ Winspear Opera House on Saturday, March 5 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can only be purchased by calling Texas Ballet Theater’s ticket line at 877-828-9200 or by visiting the TBT offices at 1600 Green Oaks Blvd., Fort Worth.
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