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Ballet Ensemble of Texas: A Storybook Season of Timeless Tales

BY IRVING WEEKLY STAFF

Irving, Texas. October 1, 2019

Ballet Ensemble of Texas (BET), one of Dallas’ best-reviewed pre-professional ballet companies, today announced its 2019-20 season: A Storybook Season of Timeless Tales.

“We recognize that our responsibility is to entertain while hopefully educating our audience,” said Thom Clower, now in his second season as BET’s Artistic Director. “We do that especially this season through storytelling with timeless tales. The perennial favorite of Clara’s dream of The Nutcracker and the ultimate love story of Cinderella are magical stories that evoke powerful images and lessons that have stood the test of time.”

Performing at venues around the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, BET will open its Storybook Season on October 12 in Dancing with the Symphony at Plano’s Courtyard Theater. The event is supported by the Plano International Festival with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the Symphony’s scholarship fund.

BET will present its production of the holiday classic The Nutcracker, with four performances on December 7-8 at the Irving Arts Center. The 20th annual production will feature Aldrin Vendt, a BET alumnus and current Ballet Arkansas company member, as the Sugar Plum Cavalier. Mr. Aldrin as guest artist extends the practice that Theatre Jones noted in their review of the 2018 production: “…Ballet Ensemble featured an entirely home-grown cast, filling the coveted roles with their own highly trained dancers.” Tickets go on sale October 22, 2019, for this season’s The Nutcracker at www.irvingartscenter.com.

The Storybook Season continues at Irving Arts Center on April 4-5, 2020, with performances of the full-length Cinderella. Artistic Director Thom Clower has restaged this romantic ballet after Anne Burton Avery’s choreography as a romantic treat for the entire family.

The company’s final public performance of the season is scheduled for May 16, 2020, at the grand opening of the Coppell Arts Center.

“We’re on a mission to expand our reach, and we’re doing exactly that in our 2019-2020 season,” said Lisa Slagle, Founder and Executive Director of BET. “Working with Thom, we’re expanding performance opportunities for our dancers – we’re introducing ourselves to a totally new Plano-based audience and we’re extremely proud to have been named as a founding company of the new Coppell Arts Center, allowing us to reach out directly to our own community.

“Our expansion rises to a new level,” Slagle added, “when the company will dance for approximately 10,000 people at performances next summer with the Stars of Tomorrow International tour in several Austrian cities.”

In addition to area performances, BET will also attend the February 2020 Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) in Houston. YAGP is the world’s largest non-profit international student ballet competition and scholarship program.

BET is the official performing company of the Ballet Academy of Texas and trains dancers who are recognized by prestigious pre-professional training programs across the country. Last year, more than half of BET’s 33 company members were accepted to these programs. Professional alumni also dance with companies around the country, including four former BET dancers who currently perform with American Ballet Theatre, America’s National Ballet Company.

As a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization, the company is funded largely by donations, and is supported by the City of Coppell, Texas Commission on the Arts, Irving Arts Center, and the City of Irving through the Irving Arts Board. Please visit the company website at www.balletensembleoftexas.org or on Facebook and Instagram @balletensembleoftexas.


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