Star-studded roster revealed for Orange County’s Festival Ballet Theatre’s GALA OF THE STARS One night only: Friday, August 12 at Irvine Barclay Theatre

Guests are invited to experience an unforgettable night of dance featuring world-renowned guest artists from American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Staatsballet Berlin, and the Mariinsky Theatre


Fountain Valley, Calif.| May 25, 2016 World-renowned ballet artists will share the stage for one spectacular night of dance at Festival Ballet Theatre's 9th Annual Gala of the Stars, held at the intimate Irvine Barclay Theatre.

Festival Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla has confirmed performances by these stunning guest artists: Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild of New York City Ballet, Maria Kochetkova, Daniil Simkin, and Cory Stearns of American Ballet Theatre; Xander Parrish of The Mariinsky Theatre; Yuan Yuan Tan of San Francisco Ballet; Mari Kawanishi and Frederico Spallitta of Staatsballet Berlin;  Constantine Allen of Stuttgart Ballet; Southland Ballet Academy alumni Agnes Su, an Irvine native who now dances with Stuttgart Ballet; and Southland Ballet Academy alumni and Huntington Beach native Jamie Kopit, who performs with the American Ballet Theatre.

During this evening of unforgettable performances, ballet icons will perform classical repertory as well as contemporary highlights, along with FBT’s own accomplished resident dancers.  

VIP ticket buyers have the opportunity to meet and dine with the guest artists at a post-show reception at the Irvine Barclay Theatre.

"The dancers... are an undeniable draw. It is rare to see these dancers sharing the stage together, “ observed dance critic Laura Bleiberg of this evening of dance.

TICKETS or (949) 854-4646

Friday, August 12 at 7:00 PM


VIP Package: $200
Tier 1 seating, intermission wine and hors d’oeuvres in the Irvine Barclay Jade Room, signed program, commemorative Gala of the Stars T-shirt, and gourmet dinner with the stars following the performance at the Irvine Barclay

Youth VIP Package: $175

Tier 1 Tickets: $75

Tier 2 Tickets: $65


About Festival Ballet Theatre

Founded in 1988 by Salwa Rizkalla, Festival Ballet Theatre (FBT) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting works that epitomize the artistry of classical and contemporary ballet, offering cultural awareness of dance through educational programs, and nurturing a creative environment for choreographers and some of Orange County’s most talented dancers. 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 from 2002-2015, and Arts Orange County and 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.

Photo Credits:

1. Agnes Su and Constantine Allen; PC-Dave Friedman

2. Daniil Simkin; PC-Dave Friedman

3. Jamie Kopit and Patrick Frenette; PC-Dave Friedman

4. Mari Kawanishi and Alexander Shpak; PC-Dave Friedman

5. Maria Kochetkova and Daniil Simkin; PC-Dave Friedman

6. Tiler Peck and Robbie Fairchild; PC-Dave Friedman

7. Maria Kochetkova; PC-VAM Productions

8. Xander Parish and Lauren Cutherbertson; PC-Dave Friedman

9. Yuan Yuan Tan; PC-Dave Friedman

10. Yuan Yuan Tan and Damian Smith;PC-Dave Friedman

11. Cory Stearns; PC-Dave Friedman