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The National Ballet of Cuba constitutes one of the most prestigious dance companies of the world and prominently ranks in contemporary Hispano American Culture The technical-artistic rigor of its dancers and and its choreographer´s wide and diverse aesthetical conception, confer to this institution an outstanding place among the greatest of its kind on international stage.

The company was settled in 1948 being Alicia Alonso its leading dancer and its very first figure. In 1950 is created the Escuela Nacional de Ballet Alicia Alonso (Alicia Alonso National Shool of Ballet) adjunct to the professional company. From their earliest stages its artistic line arised from respect to romantic and classic tradition, stimulating, at the same time, creative work of choreographers who followed a national and contemporary search line.

Already in this early stage, the setting up of full versions of lassics like Giselle, The Swans´Lake or Coppelia, was acompanied by works from the renovating movement of Diághilev´s Russian Ballets such as Petrushka or the Faun´s Nap: and ballets by Cuban choreographers such as Fiesta negra (Black Fiesta), Sóngoro cosongo, Concerto and Sombras (Shadows), among others.

Triumph of 1959 Revolution became a milestone for a new stage on Cuban ballet. That year,the National Ballet of Cuba is arranged as part of a new cultural program. Since then it has being developing continually by increasing its repertoire and promoting development of new dancers, choreographers, professors and creators among other art expressions related to dance such as : visual arts and music. Togehter with perfectioning Cuban traditional repertory, a vigorous choreographic movement with works within the most significant achievements of contemporary choreography has been encouraged.

Besides its intense activity in Cuba, where it has successfully projected its art a popular level the National Ballet of Cuba yearly develops a program of international tournees which takes it to different countries of Europe, Asia and America. Important awards, such as the Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris and the "Félix Varela" National Order from the Republic of Cuba join to the acclamation by the most outstanding representatives of the specializad criticism and to the awards won by their artists, both individually, as well as international contests and festivals.

The National Ballet of Cuba is the highest expression of the Cuban School of Ballet, which based upon the cultural legacy provided by several enturies of tradition on theatre dance, has reached its own phisiognomy in which this heritage melts with Cuban culture essential features.
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METROPOLITAN CLASSICAL BALLET ANNOUNCES
THE 2007-2008 SEASON

The eleventh season of Excellence on Stage!

Highlights include gala performance, world and company premieres,
and the return of the celebrated Romeo and Juliet and Carmen Suite.

Following a touring performance to the Cullen Theater in Houston on October 26th, Metropolitan Classical Ballet will launch the 2007 – 2008 Season. Artistic Directors, Paul Mejia and Alexander Vetrov have announced the repertory and performance schedule which begins on October 29th, 2007, and runs through June 21, 2008. It will include one world premiere, two company premieres, the return of several acclaimed favorites to include Carmen Suite and Romeo and Juliet, and a gala evening with divertissements from rich traditional classical Russian ballets. The season will include works by Mr. Mejia and Mr. Vetrov, George Balanchine and other acclaimed choreographers. The Metropolitan Classical Ballet Orchestra under the direction of Music Director Ron Spigelman will accompany most performances during the season.

All performances will be presented at the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth with the exception of the full-length The Nutcracker which will be presented at Texas Hall in Arlington. Two familiar special guest artists will return to perform with the Company during the season. Marianna Ryzhkina, Bolshoi principal ballerina will dance in the fall repertory program, and violinist Eric Grossman will perform in the spring repertory program. Gleb Ivanov, the sensational new pianist from Russia who is rapidly gaining great critical acclaim in the United States, will also perform in the fall program.

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Photo by Marty Sohl

The 2007-2008 Season Overview:

FALL REPERTORY
Bass Performance Hall Monday, October 29 - 8:00 PM, 2008

Album for the Young Music by Lowell Liebermann Choreography by Paul Mejia

Scriabin Sonata Music by Alexander Scriabin Choreography by Paul Mejia

Carmen Suite Music by Georges Bizet and Rodion Shchedrin Choreography by Alberto Alonso Staged by Alexander Vetrov

Album for the Young, which opens the evening, was choreographed by Mr. Mejia and premiered to great acclaim in 2005. The music is by Mr. Lowell Liebermann, one of todays most frequently performed and commissioned composers. Twenty-three year-old Russian born pianist Gleb Ivanov, will play the piano accompaniment for the ballet.

Set to Scriabin’s romantic Sonata No. 3 in F# minor, Op. 23, the Scriabin Sonata is a passionate ballet choreographed for one woman, danced by Olga Pavlova, and a corps of men. It was first performed for the Company in 1999.

