Orlando Ballet Celebrates 35th Anniversary

The Orlando Ballet embarks upon its 35th anniversary this month with a host of reasons to celebrate.  The Company welcomed Sibille Hart Pritchard as board president and embraced a bold new artistic vision by recently naming Robert Hill artistic director. As they prepare to give the community its first glimpse into Hill’s mastery, Encore! (March 27-29), promises to evoke, entertain and amaze with an infusion of classical ballet and stunning athletic movements with bold twists like techno music and other contemporary tunes.

The production features a number of solos, duets and group performances from the entire ballet company and Orlando Ballet School students. Featured performances include the robust opening number, “Defile” (pronounced DE-FI-LAY), which brings together dancers from the main company, Orlando Ballet II and students from Orlando Ballet School; “Revelry,” a duet created by Hill; “Diana & Acteon,” a traditional pas de deux with show-stopping moments; and “Dying Swan.”

The performance will also reach into the community, featuring a musical composition by Winter Park-based philanthropist and composer Stephen Goldman. His “Acadian Dance,” will be paired with a neo-classic performance, “Pas de 13,” choreographed by principal dancer Katia Garza. Goldman’s works have been performed by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the Güyr Philharmonic Orchestra, and the University of Central Florida Orchestra.

Hill, known for his sophisticated, artistic, demanding yet approachable flair, is boldly envisioning a new direction for the Orlando Ballet. A celebrated dancer and former artistic director for the Ballet de Monterrey, he is renowned for his bold, high-energy performances. From his musical selections to robust movements, Hill will masterfully infuse components of traditional and classical ballet, highlighting a contemporary edge.

“My goal is to show Central Florida all the possibilities of ballet and our dynamic Company,” said Hill.  “From the classic to the contemporary, this performance marks the beginning of a new artistic era for us.”

“Robert brings innovative vision to our Company, which has re-energized us beyond measure. We are proud to mark this anniversary, with a presentation of his work,” added Pritchard. “

Other commemorative anniversary activities include “Harriett’s Favorite Things”, a special luncheon honoring philanthropist Harriett Lake, hosted by Pritchard and Friends of Harriett, to benefit the Orlando Ballet. The event features performances by the Orlando Ballet Company and Orlando Ballet School dancers, a silent auction and more, and will be held at the Rosen Center Hotel, March 27; 11 am – 2 pm. Tickets are $100 (for ladies) and $125 (gentlemen).

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