Ballet Theatre's season to include classical works and old favorites; 'Ellington Suite,' the sole modern dance program, to begin series Oct. 22


Ballet Theatre of Annapolis has announced a new season, to open in two weeks, that will offer classical ballets to delight the most ardent traditionalist and treasured favorites to please the family.

This 19th season of the BTA, which since 1980 has been under the artistic direction of Edward Stewart, promises to be one of BTA's most exciting and ambitious ones.

The 1999-2000 season will offer four full-length productions to be presented at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.

The season will open Oct. 22 with the company's only modern dance program of the season, "Ellington Suite," choreographed by Stephanie Powell, in celebration of the centennial of the birth of musician-composer Duke Ellington.

The program will also include the Grand Pas De Deux from the second act of "Don Quixote," with choreography by Marius Petipa and music by Leon Minkus.

Maryland's only resident ballet company, BTA boasts principal dancers who would be the pride of any major dance company. Last season, one of China's best ballerinas, Zhirui Zou, was guest artist in residence and quickly became an Annapolis audience favorite. This season, she will be one of the company's principal dancers.

Dmitry Tuboltsev joined BTA in 1997 after being principal dancer at the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. Tuboltsev has established a solid reputation for his flawless dancing, superb technique and partnering skills.

Always an audience favorite, the exquisite Leslie Bradley is one of BTA's treasured principal dancers.

The 1999-2000 season will bring exciting new dancers to the company, including two Russian dancers, husband-and-wife Dmitri Malikov and Ninel Cherevko, both from the Moscow City Ballet.

A third dancer joining BTA is returning native Annapolitan Kristin Peterson, recently of the Sarasota Ballet.

The three new dancers will be showcased in the productions, including the opening program Oct. 22-23.

Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker," with choreography by Stewart, will be performed Dec. 11, 12, 18 and 19. In this holiday family favorite, Clara and Fritz enter a magical world of toys and enjoy a visit with the sugarplum fairy.

March 3-4 brings the romantic ballet "Giselle" with choreography by Jean Corolli and Jules Perrot and music by Adolphe Adam.

"Giselle" tells the story in dance of a peasant girl who is charmed by Count Albrecht, disguised as peasant Loys, proclaiming his love. When she learns of the count's deception, Giselle becomes mentally unhinged and dies of a broken heart.

In the second act, Giselle in death has joined the Wilis, maidens who have failed to marry their fiances in life and in death force their visiting lovers to dance until death.

On April 15-16, the ballet offers the final act of Tchaikovsky's "Sleeping Beauty" with choreography by Petipa, and fairy tale highlights from "Alice in Wonderland" and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." This is another program designed to appeal to the whole family.

Subscriptions for all four performances are $75 for adults and $40 for children and students. Single-performance tickets are $22 for adults and $12 for children and students.

Information and tickets: 410-263-2909.

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