Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre To Present CARMEN

Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre (PBDT), led by Natasha Middleton, Artistic Director and Choreographer will kick off its 17th Anniversary Season with a Southern California Tour of the full-length ballet "CARMEN," based on Georges Bizet's opera and Prosper Mérimée's original story with Special String and Percussion Musical Arrangements conceived by Rodion Shehedrin, starring Elen Harutyunyan as Carmen, Gregori Arakelyan as Don José, Preston Swovelin as Escamillo, Damara Titmus as Micaëla and Alexander Fost as Remendado.

Performances will be presented at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center, 750 West Lancaster Boulevard, Lancaster, CA 93434 on Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.; Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Boulevard, Manhattan Beach, CA 90278 on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.; and at the Janet & Ray Scherr Forum Theatre at Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362. Discounted Tickets are now on sale for performances at all three venues and can be purchased online at www.pacificballetdancetheatre.com.

Natasha Middleton, Artistic Director of Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre and Director and Choreographer, said: "I am looking forward to bringing our full-length production of 'CARMEN' into geographic areas in Southern California where we have never performed before, including Lancaster, Redondo Beach and Thousand Oaks. Now, as we kick off our 17th Anniversary Season, this is our first touring show. It's exciting to be expanding!"

Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre continues to garner critical acclaim from the media. The Los Angeles Times wrote, "Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre's Principal dancers managed a series of lifts so smoothly that they triumphed on technique alone. The ambitious troupe has much to be proud of." The Tolucan Times has written, "Natasha Middleton's choreography leapt off the stage and touched us, the audience, deeply and profoundly with a bold, biting and brazen artistic fervor." The Burbank Leader has written, "The dancers are focused and have lovely technique." The Daily Splash has written, "The flexibility and grace that all the performers displayed was breathtaking."

Tickets for the Lancaster Performing Arts Center performance to be held on Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. are $27.78 and $38.89 each. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 661-723-5950, during Box Office Hours, Monday - Friday, 12 Noon - 6:00 p.m., and Saturday, 12 Noon - 4:00 p.m. There is a 10% discount on all tickets purchased by September 10th. Mention Code "Carmen 10" when ordering. Tickets can be purchased online at www.pacificballetdancetheatre.com.

Tickets for the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center performance to be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. are $45, $55 and $65 each. Tickets can be purchased 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling BrownPaperTickets.com at 800-838-3006, Press 1 and Mention Event #3376012. There is a 10% discount Early Bird Special on all tickets purchased by September 15th. Mention Code "Studio" and when ordering. Tickets can be purchased online at www.pacificballetdancetheatre.com.

Tickets for the Janet & Ray Scherr Forum Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center performance to be held on Sunday, September 23, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. are $45, $55 and $65 each. Tickets can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. There is a 10% discount on all tickets purchased by September 10th. Mention Code "Ballet 10" when ordering. Tickets can be purchased online at www.pacificballetdancetheatre.com.

The cast of Principal and Soloist Dancers will include: Elen Harutyunyan (of North Hollywood) as the fiery temptress, Carmen; Grigori Arakelyan (of La Crescenta) as the love smitten Don José; Preston Swovelin (of Altadena) as the dashing hot to trot Toréador Escamillo; Damara Titmus (of Reseda) as the ever faithful Micaëla, Alexander Fost (of Alhambra and "So You Think You Can Dance") as Remendado, A Gypsy; Ricardo Jony (of Los Angeles) as Zuniga, Lieutenant of Dragoons; Alina Bormotova (of Glendale) as Mercédès, a friend of Carmen (September 15 and 23); Hannah Hart (of Glendale) as Mercédès, a friend of Carmen (September 22); Natalie Grina (of Burbank) as Frasquita, a friend of Carmen; Duo Loparevi: Nataliia Lopareva (of Sherman Oaks) as Spanish Dancer and Oleg Loparevi (of Sherman Oaks) as a Toréador; and Tatiana A'Virmond (of Burbank) as Lead Gypsy, Character Dancer and Soloist.

The Corps de Ballet will include: Alejandro Flores (of North Hollywood) as Dancaire, A Gypsy Smuggler; Marianna Udovchenko (of North Hollywood) as Lead Gypsy; Patrick Fitzsimmons (of Santa Clarita) as Gypsy Bandit; Shelby Freeman (of Redondo Beach) as Gypsy and Cigar Factory Worker; Meagan Van Deren (of Glendale) as a Lead Gypsy; Chloe Verkinder (of Manhattan Beach) as a Gypsy Factory Worker; and Bridie Connors (of West Hollywood) as Gypsy and Cigar Factory Girl.

Georges Bizet's sweeping musical score of his opera, "CARMEN," which underscores the full-length ballet, includes iconic melodies like the Habañera, Sequidilla and Toreador Song. "CARMEN" is the story of a wild gypsy girl working in a cigarette factory in Seville, Spain. Carmen lives for passion, sensuality and money. She is arrested for injuring her co-worker in the cigarette factory and is turned over to a young Army Corporal, Don José to take to jail. However, she manages to seduce him with her wild seductive ways and taunts him until he finally unties her and lets her go. He, in turn, is arrested and spends a month in jail. When he is released, he returns to Carmen and finds her at Lillas Pastias's Inn, where he is confronted by his superior officer, Lieutenant Zuniga, who is also in love with Carmen. Rather than lose her love, Don José deserts his military duties, his mother and his childhood sweetheart, Micaëla, and joins Carmen's band of smugglers. Carmen's friends, Frasquita and Mercédès read their fortunes from the cards foretelling Carmen's and Don José's ultimate fate. As is her usual way, Carmen becomes bored with Don José and leaves him for Spain's most famous Matador, Escamillo. Don José finds Carmen with Escamillo, outside of the Bull Ring in Seville and when Escamillo leaves, he confronts Carmen and begs her to return to him. When she refuses, Don José enters into a jealous rage of betrayal. A fight ensues which ends in Carmen's tragic demise.

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