Area ballet to donate funds toward College of Fine Arts

The Texas Ballet Theater will perform “The Nutcracker,” and for every dollar spent on tickets through TCU, supporters will donate $2 to the College of Fine Arts, said the dean of the college.Scott Sullivan, dean of the college of fine arts, said Friends of the TBT is a group of people in the community who support the ballet and it donates funds to encourage people to go to ballets and support the college.

This is the second year the TBT and TCU have collaborated and every seasonal ballet performance benefits the College of Fine Arts. They raised more than $25,000 for the college last year, Sullivan said.

“Their artistic director, Ben Stevenson, is our distinguished guest artist in the department of classical and contemporary dance,” Sullivan said. “We have a close collaboration with the Texas Ballet Theater and this is a wonderful way that they helping us in return.”

There will be 16 performances of Peter Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” at the Bass Performance Hall from Nov. 30 to Dec. 16 and seven performances at the Music Hall at Fair Park in downtown Dallas from Dec. 20 to Dec. 23.

“It’s a full-length ballet, one of the most famous in the world, and it’s performed by almost every ballet company every holiday season,” Sullivan said. “It’s a classic ballet with a very enjoyable story with lots of children in the performances, lots of elegant costumes, wonderful dancing and Tchaikovsky’s music.”

The Texas Ballet Theater consists of a professional ballet company located in Fort Worth and two pre-professional dance schools with students ages 3 to 20 in Fort Worth and in Dallas, said Jennifer Engstrand, public relations manager for TBT.

“Something that sets our school apart from others is students are actually given the opportunity to perform in our company, Texas Ballet Theater Productions,” Engstrand said. “So students from our schools will be in “The Nutcracker” – about 90 local students this year.”

Associate artistic director for the TBT, Tim O’Keefe, said “The Nutcracker” has been the most important of their five annual performances because it will allow all of the TBT’s students from the Fort Worth and Dallas campuses to participate.

Sullivan said if there were only one ballet people in the TCU community could see in their lives it should be “The Nutcracker.”

“The Nutcracker really has a lot of scene changes and a lot of different moods to it, so it’s quite good for people to come who maybe have never been to a ballet before,” O’Keefe said. “I think they would find it very enjoyable.”

Ticket prices for the two-hour performance will start at $18 and can be purchased by calling the TBT box office at 877-828-9200 or visit texasballettheater.org.