Anne Arundel County

Ballet Theatre begins 32nd season

The start of Ballet Theatre of Maryland's 32nd season also marks the eighth season as artistic director for Dianna Cuatto, who praised the company as she looked forward to the coming season.

"This season we continue to fulfill our mission to provide Maryland with excellent dance at affordable prices," Cuatto said. "We have the best dancers this company has ever had, with the most energy."

Among the new dancers Cuatto is pleased to welcome are Joshua Burnham, whom she describes as "a superb actor with great jumps and turns"; Edward Tracz, formerly of Orlando Ballet and National Ballet of Canada, who "is a beautiful lyrical dancer with legs and feet of gold"; and Stirling Mattheson, who is from Nashville Ballet and who has "his own particular blend of elegance and boyish gusto." Also new this season is Ericka Wong from Hawaii, who Cuatto says possesses "a poetically beautiful and captivating classical line."

The City of Bowie has offered a grant to BTM that will allow it to start its 2010-2011 season Oct.16 at Bowie Performing Arts Center with an adapted performance of Cuatto's original choreography of Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."

The 7 p.m. performance will be preceded by a Halloween party. Cuatto also plans to offer a master class at the Bowie Performing Arts Center before 1 p.m. There also will be a special performance at the Bowie Senior Center featuring excerpts from "Sleepy Hollow" and "Excalibur in a Nutshell."

Season subscribers may purchase tickets for the Bowie performance at $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, $15 for students and $10 for children.

On Oct. 30 and 31 BTM begins its season at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts with "Alice in Wonderland," the winner of the Audience Choice Award with more than 644 votes. The first performance will be on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. A Mad Hatter Tea Party will precede the Oct. 31 show.

"The Nutcracker" comes to Maryland Hall Dec. 11, 12, 18 and 19 with Sugar Plum Parties on Dec. 12 and 19.

Performances of "Romeo and Juliet" are scheduled for Feb. 12 at Mar-Va Theatre in Pocomoke City. Shakespeare's classic tragedy will come to Maryland Hall on Feb. 25-27.

Scheduled for March 12 is "Ballet Theatre of Maryland On the Move" – a mixed-bill performance in the theater of the Baltimore Museum of Art.

BTM will close its season in mid-April at Maryland Hall with "Star Spangled Sketches" in an early bicentennial tribute to the War of 1812 depicting the fiery confidence of Colonial America as it forged itself into a nation.

"Frontier 1812" is set to David Arkenstone's Emmy Award-winning score for the History Channel sketching historical events including the story of Tecumseh and two stories surrounding the final battle of the war that took place in Baltimore at Fort McHenry.

The program's second half features three historical landscapes portraying how America evolved after the 1812 War was won. "The Land of the Sky" and "The Land of Wild Waterways" are set to the music of Amy White and Al Pettaway, and "The Land of the Burning Sun" to a brand new score by Marc Galiber.

Performances will be held at Maryland Hall in June to showcase the talents of students of BTM School of Dance, which offers instruction in classical and contemporary dance. Classes are offered for ages 2 and up in creative movement, ballet, pointe, modern and other dance forms

Subscriptions to the season at Maryland Hall are currently available at four performances for the price of three. A four-performance series including "Alice in Wonderland," "The Nutcracker," "Romeo and Juliet" and "Star Spangled Sketches" can be purchased at $106 for an adult, $87 for seniors, $54 for students and $40 for children. To order, call 410-224-5644 or for more information, check BTM's website at

Information about the school can be found on the website or by calling 410-224-5644.