Fountain Valley, Calif., August 18, 2017 — Festival Ballet Theatre (FBT), Orange County’s resident professional ballet company, is pleased to announce its 2017-18 season. The year of classic ballet favorites will begin with Alice In Wonderland on October 14 & 15, followed by The Nutcracker from December 9-24, Coppélia on March 24 & 25, concluding with Gala of the Stars in August 2018.
With masterful dancing and delightful whimsy, the Festival Ballet Theatre season opens with Alice in Wonderland on October 14th & 15th. Lewis Carroll's classic tale magically comes to life with a beloved cast of characters - the lovable White Rabbit, the cunning Cheshire Cat, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and the infamous Queen of Hearts. Take a journey down the Rabbit Hole, into Wonderland Garden and through the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, all adorned with fanciful sets, wildly realistic masks and colorful costumes. Choreographed by Emmy Award-winning choreographer Robert Sund to Jean Sibelius' lyrical melodies, Alice in Wonderland is an enchanting adventure that will delight children and adults alike.
Create holiday memories for your family by sharing the magic of the cherished classic, The Nutcracker. Festival Ballet Theatre’s family-friendly, breathtaking production features vibrant scenery and dazzling costumes, which make this age-old tradition sparkle like new. Get swept away by Tchaikovsky’s iconic score as the Sugar Plum Fairy, our heroine Clara, and a cast of hundreds take you on a magical journey to mystical lands. This full-length traditional production is choreographed and directed by Festival Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director, Salwa Rizkalla, and features world-renowned guest artists, FBT's professional company dancers, and exceptional young talent from across the Southland. This year we will be offering a very special seasonal treat; The Nutcracker Tea Party. On select dates, guests will have an opportunity to enjoy tea, lemonade, finger sandwiches and sweet treats with Clara herself. The young star will tell the story of the Nutcracker and talk to her guests about the ballet and her magical adventure. Expect a special appearance by the Nutcracker Prince and his archenemy, the Mouse King, too! Photo opportunities and a party favor for each guest are included in the Nutcracker Tea Party ticket price.
2018 begins with the sentimental comic story of Coppélia which will delight audiences with its humor and intrinsic charm. Set in a small European village, this beloved tale tells the story of an eccentric inventor, Doctor Coppélius, who creates a life-size dancing doll that looks so lifelike, some believe she is real. When young villager, Franz, becomes infatuated with her, he casts aside his true heart's desire, Swanhilda. She in turn, shows him his folly by dressing as the doll and pretending to come to life. Based upon two stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann, Coppélia was originally choreographed by Arthur Saint-Léon, with music by Léo Delibes. Love, laughter and exquisite dancing make Coppélia a ballet to remember.
Details about Festival Ballet Theatre’s Annual Gala Of The Stars, slated for August 2018, will be announced soon.
Single Tickets: Individual tickets for Festival Ballet Theatre’s 2017-18 Season are on sale now at the Irvine Barclay Box Office at 949-854-4646 x. 1 or online at thebarclay.org.
Full Season Purchase Discount: $5 per ticket discount when purchasing the full package of 3 events prior to the first production.
Alice In Wonderland
Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 2:00 pm
Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm
Sunday, December 10, 2017 at 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm
Friday, December 15, 2017 at 7:00 pm
Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm
Sunday, December 17, 2017 at 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm
Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 6:00 pm
Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 6:00 pm
Friday, December 22, 2017 at 7:00 pm
Saturday, December 23, 2017 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm
Sunday, December 24, 2017 at 11:00 am
Tickets: $42-$55 (an additional fee of $20 is added for the Nutcracker Tea opportunity)
Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, March 25, 2018 at 2:00 pm
About Festival Ballet Theatre (FBT)
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 www.festivalballet.org.
About Salwa Rizkalla, Artistic Director
Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla has contributed to the Orange County community for more than 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 area institutions, including Goldenwest College and the Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts.
Many arts organizations have recognized her service. The Orange County Music and Arts Administrators and Orange County Performing Arts Center jointly named her the 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 recognized Ms. Rizkalla with the Helena Modjeska 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.
1. Alice in Wonderland 2012 Photo Credit - Dave Friedman
2. Alice in Wonderland 2012 Photo Credit - Dave Friedman
3. Coppelia 2012 Photo Credit - Dave Friedman
4. Coppelia 2012 Photo Credit - Dave Friedman
5. Nutcracker 2015 Photo Credit – Skye Schmidt
6. Nutcracker 2015 Photo Credit - Skye Schmidt