Tag Archives: International Ballet Theater

Get Crackin’

Get into the holiday spirit with any one of these Nutcracker productions, from the traditional to Nearly Naked, offer across Dallas-Fort Worth. Plus a list of other holiday dance.

The Nutcracker from Texas Ballet Theate. Photo: Steven Visneau

It’s that time of year again! In between all the shopping, decorating and baking you have planned this holiday season make sure you set some time aside to check out one of the numerous Nutcracker productions being offered by many of the professional and pre-professional dance companies across Dallas-Fort Worth. For audiences west of the DFW Airport, Texas Ballet Theater will be running Ben Stevenson’s version of The Nutcracker for multiple weekends at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth. Additionally, Ballet Frontier of Texas and North Central Civic Ballet will be presenting their annual Nutcracker performances at Will Rogers Auditorium.

For residents north of Dallas there are myriad Nutcrackers to choose from, including versions by LakeCities Ballet Theatre in Lewisville, Festival Ballet of North Central Texas in Denton, and Allen Civic Ballet in Allen. The Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson, will soon be bursting with holiday cheer when Chamberlain Performing Arts, Dallas Repertoire Ballet, Royale Ballet Dance Academy, Tuzer Ballet and Collin County Ballet Theatre bring their Nutcracker productions here beginning Thanksgiving weekend and continuing till Christmas. The Irving Arts Center is another popular venue for local Nutcracker productions, including versions by Ballet Ensemble of Texas, International Ballet Theater and Momentum Dance Company. And in Dallas the Moscow Ballet returns to McFarlin Auditorium at Southern Methodist University with its rendition of The Great Russian Nutcracker, featuring new costumes and set designs.

You can even hear Tchaikovsky’s full Nutcracker played by the Dallas Symphony, without dancers, if you’re so inclined.

And if you are in need of a change this season, check out any number of the holiday dance shows being offered, including Avant Chamber Ballet’s Holiday Celebration at Dallas City Performance Hall; Epiphany DanceArts Tis the Season at the Eisemann; Texas Ballet Theater’s The Nutty Nutcracker at Bass Performance Hall; and even a burlesque show in Dallas aptly named Nearly Naked Nutcracker. A full list of all the Nutcrackers and holiday productions in the area can be found below.

Sarah Lane (ABT) and Daniel Ulbricht (NYCB) as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier in LBT’s 2014 version of The Nutcracker. Photo: Nancy Loch

Nov. 20-21 Ballet Frontier of Texas presents The Nutcracker with choreography by Chung-Lin Tseng at Will Rogers Auditorium in Fort Worth. $40-$50. Call 817-689-7310 or visit www.balletfrontier.org

Nov. 20-22 Moscow Ballet return to Dallas with its rendition of The Great Russian Nutcracker at Southern Methodist University’s McFarlin Auditorium. This year’s production features new costumes for Act I by designer Arthur Oliver and two new backdrops by Academy Award Nominee Carl Sprague. $28-$88. Call 800-745-3000 or visit www.tickmaster.com

Nov. 27-29 Chamberlain Performing Arts annual showing of The Nutcracker featuring New York City Ballet Principal’s Tiler Peck and Tyler Angle at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson. $15-$100. Call 972-744-4650 or visit www.eisemanncenter.com

Nov. 27-29 Momentum Dance Company brings the holiday tale to life with choreography by Jacquelyn Ralls Forcher at the Irving Arts Center. $15-$25. Call 972-252-2787 or visit www.irvingartscenter.com

Nov. 28-29 LakeCities Ballet Theatre celebrates its 25th annual production of The Nutcracker which features live music from Lewisville Lake Symphony and guest artists Sarah Lane of American Ballet Theater and Daniel Ulbricht of New York City Ballet. $20-$45. Call 972-317-7987 or visitwww.lakecitiesballet.org

