Fountain Valley, Calif., February 1, 2018 – Festival Ballet Theatre will enchant Orange County audiences with its performance of Coppélia on March 24 and 25 at the Irvine Barclay Theatre.  Following a very successful Nutcracker season of sold-out performances, FBT presents the sentimental comic story which will delight audiences with its humor and charm.

Set in a small European village, this beloved ballet tells the story of an eccentric inventor, Doctor Coppélius, who creates a life-size dancing doll that looks so lifelike, some believe she is real. When young villager, Franz, becomes infatuated with the doll, he casts aside Swanhilda, his true heart’s desire. Swanhilda shows Franz his folly by dressing as the doll and pretending to come to life.

Based upon two stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann, Coppélia was originally choreographed by Arthur Saint-Léon, with music by Léo Delibes.

Appearing in the lead roles are Ballet West principal dancers Beckanne Sisk and Chase O’Connell alongside Festival Ballet Theatre’s company dancers and trainees.

Love, laughter and exquisite dancing make Coppélia a ballet to remember.


For Calendar Section

Who: Festival Ballet Theatre

What: Coppélia

When: Saturday, March 24 at 7:00pm

Sunday, March 25 at 2:00pm

Tickets: $42 -$55 and can be purchased at or by calling 949.854.4646 x1.


About Festival Ballet Theatre (FBT)

Festival Ballet Theatre is a nonprofit organization founded in 1988 by Salwa Rizkalla. Its mission is to enrich Orange County’s artistic and economic vitality, to inspire love and appreciation for dance, and to invigorate ballet by:

  • Presenting a season of exhilarating classical and contemporary performances,
  • Providing a nurturing environment for dancers and choreographers,
  • Offering stimulating educational outreach programs.

For more information, visit


About Salwa Rizkalla, Artistic Director

Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla has contributed to the Orange County community for more than 30 years by presenting excellence in dance performance through Festival Ballet Theatre and providing top-tier classical ballet training at Southland Ballet Academy.

During her professional dancing career, Ms. Rizkalla graced the stage in leading roles in well-known classical ballets as well as contemporary pieces. She had the privilege of working under the direction of world-renowned choreographers Leonid Lavrovsky and Serge Lifar. As a young dancer, Ms. Rizkalla trained in the Russian Vaganova method and studied with ballet masters of the Bolshoi and the Kirov. As the culmination of her training, Ms. Rizkalla completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ballet Pedagogy. She established Southland Ballet Academy in 1983 and debuted Festival Ballet Theatre in 1988. In addition to teaching and directing, Ms. Rizkalla was a faculty member of several area institutions.

Many arts organizations have recognized her service. The Orange County Music and Arts Administrators and Orange County Performing Arts Center jointly named her the Orange County Arts Educator of the Year Award for Secondary Dance (2003); Youth America Grand Prix awarded Ms. Rizkalla Outstanding Teacher accolades (2002, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2017 and 2018); and Arts Orange County  recognized Ms. Rizkalla with the Helena Modjeska Cultural Legacy Award (2014).

Ms. Rizkalla has been honored to impact the lives of hundreds of students and their families through her teaching. She is proud to be a dedicated educator, an energetic promoter of the arts, and an active participant in the cultural life of her community.

Elizabeth Farmen

Festival Ballet Theatre
9527 Garfield Ave.
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Phone: 714.962.5440