Monday, July 6, 2009

Ballet Florida folds

Ballet Florida, the resident contemporary and classical ballet company of West Palm Beach, announced on July 4 that it would cease to exist after 23 years. Artistic Director Marie Hale and her staff will focus their efforts to open a new nonprofit school in September in a new location to be announced. It's sad news after the long, hard struggle fought by the staff to keep the company afloat. In March, Ballet Florida canceled the remainder of its 2008-09 season for lack of funds.

The company of 20 included dancers from France, Cuba, Chile, Spain, Brazil and Venezuela, as well as the United States. Ballet Florida was known for its intriguing and imaginative repertoire, from full-length story ballets, to major historic works to modern ballets by top and emerging choreographers. As well, the company taught dance to youngsters who might never get the opportunity to learn ballet.