For 32 years, Ballet Concerto has been ringing in summer with an outdoor end-of-the-season concert series at the Trinity Park Pavilion in Fort Worth. Well attended every year, with more and more people coming out, laying down their blankets, and cuddling up with a glass of wine, and chowing down on their packed picnics - this show is worth the 45 minute drive outside of Dallas.
Margo Dean founded Ballet Concerto in 1969 to present the art of ballet and other forms of dance to Fort Worth's public schools. This is accomplished through the FIND program (Find and Inspire New Dancers) and a series of lectures and demonstrations. The Summer Dance Concert was a natural evolution of this mission. Each year, professional choreographers and dancers are assembled from across the globe to perform in a four-day weekend of dance that presents classical and contemporary ballet in a family-friendly setting and at no cost, which can be difficult to find when it comes to dance.
This year's performance continues the tradition, but it will also be staged as a tribute to longtime Ballet Concerto choreographer and collaborator, Christine Marie Hay, who passed away in late 2013. Hay was a vital part of company and the Margo Dean School of Ballet for almost 30 years, first as a dancer, then as a teacher, and perhaps, most significantly, as a choreographer. For this year's Summer Dance Concert, the company will be restaging many of her beloved works, including Little Red Top.
The show will also include Paul Mejia's Sylvia pas de deux, performed by Shea Johnson and Michele Gifford, Luis Montero's Bolero, and Associate Artistic Director Webster Dean's restaging of Leonide Massine's Gaite Parisienne. Originally performed by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1938, Gaite Parisienne is a collection of dances that tells of flirtation, love, jovial spirits with a twinge of comedy, it even includes a can-can dance.
"We have cute ballets set to jazzy music. A classical, yet exhilarating, pas de deux. A highlight of flamenco dancing that includes twirling shawls, skirts, and a bullfighter. Then, we end the evening with the vivacious ballet, Gaite Parisienne," Company Member Whitney Hart says. "This year, our program includes a wide variety of ballets that will entertain everyone, from the most experienced ballet watcher to the youngest and newest audience member.
Keep an eye on the weather though because there's rain in the forecast. Ballet Concerto Summer Dance Concert takes place at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 26-Sunday, June 29 at the Trinity Park Pavilion, 2300 W. Seventh Street, Fort Worth. Seating is free on the lawns, or purchase a VIP table on 817-738-7915.