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Ballet Theatre Of Maryland Presents LES SYLPHIDES AND OTHER WORKS

A VIP event at Hammond Harwood House in September followed by an October show with works by Mikhail Fokine, Edward Stewart, and a world premiere by Keith Lee.

Ballet Theatre Of Maryland Presents LES SYLPHIDES AND OTHER WORKS

On September 18, Ballet Theatre of Maryland will open its season with Ballet in the Garden, an intimate VIP performance in the historic environment of the Hammond Harwood House. October 7-9, the company begins its mainstage performance season with Les Sylphides and Other Works at Maryland Hall.

This mixed-repertory production highlights the renowned one-act ballet Les Sylphides by Mikhail Fokine along with Sapphire Romance from Founding Artistic Director Edward Stewart, Flow and Ebb by company soloist Cindy Case, and the world premiere of Hijinks and Lullabies by noted choreographer Keith Lee.

Les Sylphides, set to the music of Chopin, follows the "poet" as he dances with ghostly sylphs through the dreamy atmosphere of a moonlit park. Described as "romantic reverie", this one-act ballet celebrates the beauty of romantic ballet with a setting evocative of the Halloween season.

The performance will also feature Hijinks and Lullabies, a Keith Lee world premiere. Lee is a master choreographer who has performed as a soloist with American Ballet Theatre and served as ballet master for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. His whimsical 26-minute piece, set to the music of Mahler, takes place in a ski chalet and includes a diverse cast of a ship captain, an inspector, a flock of chickadees, and many more.

Says Artistic Director Nicole Kelsch, "We are thrilled for Keith Lee's return to choreograph a new work for Ballet Theatre of Maryland. It goes without saying that Keith Lee is a prolific choreographer who draws upon his long and successful career as an artist and dancemaker. We cannot wait to share his newest creation with our Annapolis audience."

The company will also perform Edward Stewart's Sapphire Romance, most recently reprised in 2009. This sumptuous work for 16 dancers is accompanied by Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2. Cindy Case's Flow and Ebb, set to the music of Debussy, is a world premiere work.

Join Ballet Theatre of Maryland for Ballet in the Garden (September 18) with $55 tickets for BTM and Hammond Harwood subscribers and $75 for general audiences. In-person tickets for Les Sylphides and Other Works at Maryland Hall are on sale now at $50 for adults, $40 for seniors or military, and $30 child or student tickets. For virtual audiences, tickets are $30 per household. To learn more, visit balletmaryland.org.

Ballet Theatre of Maryland, founded in 1978, is designated as Maryland's premier professional ballet company and conservatory and has a long history performing at venues throughout the state. The company is comprised of 23 professional dancers, 15 apprentices, and 17 trainees. Professional faculty members of the Conservatory of Dance are current in their field, most with degrees or certifications in dance education. The conservatory offers a full curriculum of classes in ballet, jazz, modern, tap, partnering, and conditioning while providing students with professional performance opportunities. For more information about BTM, please visit www.balletmaryland.org or call (410) 224-5654.

Nicole Kelsch received her early training from Peter and Kristin Degnan at Ballet Northeast in Pennsylvania. She also received training from Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Austin, Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts, and Princeton Ballet. Nicole graduated from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Ballet Performance in three years. Upon graduation, she danced professionally with Columbia City Ballet, Atlanta Festival Ballet, and Connecticut Ballet.

In 2006, Nicole joined The Ballet Theatre of Maryland as an apprentice under the direction of Dianna Cuatto. She was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2008 and throughout her career was featured as Clara and The Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, the Firebird in The Firebird, Swanhilda in Coppelia, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, as a Principal in Antony Tudor's Continuo, the Principal Couple in Italian Symphonette, Titania and Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Magdalena in An American Southwest Carmen, Cinderella in Cinderella, Guinevere in Excalibur, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Pearl in The Little Mermaid, and has performed the Don Quixote Pas de Deux.

In 2008, after having served on the faculty for two years, Nicole became the School Principal for The Ballet Theatre of Maryland Conservatory. She was named the Ballet Mistress for the company in 2015. Nicole retired from performing in March 2020 and became the Artistic Director in July 2020. She successfully led the company through a full 2020-2021 performing season at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, staging performances of Edward Stewart's Dracula, Dianna Cuatto's The Nutcracker, An American Southwest Carmen, and The Little Mermaid.




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