Ballet Theatre of Md. kicks off new season

Dance: A dedication ceremony offers a glimpse of the group's new annex and the programs slated to begin this fall.


Arundel Live

August 26, 2004|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Ballet Theatre of Maryland's artistic director Dianna Cuatto - fresh from last Saturday's memorial tribute to Edward Stewart that included her restaging of Stewart's Sapphire Romance - now turns her attention to the dedication ceremony for the BTM's annex Saturday from noon until 5 p.m.

Free and open to the public, the dedication will include mini-classes in jazz, ballet and flamenco, performances by BTM dancers, class registration, face painting for children and door prizes that will include free ballet season subscriptions.

The ballet's new Conti-Lubrano Building includes office space and two large studios covering 2,400 square feet.

Although BTM has signed a three-year lease at the facility, Cuatto said the company still is a resident at Maryland Hall, where ballet classes continue.

On Sept. 12, auditions will be held for dancers age 6 to adult to perform in The Nutcracker as Chinese sticks, shepherdesses, princesses, courtiers, Arabian attendants and gypsies. Cuatto said "all of the parts will challenge the young dancers."

Ballet Theatre of Maryland starts its season with The Legend of Sleepy Hollow on Oct. 22 and 23. Opening night will feature a wine-tasting event. The Sunday matinee will feature a Halloween party for children.

Based on Washington Irving's story, Cuatto says, "It is not as scary as Johnny Depp's movie - although I may borrow an idea or two, this version will not be at all gruesome. Instead this version will be more magical with a touch of humor."

Rounding out the program will be Cuatto's "Italian Symphonette," a neoclassical work in honor of the 100th anniversary of famed choreographer George Balanchine's birth.

On Dec. 11, 12 and 19, a new, Cuatto-choreographed Nutcracker that promises a few surprises will be presented with musical accompaniment by J. Ernest Green conducting the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra and Chorale for at least two of the performances.

The season will continue next year with an "All American Gala" on Feb. 19 and 20 that will feature a Native American's journey through urban culture in a performance called "Primal Dreams," choreographed by Cuatto.

The gala will also feature a very organic work, "Recent Arrivals," choreographed by Colin Connors, that tells the story of immigrants set to the music of Schubert's "Ninth Symphony."

A pas de deux danced to Gershwin's music will be created by Bryan Skates in his choreographic debut, and will feature special effects and lighting.

The season closes April 9 and 10 with An American Southwest Carmen, accompanied by a Latino Cultural Festival.

Set in Colorado in 1847 during the Mexican-American War, Cuatto's show will feature classical elements in addition to flamenco and Native American fandango danced to Bizet's music.

The program will include two short pieces: Ravel's "Bolero" and Joaquim Rodrigo's "Concerto de Aranjuez."

Series subscriptions may be ordered by calling 410-263-8289.

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