When Loyola College invited the Maryland Ballet to take up residency at McManus Theater, it was like "manna from heaven," says artistic director Phillip Carman.
This past winter and spring, the company, suffering financial shortfalls made worse by the recession and the Persian Gulf war, canceled two weekends of performances at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
The Loyola offer allows the ballet to close its fifth anniversary season with performances tomorrow through Sunday, featuring "Tarantella" -- a pas de deux by George Balanchine -- and two world premieres by Carman.
In addition to this weekend's performances, three performances are scheduled at Loyola next year. The college is donating the use of McManus Theater, lighting facilities, the expertise of its technical director and other forms of assistance.
In exchange, the company will teach an introductory ballet course, in hopes of eventually establishing a full-fledged dance department at the college, Carman says.
The Maryland Ballet is also launching a low-key "endangered species" fund-raising campaign, featuring T-shirts emblazoned with endangered ballerinas and pot-luck dinner parties. "The big bucks just aren't around," Carman says. "It's a very homey campaign. People are not stepping forward and saying, 'How many thousands do you need?'"
Maryland Ballet performs at 8 p.m. tomorrow, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 4 p.m. Sunday at Loyola College's McManus Theater.
Admission: $18 to $20. Student and senior discounts are available. Call 576-2400.