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Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet Announces Spring Performance

USA International Ballet Competition Finalists Return As Guest Artists

The Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet's premier performance at Thalia Mara Hall will be held Saturday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. with principal roles being played by 2002 USA International Ballet Competition (IBC) finalists Katia Garza and Sergiu Brindusa as well as local IBC competitor Sarah Newman of Brookhaven.

"This is the first of three performances planned for the 2003-2004 season at Thalia Mara Hall and we are thrilled that our advanced dancers have an opportunity to work with these professionals," said Artistic Director Jennifer Beasley. "We also have an excellent program featuring the popular Don Quixote, Act III and Stravinsky's The Firebird which is a one act story based on a Russian fairy tale."

Set designs will be custom built for both pieces, including the castle of the evil sorcerer Kotschei in The Firebird. The repertoire chosen is tailored to the dance styles of the company and by bringing back stars from the IBC, locals can catch another glimpse of a crowd favorite, Don Quixote.

The spring program includes:

  • The Firebird performed by Sarah Newman, choreographed by Peter Merz, USA IBC Artistic Administrator, music by Stravinsky
  • By an Angel choreography by Israel Rodriguez, dancer and choreographer with Southern Ballet Theater in Orlando, Florida, music by Yoa Nnevo and Gil Brown
  • The Passion of Sorrow choreographed by Eric Kegler, former Cincinnati Ballet Soloist, music from Mozart’s Requiem
  • Don Quixote, Act III by Marius Petipa staged by Jennifer Beasley, Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet Artistic Director, music by Ludwig Minkus

" By an Angel is a contemporary piece that was performed during round two of the IBC last summer," said Beasley. "The other work, The Passion of Sorrow, is set specifically for the company members' dance technique. It will showcase the strength and depth of these fine young dancers."

The Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet trains over 500 students in the state. Of the advanced level students, 30 are auditioned and chosen to be a part of the pre-professional company. It is this student company that makes up the cast for this year's spring performance.

Guest artists include Katia Garza and Sergiu Brindusa of Southern Ballet Theater in Orlando, Florida. Erik Kegler is a former dancer with the Cincinnati Ballet and the Cleveland San Jose Ballet. Peter Merz is a former dancer with both the Louisville and Cincinnati Ballets and current Artistic Administrator of the USA IBC. His choreography has been performed internationally.

Ticket prices range from $10 in the upper balcony, to $15 in the rear orchestra and lower balcony, to $20 in the main orchestra and loge. Please call 601.992.9016 for more information.

The Madison Civic Ballet was founded in 1992 in an elementary school in Madison. In 1996, the name was changed to the Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet to reflect that dancers were coming from across the state to study dance. Today there are three locations with over 500 students. Our mission is to foster interest in classical ballet, to provide excellence in dance training, to offer serious dancers the opportunity to perform regularly, and to provide programs of the highest quality for the metro Jackson area.