Since its earliest days, Texas Ballet Theater has made ballet more accessible for Texans across the state. What started as a small regional ballet now garners international attention, attracting the finest dancers, choreographers, and behind-the-scenes talent from around the world.
When the curtain goes up at Texas Ballet Theater, you immediately enter another world. Forests grow before your eyes, tutus shimmer like twinkling lights, and dancers defy gravity. Behind all that magic is a team of elite professionals who range from set designers and costumiers to instructors and artistic staff who keep dancers strong, healthy, and ready to perform at their optimum level. It takes a village. In this case, a community, to create the iconic moments we love about ballet.
Over the past two decades, world-renowned choreographer Ben Stevenson, O.B.E. served as the Artistic Director for Texas Ballet Theater. His extraordinary skill and tireless effort has helped Texas Ballet Theater transcend the ordinary and rise to new heights. A true visionary, Stevenson’s impact is immeasurable. This July, Stevenson transitioned to a new role – Artistic Director Laureate.
Stevenson will be handing the reins to Tim O’Keefe, Acting Artistic Director for the 2022 – 23 season. As usual, the season is bold and expansive, including a mix of great classical works, like The Nutcracker, contemporary repertoires, and the World Premiere, Cirque du Ballet, featuring an array of ballet’s most-loved characters together under the big top.
For Texas Ballet Theater, dance is more than a performance, it’s a pursuit. The internationally recognized company also has a school that offers dance programs in Dallas and Fort Worth. Classes range from beginner to advanced, with a professional division aimed at preparing dancers for a career in ballet. The TBT School offers a unique environment where students can learn the artistry and technique of ballet from the Artistic Staff and former dancers of a professional company. Classes are designed to perfect a student’s skills, develop their musicality in motion and improve their confidence. Best of all, students have the opportunity to audition to perform onstage alongside professional dancers.
There’s no doubt that schools build community, but for Texas Ballet Theater, community extends far beyond the stage and classroom. They host special events and outreach programs that help encourage learning and life-long interest in ballet and the arts. Texas Ballet Theater is committed to increasing access to ballet for members of the North Texas community who may not have access otherwise. Community programs like CityDance, a partnership with DFW area elementary schools, brings a free five-week-long beginner ballet class to over 1,100 students annually. The program includes tickets to a Texas Ballet Theater performance, so students can see the art form come to life on stage. By providing opportunities for people to interact with dancers and experience the beauty of ballet firsthand, they’re able to promote an interest in dance and engage with the community in more supportive ways.
This is a pivotal moment for cultural institutions like Texas Ballet Theater. As the company honors the longest-serving Artistic Director Ben Stevenson O.B.E., in his inspiring legacy, the community they’ve worked hard to build over the years will be there, supporting the company and its aspirations for generations to come. And when it comes down to it, that’s the pointe.
For more information, visit TexasBalletTheater.org.