Pacific Festival Ballet
Founded in 1992, by local women who shared a passion for the arts and dance education, Pacific Festival Ballet fulfilled a dream to establish a regional company that would nurture local talent and introduce the art form of ballet to the community. Today, PFB offers a wide range of programs designed to cultivate and inspire young artists through performance opportunities, ballet training and community outreach.
Performing the Great Classics
Since its founding, Pacific Festival Ballet has presented the greatest of classical ballet masterpieces including The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. However, the company also specializes in presenting new and original works by its own artistic team. This season, Artistic Director Kim Maselli and composer Eric Allaman present their third original ballet: Camelot – a timeless saga of knights and ladies, dragons and forest fairies, King Arthur and Guinevere.
Celebrating the Beauty of Ballet
One of the most beautiful aspects of the dance is its ability to convey emotions to audiences. In a ballet, the music and movement combine to create an emotional experience that is unmistakable.
To this end, the ballet world is filled with masterpieces that are revered and loved by both adults and children. Many are familiar with such classics as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Cinderella. But there are so many more that deserve to be remembered and performed.
The English National Ballet (ENB) has a long tradition of performing The Nutcracker, which began with Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin in the 1930s. After the First World War, Markova and Dolin saw a need to popularise ballet and to bring it into the mainstream. The two friends formed a company that toured extensively and raised the standards of the art form. They introduced the Nutcracker to the public in 1950, and it became a popular annual tradition for the company.
Throughout the years, The Nutcracker has been staged in a number of different venues, from the Stoll Theatre on Kingsway to the New Victoria Theatre and the London Coliseum. The Royal Festival Hall is another venue where the company has performed The Nutcracker for many years.
While performing The Nutcracker, the company brings in professional guest artists from across the country. This year, the company welcomes Tiler Peck, the Nutcracker regular for New York City Ballet, to the stage as the Sugar Plum Fairy.
The company also regularly draws star performers from other companies to perform as the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Prince. In addition, PFB is proud to partner with many other organizations that offer the art of ballet to underserved communities in Southern California.
Dancers who have graduated from Pacific Festival Ballet and gone on to professional careers are credited with their success in part to the high quality training they received at PFB. Alumni Leili Rackow, who now performs as a soloist with San Francisco Ballet, reflected on her journey to the stage and how the company’s rigorous training shaped her into an accomplished ballerina.