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Ballet Theatre Company to Hold ‘Emerald’ Anniversary Celebration

Ballet Theatre Company rehearsal. Submitted photo. (Photo credit: Jeffrey Teitler)

Ballet Theatre Company will celebrate its Emerald Year with a dazzling gala and performance in West Hartford.

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This spring season, Ballet Theatre Company (BTC) is celebrating 20 incredible years of artistry in West Hartford.

On Saturday, March 16, BTC will celebrate these 20 years and host a 20th Anniversary Black Tie Gala event, An Emerald Evening of Celebration, at the Kingswood Oxford Roberts Theater and Alumni Hall. The event will commence with an eclectic performance in Roberts Theater beginning at 6 p.m. and will be followed by a celebratory Black Tie Gala in Alumni Hall including dinner, desserts, drinks and awards.

BTC’s An Emerald Evening of Celebration performance includes pieces that will leave audiences reminiscing over the past, seeing the wonders of the present, and supporting the dreams of the future. Excerpts of ballets BTC has brought to stage over the past 20 years will be taken out of the vault and shared along with new and original works.

Audiences can expect to be wowed with a performance of the traditional Don Quixote Pas de Deux performed by Rie Aoki and Zane Winders of First State Ballet Theatre. An original work titled Melodies will be performed by Festival Ballet Providence’s Kirsten Evans and Brenna DiFrancesco, along with former Festival Ballet’s Alan Alberto. Joining them will be Fernanda Yamaguchi, recently seen on BTC’s stage as the Dew Drop Fairy in The Nutcracker, as well as local professionals, Calvin Bittner and Joseph Beltre. The piece was first choreographed by Marguerite DeAnguera and became the signature work of the Connecticut Valley Regional Ballet. It was restaged on BTC in 2002 by Executive Director and Founder, Tracy Dorman, who once again will present this historic piece in BTC’s 20th year.

Audiences will smile while enjoying an original work set to the popular Broadway score of American in Paris, choreographed by Artistic Director Stephanie Dattellas and danced by BTC’s Corps de Ballet and Apprentice dancers. Also featured will be Dattellas’ new contemporary work, Divide, set to the score of HBO hit series Game of Thrones featuring local professionals Joseph Beltre, Calvin Bittner, and Lea-Janell Mitchell, and BTC Corps de Ballet members. Joining them will be Aitana Jordan, Mollie Petrizzo and Fernanda Yamaguchi traveling from NYC.

A new piece created especially for this event, titled To Honor the Emeralds, will include three selected BTC Corps de Ballet dancers and choreography by the company’s Ballet Mistress, Megan Klamert.

The Black Tie Gala immediately following the performance in Alumni Hall will include dinner catered by Russell’s Creative Global Cuisine, delicious desserts made by Classic Cakes, a cash bar of beer, wine, and a featured signature cocktail prepared by the talented Hartford Flavor Co., live entertainment, and a silent auction. An awards ceremony will recognize and celebrate supporters from the community who have been critical to the company’s development and success.

Visit www.dancebtc.orgto purchase tickets for this special evening. Tickets can be purchased for the performance only, or for the performance and gala. Sponsors of the event include Santander Bank, Russell’s Creative Global Cuisine, Classic Cakes, A Special Place Floral Studio, and Bremar Rental.

There certainly is much to celebrate in this emerald anniversary year, especially the work and dedication of BTC’s Founder and Executive Director Tracy Dorman. Throughout the company’s 20 years, Dorman has received several awards for her extensive work. She was the 2005 recipient of the CT Commission on Culture and Tourism’s Distinguished Advocacy Award for the Arts in recognition of long time volunteerism in dance. In 2014 she was awarded the CT Dance Alliance Distinguished Achievement Award in Dance recognizing her work in founding and operating BTC. Most recently, this past Fall, she was recognized as one of Duncaster’s “60 over 60” for ongoing selflessness, inspiration and contributions to the world in which we live. A leader, an entrepreneur, a teacher, an artist, and all as a pure volunteer, Tracy continues to inspire the company through her tireless efforts and is the true heart and soul of Ballet Theatre Company.

Age is looking good on the local ballet company with two full-length ballets and several public appearances and collaborations scheduled for the season. This winter, for the 17th consecutive year, BTC performed a brand new production of the beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker, at the University of Saint Joseph Hoffman Auditorium. A performance of A Children’s Nutcracker in collaboration with Hartford Performs was presented for the third year delighting Hartford Public School students in the magic of live theater.

This May, BTC is excited to premiere the full-length version of the beloved fairytale, Sleeping Beauty, at the Hoffman Auditorium bringing the forces of good and evil face to face with nothing but enjoyment for fairytale lovers. Audiences, however, won’t have to wait for the big stage productions to get a taste of BTC’s magic. BTC will be guest performing with the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra (WHSO) on Sunday, March 31 at Kingswood Oxford Roberts Theater as part of WHSO’s spring performance, Music From the World of Dance.

BTC kicked off their 20th anniversary season in September announcing a Master Class Series; 20 Classes for 20 Years. Throughout the 2018-19 season, 20 guest teachers trained in different dance backgrounds from ballet to hip-hop will teach classes open to the public at BTC’s studio location off of New Park Avenue. Masters, Kirsten Evans of Festival Ballet Providence, Rachel Richardson of American Ballet Theatre, Madeleine Purcell, former dancer with Sarasota Ballet, and Emily Kent from Pilobolus have already participated in this special series. Visit our website for registration and more information on upcoming master classes.

New to this 20th year, is a collaboration between BTC and Miracle League of Connecticut. A new adaptive dance program titled, Everybody Dance Nowlaunched in September 2018 and will continue this February. The program is open to boys and girls of all abilities ages 4-21.

BTC’s affiliate training school offers some new additions as well. Along with ballet technique, pointe, contemporary, and jazz, the school now offers boys ballet, partnering, and adult ballet. Visit the website for more details, daily schedules, and registration.

Be sure to follow BTC on Facebook and Instagram @dancebtc for sneak peaks, giveaways, and special announcements and check in on current happenings at www.dancebtc.org.

Ballet Theatre Company is supported in part by Greater Hartford Arts Council, the State of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Office of the Arts, and the Delamar Hotel West Hartford as BTC’s official housing sponsor.

Rie Aoki in Don Quixote. Submitted photo

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