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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 2018 Festival Ballet Theatre

For photos and interviews: Contact Elizabeth Farmen (714) 962-5440


Fountain Valley, Calif., September 25, 2018 — Festival Ballet Theatre (FBT), Orange County’s resident professional ballet company, is pleased to announce its 2018-2019 season. This year marks the company’s 30th anniversary and is proud to present a repertory of innovative contemporary works and acclaimed classical ballets. The season starts with Ovation, a conceptual tour de force in three pieces by contemporary choreographers on October 13 and 14, followed byThe Nutcracker from December 8 to 24, Sleeping Beauty on March 23 and 24, concluding with Gala of the Stars in August 2019 (venue to be announced).

Ballet fans across the southland can enjoy the work of contemporary geniuses in our October show titled Ovation. Featured works are: Texture of Time, choreographed by Josie Walsh, a thought-provoking ballet exploring the essence of time as it changes and morphs, set to original music by Jealous Angel and using special effects by Academy Award winner Jim Doyle; Oops, choreographed by Viktor Plotnikov, set to Ponichielli’s iconic “Dance of the Hours,” a comical award-winning piece presented on the U.S. tour of Youth America Grand Prix’s (YAGP) 2011 Gala, Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow; and the premiere of Plume, a new piece choreographed by Andrea Schermoly, set to music recomposed by Max Richter, uses the story of birds relaying messages to humans regarding the fragile ecosystem of this beautiful world.

Create holiday memories for your family by sharing the magic of the cherished classic, The Nutcracker. Festival Ballet Theatre’s family-friendly, breathtaking production features vibrant scenery and dazzling costumes, which make this age- old tradition sparkle like new. Get swept away by Tchaikovsky’s iconic score as the Sugar Plum Fairy, our heroine Clara, and a cast of hundreds take you on a magical journey to mystical lands. This full-length traditional production is choreographed and directed by Festival Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director, Salwa Rizkalla, and features world-renowned guest artists, FBT’s professional company dancers, and exceptional young talent from across the Southland. This year we will be offering a very special seasonal treat; The Nutcracker Tea Party. While adults sip a glass of champagne, children will be gathered to listen to the story of The Nutcracker and be visited by some of the characters from the ballet. The elegant sit-down tea will be prepared by Chef Laurent and include delicious finger sandwiches, sweet treats, tea and lemonade. Photo opportunities and a party favor for each guest are included in the Nutcracker Tea Party ticket price.

In March 2019, we are presenting a full-length production of the beloved classical ballet, The Sleeping Beauty. This heart-warming production of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece brings to life fabled storybook favorites and is choreographed and staged by Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla after Marius Petipa.

These three productions will be presented at the beautiful Irvine Barclay Theatre.

Tickets at the Irvine Barclay Theatre: Individual tickets for Festival Ballet Theatre’s 2018-19 Season are on sale now at the Irvine Barclay Box Office at 949-854-4646 x. 1 or online at

Full Season Purchase Discount: 10% discount when purchasing the full package of 3 events prior to the first production.

Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 7:00 pm
Sunday, October 14, 2018 at 2:00 pm
Tickets: $39-$45

The Nutcracker
Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm
Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 1:00 pm
Friday, December 14, 2018 at 7:00 pm
Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm
Sunday, December 16, 2018 at 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm
Friday, December 21, 2018 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm
Saturday, December 22, 2018 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm
Sunday, December 23, 2018 at 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm
Monday, December 24, 2018 at 11:00 am
Tickets: $42-$55 (an additional fee of $25-$30 is added for the Nutcracker Tea Party)

Sleeping Beauty
Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 7:00 pm
Sunday, March 24, 2019 at 2:00 pm
Tickets: $42-$55

12th Gala of the Stars August

Festival Ballet Theatre culminates its season with the much anticipated 12th Annual Gala of the Stars, Orange County’s International Ballet Festival. This performance is a rare opportunity for Orange County audiences to see dancers from different companies in a combined program that celebrates the continued art and passion of ballet. Performance date and venue to be determined.

About Festival Ballet Theatre (FBT)
Festival Ballet Theatre is a nonprofit organization founded in 1988 by Salwa Rizkalla. Its mission is to enrich Orange County’s artistic and economic vitality, to inspire love and appreciation for dance, and to invigorate ballet by:
• Presenting a season of exhilarating classical and contemporary performances,
• Providing a nurturing environment for dancers and choreographers,
• Offering stimulating educational outreach programs.
For more information, visit

About Salwa Rizkalla, Artistic Director Artistic
Director Salwa Rizkalla has contributed to the Orange County community for more than 30 years by presenting excellence in dance performance through Festival Ballet Theatre and providing top-tier classical ballet training at Southland Ballet Academy.

During her professional dancing career, Ms. Rizkalla graced the stage in leading roles in well-known classical ballets as well as contemporary pieces. She had the privilege of working under the direction of world-renowned choreographers Leonid Lavrovsky and Serge Lifar. As a young dancer, Ms. Rizkalla trained in the Vaganova method and studied with Russian ballet masters. As the culmination of her training, Ms. Rizkalla completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ballet Pedagogy. She established Southland Ballet Academy in 1983 and debuted Festival Ballet Theatre in 1988. In addition to teaching and directing, Ms. Rizkalla was a faculty member of several area institutions.

Many arts organizations have recognized her service. The Orange County Music and Arts Administrators and Orange County Performing Arts Center jointly presented her the Orange County Arts Educator of the Year Award for Secondary Dance (2003); Youth America Grand Prix awarded Ms. Rizkalla Outstanding Teacher accolades since its inception; and Arts Orange County recognized Ms. Rizkalla with the Helena Modjeska Cultural Legacy Award (2014).

Ms. Rizkalla was named one of OC’s 100 Most Influential in 2017 by the OC Register. Ms. Rizkalla has been honored to impact the lives of hundreds of students and their families through her teaching. She is proud to be a dedicated educator, an energetic promoter of the arts, and an active participant in the cultural life of her community.


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