Ballet Theatre of Maryland’s 35th season has family flair

nutcrackerBallet Theatre of Maryland is celebrating it's 35th anniversary with a season full of shows that the family may enjoy.

The mainstage season kicks off with a world premiere, "The Dancing Princesses" Oct. 19-21. Based on the Grimm's fairy tale, this all-new ballet follows the young hero, Darien, as he solves the mystery of where the princesses dance each night, helps them break an enchantment and defeat the Goblin Queen before she takes over the kingdom.

Artistic Director Dianna Cuatto draws her inspiration for this original work from the 1960s film The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm saying, "I decided that I would someday capture this playful adventure through a dramatic retelling in dance, where I could create an amazing, new, secret world...The challenge for me is to create some vivid new characters while capturing a different kind of magic onstage as I strive to bring this fairy tale to our 21st century audience."

Shows are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Younger patrons can take part in a free Once Upon a Time party held at 1 p.m. prior to Sunday's matinee on Oct. 21. Sponsored by Chesapeake Taste Magazine, kids are encouraged to dress up as their favorite fairy tale character and meet the dancers while enjoying some tasty treats.


Nutcracker takes the stage

Next "The Nutcracker" will be performed on Dec. 8-9 and 15-16. In the well known ballet, the gift of a wooden nutcracker from her mysterious Godfather Drosselmeier takes Clara from her family's Christmas party to exciting new worlds where rats become life-size, snowflakes dance and twirl, and, as the Sugar Plum Fairy, she rules the Kingdom of the Sweets. Shows are Saturdays, 7 p.m. and Sundays 1 and 4:30 p.m. Sugar Plum parties will noon and 3:30 p.m. prior to each of the Sunday matinees and is included in the ticket price.

Fairy tales get fractured in BTM's February show, Coppélia on Febr. 22-24, 2013. Fans of Shrek will enjoy the machinations of the mischievous Swanilda and her fickle fiancé, Franz, as they wreak havoc on the eccentric toymaker Dr. Coppelius and his mysterious daughter, Coppélia, the object of Franz's affections. Shows are Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m. and Sunday, 2 p.m.

BTM concludes its 35th season with "Director's Choice: All American" April 12-14, 2013. The finale will showcase famed choreographer Antony Tudor's "Continuo." Restaged by Amanda McKerrow, "Continuo" is "one long lyrical outpouring" of movement celebrating freedom and abandon. The program also features the energetic, passionate work, American Songs, based on traditional folk, ballad and patriotic American songs in honor of Maryland's War of 1812 Bicentennial. The program will be rounded out by new works celebrating American culture and will be performed to music composed by nationally renowned, local talent. Shows are Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m. and Sunday, 2 p.m.

Shows on the road

BTM will also be performing a three-show series at the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts, beginning Oct. 6, with "Aladdin" as well as performances throughout the state. For details details at www.balletmaryland.org

In celebration of the 35th season, BTM will be rolling out a new tiered ticketing structure as well, to ensure that even more Marylanders can enjoy the beauty of live professional ballet. Adult single tickets are now as low as $31.50 and will be available through the Maryland Hall box office (www.mdhallarts.org or 410-280-5640).

For more information, www.balletmaryland.org, btmmgr@balletmaryland.org or 410-224-5644.