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Texas Ballet Theater Presents
Romance to Ragtime
with world premiere choreography by
Associate Artistic Director Tim O’Keefe
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A program of unforgettable ballet, showcasing dancers dedicated to the
demands of their art, designed to stir the imagination and ignite the spirit


North Texas – Ben Stevenson, artistic director of Texas Ballet Theater, presents Romance to Ragtime, a mixed-repertory production featuring world-premiere choreography by Tim O’Keefe.  Romance to Ragtime will be performed at Bass Performance Hall on Friday and Saturday, February 16 and 17, at 8:00 p.m. and on Sunday, February 18, at 2:00 p.m.  Tickets to this spectacular production are priced $18 - $74 and may be purchased by calling toll-free 877-212-4280 or by visiting www.texasballettheater.org.

The program opens with composer Richard Strauss’s soulful Four Last Songs.  Choreographed by Ben Stevenson, the ballet demands both rigorous technical precision and intense emotional preparation by dancers. Four Last Songs assumes the form of the circle of life rather than a narrative, with an ending as affecting as any found in dance. The ballet features gifted Houston soprano Melissa Givens singing the exquisite Strauss song cycle.

Romance to Ragtime also includes the Britten Pas de Deux, Benjamin Britten’s ballet inspired by the music of Bali and choreographed by Stevenson.  Enrica Guana Tseng, veteran Texas Ballet Theater artist and recent recipient of “Premio Lericipea,” an award given to Italian artists performing across the world, dances the role of The Dying Swan, set to glorious music by Camille Saint-SaŽns from The Carnival of Animals.  Ragtime Dance, a world premiere by Texas Ballet Theater Associate Artistic Director Tim O’Keefe, closes the evening.  Set to the ragtime music of Scott Joplin, Ragtime Dance is O’Keefe’s first world premiere since last season’s critically acclaimed Love Thing.

Audience members interested in gaining “behind the scenes” knowledge of the performance are invited to attend Texas Ballet Theater’s Pre-Performance Lectures held on the Mezzanine Lobby of Bass Performance Hall forty-five minutes prior to curtain.  Company manager and former
Texas Ballet Theater artist Margo McCann offers insight into the world of professional ballet in this informative lecture series.

Romance to Ragtime
Bass Performance Hall
Friday, February 16, 2007 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, February 17, 2007 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 2 p.m.
Pre-Performance Lectures open to all audience members are held on the Mezzanine 45 minutes prior to curtain for each performance.

Performance Information
Four Last Songs
Music by Richard Strauss
Choreography by Ben Stevenson
Set and Costume Design by Matthew C. Jacobs
Lighting Design by Christina R. Giannelli

Britten Pas de Deux
Music by Benjamin Britten
Choreography by Ben Stevenson
Costume Design by Masako Parshall
Lighting Design by Christina R. Giannelli

The Dying Swan
Music by Camille Saint-SaŽns
Choreography by Michel Fokine
Costume Design by Soul Fashion
Lighting Design by Christina R. Giannelli

World Premiere
Ragtime Dance
Music by Scott Joplin
Choreography by Tim O’Keefe
Costume Design by Judanna Lynn
Lighting Design by Christina R. Giannelli

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jack Buckhannan

Performance Tickets
Single tickets $18-$74
Toll-free 1-877-212-4280 or www.texasballettheater.org


About Enrica Guana Tseng

Enrica comes to Texas Ballet Theater from Chiavari, Italy.  Her professional career includes dancing with Teatro Comunale in Florence, Teatro Regio in Turin, Teatro Nuovo’s Company (Italy) and as a principal dancer with Universal Ballet Company (Seoul, South Korea).  Among the many roles she has enjoyed dancing are “Odette/Odile” in Swan Lake, “Giselle” in Giselle, Mr. Balanchine’s Serenade, Theme and Variations and Mr. Stevenson’s Four Last Song, Moonbeams and Coppťlia.  In September 2006, Enrica received the “Premio Lericipea” award in Italy given to a distinguished Italian abroad.  Enrica and her beloved husband, Chung-Lin, will soon celebrate their twelfth wedding anniversary.

About Tim O’Keefe
A native Houstonian, Mr. O’Keefe was awarded a scholarship to Houston Ballet Academy in 1981, joined the company one year later, was promoted to soloist in 1985, and was named a principal dancer in 1995. In March 1997, Houston Ballet artistic director Ben Stevenson created the title role of Dracula for Mr. O’Keefe. He has performed this role across the globe, winning praise from critics in Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Toronto. In March 2000, Mr. O’Keefe danced Caesar and Alcebiades in the world premiere of Mr. Stevenson’s Cleopatra. Favorite parts in other works by Mr. Stevenson include the title role in Peer Gynt; Lorenzo and the lead matador in Don Quixote; Father Frost in The Snow Maiden; Evening pas de deux with Naomi Glass; and an Ugly Stepsister in Cinderella. Other favorite roles include Monsieur G.M. in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon; Danilo in Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow; Pan in Glen Tetley’s Daphnis and Chloe; the Head Mistress in Graduation Ball; Madge in La Syphide; and Hilarion in Giselle. He has also performed roles in works by Jiri Kylian, Christopher Bruce, Paul Taylor, James Kudelka, Trey McIntyre, Sean Kelly and Lila York. Mr. O’Keefe has choreographed two works for Houston Ballet’s Cullen Contemporary Series, Fascinating Evening and Uncommon Valor; as well as two works for Houston Ballet Academy, Leaves and Shostakovich Suite.  This is Mr. O’Keefe’s fifth season with Texas Ballet Theater.  Last year, Mr. O’Keefe choreographed his first work for Texas Ballet Theater, Love Thing, to the music of Tina Turner.


ABOUT TEXAS BALLET THEATER
Founded in 1961, Texas Ballet Theater is the premier resident professional ballet company of North Texas.  Under the direction of artistic director Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., the Ballet brings unprecedented talent, beauty and artistic expression to the stages of Fort Worth's Bass Performance Hall and Dallas' Music Hall at Fair Park and Historic Majestic Theatre in downtown Dallas.  Texas Ballet Theater will become the resident ballet company for the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts when it opens in 2009.  Season sponsors include the Star-Telegram, The Dallas Morning News, WRR Radio, TACA, the City of Dallas and Texas Commission on the Arts, American Airlines and The Arts Council of Fort Worth & Tarrant County.   For more information, go to www.texasballettheater.org.

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Photo Credit
Artist: Carolyn Judson. Photo: Ellen Appel.

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