Faced with empty pockets, Maryland Ballet cancels 3 weekend performances


The Maryland Ballet, which canceled three performances last month because of financial difficulties, has scratched another three performances scheduled for this weekend.

Daniel Kane, acting executive director and co-founder of the 5-year-old organization, said the company had only been able to raise $15,000 of the $25,000 "bare minimum" needed to stage performances at the Baltimore Museum of Art scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Mr. Kane said ticket holders could obtain refunds or use their tickets for the company's performances May 10-12, which he said would go on as planned.

A performance March 24 at Dundalk Community College will also go on as scheduled because the company would incur no expenses for staging the production, he said. He added that the troupe's 12 dancers, who have been laid off since early last month, would be paid on a per-performance basis for the date.

The ballet decided to cancel its March performances because it did not want to "incur any further debt," Mr. Kane explained. The company currently owes about $50,000 to various creditors, a reduction of $10,000 from last month, he said. Raising money has been "more difficult than [the board] expected" because of the current recession, he conceded. But a number of applications for funding from corporations and foundations are "in the works" and he expressed confidence that the company would raise enough money to mount its three May dances.

Mr. Kane said the ballet soon would announce a plan to avoid recurrence of financial difficulties -- and possible cancellations -- next season, but he declined to provide any details.

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