One night only: Friday, August 18 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts


Guests are invited to experience an unforgettable night of dance featuring world-renowned guest artists from American Ballet Theatre, The Royal Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and New York City Ballet.


Fountain Valley, CA (July 24, 2017) – Festival Ballet Theatre’s 10th Annual Gala Of The Stars brings remarkable performances from unparalleled talent to Orange County’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall for one spectacular night of dance.

Highly regarded for bringing together the most prestigious ballet dancers of our time, Festival Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla marks the Gala’s 10th Anniversary with rarely seen repertoire from Yuri Possokhov, Kenneth MacMillan, Christopher Wheeldon, Liam Scarlett and Wayne McGregor. Also featured will be two pieces from George Balanchine, including Jewels, to honor and share in the celebration of the ballet’s 50th anniversary.

Renowned guest artists and inspiring repertoire list confirmed as:

  • Misty Copeland and Alexandre Hammoudi of American Ballet Theatre performing MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet Pas de Deux
  • Lauren Cuthbertson and Eric Underwood of The Royal Ballet performing McGregor’s Chroma and Wheeldon’s After the Rain
  • Laura Morera and Ryoichi Hirano of The Royal Ballet performing MacMillan’s Manon Pas de Deux and Pas de Deux from Scarlett’s Asphodel Meadows
  • Yuan Yuan Tan and Vitor Luiz of San Francisco Ballet performing Possokohov’s Bells and Wheeldon’s Ghosts
  • Ashley Bouder and Gonzalo Garcia of New York City Ballet performing Balanchine’s Rubies Pas de Deux from Jewels and Pas de Deux from Stars and Stripes
  • Festival Ballet Theatre company dancers performing the world-premiere of Gravel, featuring choreography by Renee Kester, formerly of Houston Ballet, presently of Festival Ballet Theatre

The annual Gala Of The Stars is the culminating celebration of Orange County’s International Ballet Festival and beyond the exceptional list of featured guest artists, the event is also known for its opening act, the “Inspired Young Dancer Performance”, showcasing young protégés demonstrating their incredible talent.

This unprecedented night of dance will be led by the esteemed Mark Walberg, host of Antiques Roadshow who has just been announced as the Gala’s Master of Ceremonies.

GALA OF THE STARS TICKETS or (714) 556-2787
Friday, August 18 at 6:00 PM Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Prices: $65 – $95

$200 – A gourmet dinner with the stars will be held immediately following the performance at Leatherby’s Café Rouge. Tickets can be purchased by visiting

As a part of the Orange County’s International Ballet Festival, dance students from around the globe will come to Southland Ballet Academy for a three week summer intensive program. These dancers will have the unique opportunity to learn from distinguished guest faculty including Jean-Yves Esquerre, Artistic Director of the Dutch National Ballet Academy, Christopher Powney, Artistic Director of The Royal Ballet School, Larissa Saveliev, Founder and Artistic Director of Youth America Grand Prix and Patrick Armand, Associate Director of San Francisco Ballet School.

Beyond participating in the “Inspired Young Dancer Performance”, select students from the summer intensive may be presented with coveted scholarships to prestigious ballet schools by some of the acclaimed artistic directors.

Dawson Cole Fine Art will present a collection of ballet works by renowned sculptor Richard MacDonald in the theater lobby.

Festival Ballet Theatre welcomes the opportunity to work with local businesses/individuals as sponsors of the Gala of The Stars. Information regarding sponsorship is available by visiting

*Guest artist and event information may be subject to change without notice.


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, including Goldenwest College and the Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts.

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 and 2017); 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.

Tracey Clark

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