50 for 50 | Texas Ballet Theater
From classical to cutting edge, the Texas Ballet Theater presents world-class ballet to audiences across North Texas. It is the only arts organization to serve as a resident company for both the Winspear Opera House on the campus of the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas and the Bass Performance Hall in downtown Fort Worth.
The Texas Ballet Theater was founded as the Fort Worth Ballet Association in 1961 by Margo Dean in Fort Worth, Texas, becoming a fully professional ballet company in 1985. In 1988, the company began adding performances of The Nutcracker through a business partnership with the Dallas Opera at the Music Hall at Fair Park.
Fort Worth Ballet became the Fort Worth Dallas Ballet in 1994 when The Dallas Supporters of FWDB, a separate 501(c)(3) organization, was formed in Dallas to raise fund to support a full season in Dallas at the Music Hall at Fair Park. They operated under the two-corporation, two-board system in a joint venture agreement for nine seasons until 2001, ultimately agreeing to a merge. The organization became the Texas Ballet Theater in 2003.
Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., has served as the artistic director for Texas Ballet Theater since 2003. Through his artistic vision, he has elevated the company from a regional troupe to an internationally acclaimed ensemble. A native of Portsmouth, England, Stevenson began his training at the Arts Education School in London. He later became a principal dancer with the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet and English National Ballet. In December of 1999, Queen Elizabeth II named Stevenson an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
In addition to its annual production of the Nutcracker, the company performs a wide range of ballets each season, from 20th century masterpieces and contemporary works to familiar classical story ballets. The Texas Ballet Theater also connects with North Texans through community programs and school visits.
There are between 30 to 40 dancers in the company, who usually begin training at a similar school, and then audition for ballet companies as they reach the professional level. Typically the dancers enter the company as trainees, advancing to apprenticeship and eventually to the rank of a company dancer.
The Texas Ballet Theater School offers dance programs in both Dallas and Fort Worth, ranging from beginner ballet to elite professional training. The curriculum is designed to create a life-long appreciation for ballet with classes that nurture aspiring artists as well as hone their technical skills. Ballet also helps develop critical life skills like discipline, confidence and creativity, something that will be a part of their lives long after the classes have ended.
A wide range of programs is available throughout the summer, primarily focusing on the younger students. These classes combine professional instruction with fun summer themes. Adult programs are also available for those who might be new to ballet or making a return to the studio. Whether you’re dreaming of dancing Claire in the Nutcracker or remembering your wish to be a ballerina as a kid, the Texas Ballet Theater offers a fun environment in which to dream.
This year, the ballet will be back on all the stages, with performances of The Nurcracker this holiday season in both Dallas and Fort Worth, and The Nutty Nutcracker in Fort Worth on December 17. Early next year will feature performances in Dallas and Fort Worth of A Tchaikovsky Evening in February and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in May.