Festival Ballet to hold benefit gala Oct. 19

HOUSTON Ballet's Christopher Coomer and Nao Kusuzaki.
Posted 10/17/11

PROVIDENCE - Internationally-known ballet dancers and choreographers from Houston, New York, Boston and as far away as Lithuania are waiving fees for a special benefit performance Oct. 19 to raise funds for Festival Ballet Providence, “Together We Dance, an All-Star Benefit Gala Performance.”

The one-night only event at Veterans Memorial Arts and Cultural Center in Providence also enjoys support from the local artistic community whose representatives will offer live commentary during the performance, produced by Misha Djuric, artistic director of Festival.

“Each and every guest performer has won numerous international prizes, toured internationally and performs an extensive repertoire,” Djuric said in a prepared release.

He came to Festival Ballet in June and, since then, has been working to achieve full financial solvency for the struggling nonprofit troupe housed on Hope Street.

The company, like many artistic groups hit hard by the recession, avoided bankruptcy last year in part because five board members made substantial personal loans to it.

Guest performers Oct. 19 include American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Houston Ballet, Lithuanian National Ballet, New York City Ballet as well as Festival Ballet.

In a show of support, local artistic directors providing commentary at the show include representatives of Trinity Repertory Company, WaterFire, the Sandra Feinstein Gamm Theatre, AS220, R.I. Philharmonic and the R.I. School of Design Museum of Art. Television ABC6 anchors Mark Curtis and Doreen Scanlon will be the evening’s emcees.

The production will feature Balanchine’s “Apollo” and the memorable grand pas de deux from classical repertory including “The Sleeping Beauty,” “Swan Lake” and “Grand Pas Classique.”

Original, neoclassical and contemporary works by Stanton Welch, Boyko Dosseve and a world premiere by Festival member Viktor Plotnikov will be presented.

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