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Regional Dance America Festival in Midland this weekend

More than 400 dancers from Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and other Texas cities descend on Midland Thursday for the annual Regional Dance America 2023 Southwest Festival.

From Thursday through Saturday, the companies learn numerous routines and perform them that same evening at the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased at www.wagnernoel.com/events.

Learn a little more about each company and their key performance indicators below.

Arkansas Festival Ballet Little Rock, Arkansas

What: Strives to strengthen arts education in the Central Arkansas community through performances featuring local and visiting Little Rock artists.

Directed by Rebecca Miller Stalcup and Meredith Zacharitz

Performances: “Moment of Rebirth” (contemporary) Thursday, “Phaeton” (ballet) Friday

balletStrength sugar country

What: Fosters and promotes the appreciation of classical ballet through educational and performance opportunities, and offers workshops and performances for socially and economically disadvantaged children in the area.

Directed by Michael Banigan

Performances: “Breath” (ballet) Friday

Baton Rouge Ballet Theater Baton Rouge, Louisiana

What: Regarded as one of Baton Rouge’s oldest and busiest arts institutions, it has received numerous state and local awards, is recognized for its itinerant professional company, and has many alumni in a number of respected professional programs.

Directors: Molly Buchman and Sharon Mathews

Performances: “Inspirata” (ballet) Friday

Chamberlain Ballet Plano

What: Focuses on improving the lives of community members through dance productions, training and outreach; also encourages student choreography under the guidance of a professional.

Directed by Kathy Chamberlain

Performances: “Delusive” (contemporary) Thursday, solo by Toby Mattingly, winner of the 2023 Male RDA Southwest Eurotard Dancewear Senior Classical Outstanding Soloist, “Fifth” (ballet) Saturday

Houston City Ballet Houston

What: A highly respected program supporting youth in Houston and Galveston who are pursuing professional dance careers.

Directed by Mary Beth Arrington and Louis Fuente

Performances: “Reliant” (Contemporary) Thursday, Solo by 2023 Female RDA Southwest Eurotard Dancewear Senior Classical Outstanding Soloist Winner Lily Lyoen, “Awakenings” (Ballet) Saturday

Collin County Ballet Theater Plano

What: Non-profit organization with seasonal performances made up of members of the youth ensemble who received technical training as pre-professional students at the Hathaway Academy of Ballet.

Directed by Linda and Kirt Hathaway

Performances: “Bloom” (contemporary) Thursday, “Glazunov’s Rhapsody” (ballet) Friday.

Corpus Christi Ballet Corpus Christi

What: A small group of semi-professionals help outreach by providing on-site theater, lectures and mini-performances for schools, reaching thousands of children each year.

Directed by Cristina Stirling Munro and Alexandra Emory

Performances: Solo by 2023 Female RDA Southwest Eurotard Dancewear Senior Contemporary Outstanding Soloist Julianna Perez, “A Celebration at Eszterhaza” (Ballet) Saturday

Dallas Ballet Company Dallas

Consists of a senior company, trainees, trainees and a junior ballet company and has sent large numbers of students to prestigious programs such as the New York City Ballet.

Directed by Judy and Brent Klopfenstein

Performances: “Resolute” (contemporary) Thursday, “Highland Dance” (ballet) Saturday

encore college station

What: Founded in 2022, the company was founded with a goal of providing dancers with performance opportunities while sharing the beauty of ballet throughout the community.

Directed by Christi Varvel

Performances: “Jubel” (ballet) Thursday

Festival Ballet Albuquerque Albuquerque, New Mexico

What: Supported by dancers of all ages, FBA is dedicated to creating excellence in dance training and production by maintaining high standards and providing dancers with development.

Directed by Patricia Dickinson Wells

Performances: “Piedmont” (contemporary) Friday

confront art collective Houston

What: A multimedia dance theater made up of artists in residence, guests and trainees, working in collaboration with The JET-PAC to bring together musicians, dancers, actors and more.

Directed by Heather Steel, Melissa Ludwig and Jenna Westall

Performances: “Disco Fever” (fun ballet) Thursday, “House of Hera” (comedic ballet) Friday

Kingwood Dance Theater Kingwood

What: Focuses on training his dancers to a technical and performative level useful for career opportunities in classical ballet, dance of all styles, and theater in general.

Directed by Sheryl Rowland and Kelly Agnew and starring Kerri Hawk, Trish King and Grace Snider

Appearances: Solo by RDA Southwest Eurotard Female Dancewear Junior Outstanding Soloist 2023, Adeline Vinson, “Airborne” (Ballet) Friday

Louisiana Delta Ballet Monroe, Louisiana

What: Established to nurture talented dancers from the Northeast and provide excellent, professional-quality training and performance opportunities.

Directed by Missy Crain and Elmarie Wessels

Performances: “Keep Me In The Open” (contemporary) Thursday, “Ah, I See” (contemporary) Saturday

Midland Festival Ballet midland

What: A company dedicated to educating the West Texas community about the importance of ballet and dance, and providing educational and performing opportunities during seasonal outreach programs.

Directed by Susan Clark

Performances: “Feather” (contemporary) and “Tribute” (ballet) Thursday, “Reflections” (ballet) Saturday

Plano Metropolitan Ballet Plano

What: In partnership with other local businesses, PMB performs original plays for the community. They also have an adult group called Generations.

Director: Cindi Lawrence Hanson

Performances: “Chronos” (Ballet) Thursday

Twin City Ballet Monroe, Louisiana

What: With a repertoire that demonstrates skill in classical and contemporary ballet, modern and jazz pieces, TCB begins training students as young as 9 and progresses through six levels of training.

Directed by Linda L Ford

Performances: “Heartsick: (Contemporary) Thursday, “Fear” (Contemporary) Saturday

Victoria Ballet Theatre Victoria

What: In addition to training local talent, the company is focused on introducing young children to dance by hosting numerous performances and lecture presentations on many school campuses.

Directors: Brenda Tall and Kelli Klein

Performances: “Set, Rise” (Ballet) Saturday

Western Arkansas Ballet Fort Smith, Arkansas

What: WAB aims to create a community dedicated to the visual arts through quality education, training and performance, and by highlighting student choreography and professional talent.

Director: Brianna Mesa, Melissa Schoenfeld, Jared Mesa

Performances: “Elan” (ballet) Friday

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