Dec. 4-6 Dallas Ballet Company presents The Nutcracker featuring guest artists April Daly and Miguel Blanco from Joffrey Ballet at the Granville Arts Center in Garland. $23-$24. Call 972-205-2790 or visit www.garlandarts.com

Dec. 5 Local dancers Harry Feril (Bruce Wood Dance Project) and Yulia Ilina (Avant Chamber Ballet) join theInternational Ballet Theater for its production of The Nutcracker Sweet at the Irving Arts Center. $28-$38. Call 972-252-2787 or visit www.irvingartscenter.com

Dec. 5-6 Ballet Ensemble of Texas, under the direction of Joffrey alum Lisa Slagle, presents the holiday classic at the Irving Arts Center. $25-$30. Call 972-252-2787 or visit www.irvingartscenter.com

Dec. 5-6 Rowlett Dance Academy presents its 14th annual production of The Nutcracker at Garland High School. $10. Call 972-475-8269 or visit www.rowlettdanceacademy.com

Dec. 5-6 Royale Ballet Dance Academy offering of The Nutcracker at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson. $20-$25. Call 972-744-4650 or visit www.eisemanncenter.com

Dec. 5-6 North Central Civic Ballet’s rendition of The Nutcracker at the Will Rogers Auditorium in Fort Worth. $30. Visit www.nutcrackertickets.com

Dec. 5-10 New York City Ballet brings George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker to the big screen in various movies across the DFW Metroplex. $16-$18 Adult. Visit www.fathomevent.com 

Dec. 11-27 Texas Ballet Theater takes the stage with Ben Stevenson’s version of The Nutcracker at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth. Call 877-828-9200 or visit www.texasballettheater.org

Dec. 11-13 Dallas Repertoire Ballet brings its rendition of the beloved holiday tale to the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson. $22-$42. Call 972-744-4650 or visitwww.eisemanncenter.com

Dec. 12 Colleyville Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker for one-night only at the Irving Arts Center. $25-$30. Call 972-252-2787 or visit www.irvingartscenter.com

Dec. 12-13 Festival Ballet of North Central Texas showing of The Nutcracker at Texas Woman’s University, Margo Jones Performance Hall in Denton. $11-$36. Call 940.891.0830 or visit www.festivalballet.net

Dec. 19-20 Tuzer Ballet presents The Nutcracker with guest artists Rie Ichikawa (Boston Ballet) and Zack Grubbs (Cincinnati Ballet) at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson. $15-$50. Call 972-744-4650 or visitwww.eisemanncenter.com

Dec. 19-20 The Allen Civic Ballet presents its annual production of the holiday classic with live musical accompaniment by the Allen Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra at the Allen High School Performing Arts Center in Allen. $15-$25. Visit www.allencivicballet.org/nutracker

Dec. 19 The Art Ballet Academy presents The Nutcracker at Mansfield ISD Center for the Performing Arts, Mansfield. $16. Visit www.abacademy.com

Dec. 22-23 Collin County Ballet Theatre’s annual production of The Nutcracker features live music from Plano Symphony Orchestra at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson. $22-$77. Call 972-744-4650 or visitwww.eisemanncenter.com



(including non-traditional takes on The Nutcracker)

Nov. 19 Avant Chamber Ballet returns to White’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Southlake with its holiday production of Nutcracker: Short and Suite. This one-act Nutcracker presented by Apex Arts League includes new choreography by Katie Cooper and music by Tchaikovsky. $15-$20. Call 800-481-8914 or visit www.apex-arts.org

Avant Chamber Ballet will present Holiday Celebration. Photo: Mark Kitaoka

Nov. 27-29 The Dallas Symphony Orchestra plays Tchaikovsky’s complete The Nutcracker (no dancers), and featuring the Children’s Chorus of Collin County, at the Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas. Call 214-692-0203 or visit www.mydso.com