Carmen Suite will close the performance. Both the arrangement and the choreography for Carmen Suite were created especially for the great Soviet ballerina, Maya Plisetskaya, former soloist with the Bolshoi Ballet Theatre. Guest dancer, Marianna Ryzhkina, principal dancer with the Bolshoi since 1989, will perform the title role. Ms. Ryzhkina bears the prestigious title Honored Artist of Russia.

THE NUTCRACKER (full-length, two acts)
Texas Hall, the University of Texas at Arlington Friday, December 21st – 7:30 PM, 2007 Saturday, December 22nd - 2:00 and 7:30 PM, 2007 Sunday, December 23rd - 2:00 PM, 2007 Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky Choreography by Alexander Vetrov

Set to the timeless score by Tchaikovsky, Alexander Vetrov's choreography of The Nutcracker is both unique and captivating. Influenced by the Bolshoi, with choreography in part by Yuri Grigorovich, it has been pleasing audiences and garnering great critical acclaim since it was first premiered in December 2003. The production will feature the entire Company and students from Metropolitan Ballet Academy who will dance the numerous children roles.

SPRING REPERTORY
Bass Performance Hall Monday, March 10th, 8:00 PM, 2008

World Premiere Choreography by Alexander Vetrov

Donizetti Variations Music from Don Sebastian by Gaetano Donizetti Choreography by George Balanchine Balanchine Ballets © The George Balanchine Trust Staged by Paul Mejia

Violin Concerto Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky Choreography by Paul Mejia

The music from Donizetti Variations is from excerpts from the opera Don Sebastian written in 1843. Balanchine choreographed the ballet for a principal couple and a corps of six women and three men. It premiered November 16, 1960, New York City Ballet, City Center of Music and Drama, New York.

The evening will close with Mr. Mejia’s Violin Concerto. The ballet premiered in Fort. Worth in 1991, and Mr. Mejia is restaging it for ballerina Olga Pavlova. Written in 1878, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35 is one of the best known of all violin concertos. It was his only concerto for violin and is considered to be among the most technically difficult works for violin. Eric Grossman will play the accompaniment for the ballet.

SUMMER GALA
Bass Performance Hall
Saturday, June 21st, 8:00 PM, 2008

Romeo and Juliet Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky Choreography by Paul Mejia

Great Classical Divertissements Staged by Alexander Vetrov with International guest artists

The Summer Gala will open with Romeo and Juliet. A fantasy overture composed by Tchaikovsky in 1869, it was one of three compositions inspired by Shakespeare. Paul Mejia became intrigued by all three of the overtures because of the musical impression of each story as a whole, in terms of their emotional and psychological impact, and challenged himself as a choreographer to bring them to life. Romeo and Juliet premiered in Guatemala in 1977. It was later performed by legendary ballerina Suzanne Farrell in New York City and has since been performed throughout Europe and the United States to great public and critical acclaim.

The evening will conclude with a selection of divertissements from the Classics, which will offer great bravura dancing that will showcase the strong artistic personalities of the Company dancers and guests.

Programming, program order and casting for all productions is subject to change without notice.

In keeping with tradition, individual season subscriptions for all three performances of the Bass Hall.   Subscribers have the option of adding The Nutcracker at 10% below single ticket prices. Season subscriptions and The Nutcracker tickets are available only through the administrative office of Metropolitan Classical Ballet, 500 W. Abram, Arlington, Texas 76010 or by calling (817) 275-0598 or (817) 465-4644 or online.

Single ticket sales for the Bass Hall productions are available by calling Bass Performance Hall Ticket Office at (817) 212-4280 or by calling Metropolitan Classical Ballet at (817) 275-0598, or print an online order form at www.mcballet.org. Group discounts are available.

Metropolitan Classical Ballet, recognized as one of the leading dance companies in Texas, was founded in 1997. Artistic directors Paul Mejia and Alexander Vetrov are two of the most recognized names in ballet. Mr. Mejia, former dancer with the New York City Ballet who danced principal roles in many Balanchine ballets, carries on Balanchine’s style and artistic vision though his acclaimed choreography. Alexander Vetrov, former leading male principal dancer with the prestigious Bolshoi has the distinction of being the recipient of the Honored People’s Artist of Russia, the highest honor given by the Russian President. Mr. Vetrov still maintains close connections with the Bolshoi today. Performances reach over 30,000 individuals each season. The Company performs at the prestigious Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, and presents its annual production of The Nutcracker at Texas Hall, at the University of Texas at Arlington. Located in Arlington, the administrative office and spacious state of the arts studios are unsurpassed in the North Texas area.

Metropolitan Classical Ballet 2007 / 2008 is made possible in part by its generous sponsors: American Airlines, The University of Texas at Arlington, and the law firm of Hill Gilstrap.

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Media Note: Further information and photos may be obtained by contacting Judy Puder at (817) 465-4644. Information can also be found on Metropolitan Classical Ballet's website  www.mcballet.org.

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