DALLAS and FORT WORTH, Texas, Feb. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Texas Ballet Theater, the preeminent professional ballet company of Dallas and Fort Worth, announced today that it has accepted an invitation to attend the China Shanghai International Arts Festival, one of the world''s most prestigious cultural events. North Texas'' premier ballet company will head to China from DFW on October 23, due to the generosity and collaborative efforts of American Airlines, DFW International Airport and the Visit DFW Campaign.
Source: Texas Ballet Theater; DFW International Airport
· Dancers from the Texas Ballet Theater perform at DFW Airport · Click Here to Download Image Texas Ballet Theater is the first North Texas arts group ever invited to perform and it is also the first performing arts organization from the United States to confirm participation in the 2008 festival. The company''s first Chinese performance, the full-length production Cleopatra, will be danced in Shanghai before a television audience of more than 500 million people.
The historic announcement was made by Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., artistic director of Texas Ballet Theater, during a joint press conference held today with American Airlines, DFW International Airport and the Visit DFW Campaign in the state-of-the-art International Terminal D. Following a special performance by 19 members of Texas Ballet Theater''s company, remarks were made by Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief, as well as Marilyn DeVoe, vice president of American Airlines'' DFW Hub and Jeff Fegan, CEO of DFW International Airport.
The timing of the China tour is significant because in December 2007, the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on tourism between China and the U.S. took place, opening the door to leisure travelers from China for the first time. Texas Ballet Theater''s participation in the festival supports the continued efforts by American Airlines and the Airport''s Visit DFW Campaign to raise the visibility of North Texas in China. It also helps them to open another direct portal to China, in addition to American''s parallel route to Beijing.
"As the Ballet company of Dallas and Fort Worth, we are most grateful to American Airlines, DFW International Airport and the Visit DFW Campaign for sponsoring our China tour, giving us the opportunity to represent the U.S. and North Texas at this world renowned festival," said Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., artistic director of Texas Ballet Theater. "American Airlines has provided significant support to our company for many years, and we are delighted they will be flying out of DFW''s International Terminal D. We also hope our presence at the festival helps both American Airlines and DFW Airport in their efforts to reach new visitors from China to the U.S."
"Once again, Fort Worth and Dallas come together to make our region stronger, to make all of us stronger," said Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief. "We meet here in the middle at our great Airport to congratulate the ballet and also to recognize the importance of China to our international business and cultural future. We will build new relationships and an entire new world audience will see what our great cities have to offer."
"The Texas Ballet Theater is going to give our region, our civic leaders, our business leaders and our Airport another fantastic opportunity to build meaningful relationships that will bring our two countries closer," said Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert. "We are all fully committed to making Dallas and Fort Worth truly international in all aspects of business and culture. This is another great stride forward."
The festival, which is hosted by the Ministry of Culture and organized by Shanghai Municipal People''s Government, will be held October 18-November 18, 2008. The event is attended by dignitaries of all branches. In 2007, the month-long showcase of international arts and culture featured 60 live performances of Western Ballet and Chinese dance, classical and pop music, opera and theatrical productions. Texas Ballet Theater joins a prestigious list of many of the world''s premier names in the performing arts that have presented at the festival, including American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Kirov Ballet, James Galway, Andrea Bocelli, Yo-Yo Ma, and others. In addition to the company''s performance in Shanghai, the Ballet also will dance in Beijing and Guangzhou.
"As a company devoted to promoting the arts in the communities we serve, American Airlines is proud to send Texas Ballet Theater to share our home town culture with China -- a nation where we are committed to growing our business," said Marilyn DeVoe, vice president of AA''s DFW Hub.
"It is most appropriate as DFW celebrates the ''Year of the International Traveler'' and continues to expand air service around the world that the ballet''s trip will begin right here at our great Airport," said Jeff Fegan, CEO of DFW International Airport. "Our Airport and our region is in the midst of aggressive outreach for more global trade and tourism to North Texas -- especially in China. We are proud to support our local world-class talent as they take the world stage."