Nov. 27-Dec. 27 MBS Productions presents its annual hit The Beulaville Baptist Book Club Presents a Bur-Less-Q Nutcracker, in which a church has to do a last minute substitution of its dancers for The Nutcracker, at the Addison Theatre Centre’s Studio Theatre. $29. Call 214-477-4942 or visit www.mbsproductions.net

Dec. 6 8&1 Dance Company closes its third season with In The Spirit, featuring live music and heart-warming chorography at the Quixotic Word in Dallas. Visit www.8and1dance.com 

Dec. 6 Dallas Youth Ballet presents a Rockefeller Christmas Spectacular at Dallas City Performance Hall with special guest Arron Scott from American Ballet Theatre. $20-$75. Visitwww.parkcitiesstudios.com

Dec. 10 Avant Chamber Ballet’s Holiday celebration at Dallas City Performance Hall incudes Katie Cooper’s Sleigh Ride and Nutcracker: Short and Suite. $20-$30. Visit www.ticketdfw.com

Dec. 11-12 Bruce Wood Dance Project presents a Christmas Cabaret benefit with Broadway stars Aaron Lazar, Liz Callaway and Joseph Thalken, at the BWDP Studio, 3630 Harry Hines Boulevard, Suite 36, Dallas. $350-$1,000. Call 214-428-2263 or visit www.brucewooddance.org

Dec. 12 Ballet Concerto presents its annual A Holiday Special at Will Rogers Auditorium in Fort Worth. The program includes Winter Wonderland, The Princess and the Magical Christmas Star, O Holy Night and A Cool Yule. $8 for daytime performances and $12-$25 for the evening performance. Call 817-738-7915 or visit www.balletconcerto.com

Dec. 12 Contemporary Ballet Dallas offers their spin on Charles Dickens’ classic tale with Boogie Woogie Christmas Carol at McFarlin Memorial Auditorium on the Southern Methodist University campus. $18-$30. Visitwww.contemporaryballetdallas.com

Dec. 18 Texas Ballet Theater brings The Nutty Nutcracker, its PG-13 spoof of The Nutcracker, to Bass Performance Hall for one night only. $40-250. Call 877.828.9200 or visit www.texasballettheater.org

Dec. 18-19 Epiphany DanceArts celebrates the holiday season with its production of Tis the Season at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson. $17-$27. Call 972-744-4650 or visit www.eisemanncenter.com

Dec. 19 Broads & Panties presents Nearly Naked Nutcracker: A Burlesque Ballet featuring aerial performances, circus arts, ballet and burlesque at Trees in Deep Ellum. $20-$44. Visit www.treesdallas.com

Dec. 19-20 Denton City Contemporary Ballet presents A Gift for Emma at Margo Jones Performance Hall at Texas Woman’s University, Denton. $15-25. Call 940-383-2623 or visit www.dentoncitycontemporary.org

Dec. 19-20 ImPULSE Dance Project celebrates the season with Snow at the Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater. Program includes works by Artistic Director Anastasia Waters and company members Krista Langford and Kristin Daniels. $17. Visit www.impusedanceproject.org

This list was originally published on TheaterJones.com.



Weaving Hope

The Weaving presented by International Ballet Theater. Photo courtesy.
The Weaving presented by International Ballet Theater. Photo courtesy.

International Ballet Theater founder Anita Conley on producing the dance narrative The Weaving, part of the company’s performance at the Majestic Theatre.

Dallas — International Ballet Theater (IBT) opens its 2013-14 season with The Weaving Saturday at the Majestic Theater in Dallas. This heartfelt dance narrative portrays the inspirational life of Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch Christian who aided more than 800 Jews in escaping the Nazis during World War II. The Weaving features original music and choreography and is directed by Gloria Moulopoulos and produced by IBT founder Anita Conley. The evening will also include variations from classical and contemporary ballet works such as Paquita and Don Quixote.

