Star-studded roster revealed for Orange County’s Festival Ballet Theatre’s 10th Anniversary of GALA OF THE STARS

Star-studded roster revealed for Orange County’s Festival Ballet Theatre’s 10th Anniversary of GALA OF THE STARS

One night only: Friday, August 18 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Guests are invited to experience an unforgettable night of dance featuring world-renowned guest artists from American Ballet Theatre, The Royal Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and New York City Ballet.

Fountain Valley, Calif.| June 8, 2017 World-renowned ballet artists will share the stage for one spectacular night of dance at Festival Ballet Theatre's 10th Annual Gala of the Stars, held at Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

Festival Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla has confirmed performances by these stunning guest artists: Misty Copeland and Alexandre Hammoudi of American Ballet Theatre, Sarah Lamb and Ryoichi Hirano of The Royal Ballet, Yuan Yuan Tan and Vitor Luiz of San Francisco Ballet and Gonzalo Garcia of New York City Ballet.

Three acts of stunning performances will be presented in this amazing evening, showcasing the stars of today and future stars of tomorrow. In the first act, young protégés will demonstrate their talent as a final step in their three weeks of intensive training with distinguished instructors including Jean-Yves Esquerre, Artistic Director of the Dutch National Ballet Academy, Christopher Powney, Artistic Director of The Royal Ballet School, Larissa Saveliev, Founder and Artistic Director of Youth America Grand Prix and Patrick Armand, Associate Director of San Francisco Ballet School. Two acts follow featuring the most prestigious stars of today. Orange County audiences will be treated to rarely seen repertoire from Kenneth MacMillan, Yuri Possokhov and Edwaard Liang.

"The dancers... are an undeniable draw. It is rare to see these dancers sharing the stage together, “ – Dance Critic Laura Bleiberg.

GALA OF THE STARS TICKETS or (714) 556-2787

Friday, August 18 at 6:00 PM Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Prices: $65 - $95


$200 - A gourmet dinner with the stars will be held immediately following the performance at Leatherby’s Café Rouge. Tickets can be purchased by visiting


Festival Ballet Theatre welcomes the opportunity to work with local businesses/individuals as sponsors of the Gala of The Stars. Information regarding sponsorship is available by visiting

*Guest artist and event information may be subject to change without notice.

About Festival Ballet Theatre

Festival Ballet Theatre is a nonprofit organization founded in 1988 by Salwa Rizkalla. Its mission is to enrich Orange County’s artistic and economic vitality, to inspire love and appreciation for dance, and to invigorate ballet by:

• Presenting a season of exhilarating classical and contemporary performances,

• Providing a nurturing environment for dancers and choreographers,

• Offering stimulating educational outreach programs.

For more information, visit

About Salwa Rizkalla

Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla has served the Orange County community for over 30 years by presenting excellence in dance performance through Festival Ballet Theatre, and providing top-tier classical ballet training at Southland Ballet Academy.

During her professional dancing career, Ms. Rizkalla graced the stage in leading roles in well-known classical ballets as well as contemporary pieces. She had the privilege of working under the direction of world-renowned choreographers Leonid Lavrovsky and Serge Lifar. As a young dancer, Ms. Rizkalla trained in the Russian Vaganova method and studied with ballet masters of the Bolshoi and the Kirov. As the culmination of her training, Ms. Rizkalla completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ballet Pedagogy. She established Southland Ballet Academy in 1983 and debuted Festival Ballet Theatre in 1988. In addition to teaching and directing, Ms. Rizkalla was a faculty member of several local area institutions.

Ms. Rizkalla’s contributions have been recognized by many local organizations. She was named Orange County Arts Educator of the Year Award for Secondary Dance (2003); Youth America Grand Prix awarded Ms. Rizkalla Outstanding Teacher accolades (2002, 2004, 2005, 2012 and 2017), and Arts Orange County also recognized Ms. Rizkalla with the Helena Modjeska Lifetime Achievement Cultural Legacy Award (2014).

Ms. Rizkalla has been honored to impact the lives of hundreds of students and their families through her teaching. She is proud to be a dedicated educator, an energetic promoter of the arts, and an active participant in the cultural life of her community.


Misty Copeland and Alexandre Hammoudi of American Ballet Theatre
Sarah Lamb and Ryoichi Hirano of The Royal Ballet
Yuan Yuan Tan and Vitor Luiz of San Francisco Ballet