Maryland Ballet finds a new home at Loyola theater

April 04, 1991|By Eric Siegel

The Maryland Ballet, which has canceled half its current subscription series because of financial troubles, announced yesterday it is establishing a residency at Loyola College that will begin next month with three performances at the college's McManus Theatre.

The troupe will also stage its entire 1991-'92 subscription series at McManus, which Loyola is providing free of charge, company and college officials said.

The move from the Baltimore Museum of Art's Meyerhoff Auditorium, the ballet's previous home, to McManus will save the company about $20,000 for its May 10-12 performances and about three times that much next year in rental and staging costs, the ballet's acting executive director, Daniel Kane, said.

He said the residency would also make it easier for the company to schedule its performances.

"I'm very excited. I think it's an ideal situation at this point in terms of our growth," said Mr. Kane, a co-founder of the 5-year-old company.

The ballet still needs to raise $100,000 to erase a deficit that led it to lay off its 12 dancers and cancel performances in January and March, Mr. Kane said. The company is planning a special mailing to 7,000 past ticket buyers, a May 18 phonathon and a May 26 fund-raising party and hopes to have the money in hand by May 30, enabling it to start next season with "a clean bill of health," he said.

"We hope the May performances will galvanize the community," he said of the last three dates on the company's current season, which had been in jeopardy until yesterday's announcement.

The residency came about after Loyola officials, aware of the ballet's financial troubles, contacted the Maryland Ballet earlier this year.

Jim Dockery, associate professor in the college's fine arts department and the liaison between the school and the ballet, said Loyola saw an opportunity to aid an ailing arts institution as well as boost its own course offerings.

"We have all the arts except dance," he said. "What is being explored right now is having classes in dance as part of our fine arts curriculum. Our firm hope is that this fall we will begin having a dance class."

The ballet will recall its dancers two weeks before its May performances, described as a "choreographers' showcase," at McManus, Mr. Kane said. The theater on the campus at Charles Street and Cold Spring Lane seats 325, comparable to the 363 seats in the BMA's Meyerhoff Auditorium, he said.

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