Born and raised in Dallas, Conley has been involved in the dance industry for more than 35 years. She performed as an Apache Belle at Tyler Junior College and in 1978 she formed Danceline USA, a leadership training camp for young dancers. In 1979, Conley was selected to be a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader, giving her the opportunity to entertain U.S. troops stationed abroad.

Conley received her B.A. in Health Education from Southern Methodist University and in 2009 opened Studio A Dance in Southlake, Texas. Conley and her husband are patrons of the New York City Ballet and have recently been welcomed on to the School of American Ballet Advisory Board.

TheaterJones asks Anita Conley about the inspiration for The Weaving, the challenges of producing a dance narrative and how she helped the dancers get in touch with their emotions for their parts.

TheaterJones: Why is it called The Weaving?

Anita Conley: Because Corrie ten Boom always described her life as a weaving, a tapestry of good, light threads and difficult, dark threads.

What inspired you to create The Weaving?

I actually fell in love with the story back when I was a girl after I saw the movie “The Hiding Place,” which is based off of the book of the same title. In the book Corrie and her family build a hiding place in their home for the Jews they couldn’t find homes for. When the family is arrested and taken to a concentration camp all the Jews were able to get away. What has stuck with me is even when circumstances were quite dismal Corrie and her sister Betsie continued to give thanks. Even after Betsie’s death, Corrie was able to give thanks and forgive the man responsible for her sister’s passing. I look at their lives and wonder if I could ever do that. Could I be light in a dark place like that?

What do you want the audience to take away from the performance?

The story is really about hope, redemption and love. Among all the Holocaust stories that I have read this one strikes me because of the redemptive quality. We all want redemption. And I think it’s really a story for our time what with all the bullying that you see going on today and the conditions of the world. Many countries still deny that the Holocaust ever existed. There are always going to be those bullies and what we need in this world are people who will stand up.

Little Corrie ten Boom. Photo courtesy
Little Corrie ten Boom. Photo courtesy

When did you start working on this project?

The first time I did The Weaving was with Brent and Judy Klopfenstein about seven years ago. We did a small rendition of it and when I started my own studio I wanted to do it again on a larger scale. In 2010 we took The Weaving to Lincoln Center to a sellout crowd and since then I have been working with Gloria Moulopoulos, a talented director and actress, to perfect the work.

Did you find it challenging to incorporate dance into the narrative?

Not really. If anything the dancing adds to the narrative. An example would be the Jewish Baby Dance. In this part of the story our hero Corrie ten Boom, who worked in the underground during the Nazis invasion of Holland, receives a call one night that all the babies from the Jewish orphanage are going to be killed. So, she collected uniforms of Nazis who had defected and sent her teenage boys and girls to the orphanage to retrieve the babies. It’s a great dance because it mirrors the story and comes across very powerful. The fact that The Weaving has a great story to follow, I think, makes it more appealing to our dance audience.

You opened Studio A Dance in 2009. Did you start International Ballet Theater around the same time?

No, but my dream for the studio was always to have a strong ballet program. We started competing in the YAGP (Youth America Grand Prix) in 2010 and we brought in some guest artists to help the girls with their variations and that’s when I knew I wanted to start a non-profit. It takes a little while to fill out your paperwork, but we did obtain our 501(c)3 status in 2011 and we have been building up the company ever since. I just love ballet, so it’s only natural that I would want to start a non-profit company to train the dancers we have in the proper techniques so they can progress in all the forms of ballet.

IBT’s mission is to enrich, educate and keep ballet alive in its classical and contemporary forms. So, without IBT there wouldn’t be The Weaving because the technique the boys and girls need to perform the dances they receive classically from our wonderful teachers and guest artists.

How did you help the dancers connect with the emotional content of this story?

Well, we had a movie presentation of The Hiding Place and Ms. Gloria would visit the rehearsals and talk to the dancers. Gloria plays the older Corrie so she would go and watch the dances and try to help the kids get in touch with their emotions and help them show that emotion through their eyes and bodies.

This Q&A was originally posted on TheaterJones.com.