Under the direction of Salwa Rizkalla since its founding in 1988, Festival Ballet Theatre has become one of Southern California’s most vibrant and accomplished professional ballet companies.
Celebrating more than 25 years of artistic service to Orange County, FBT is dedicated to presenting works that epitomize the artistry of professional-quality ballet, offering cultural awareness of dance through educational programs, and nurturing a creative environment for some of our county’s most talented dancers. Boasting a roster of impressive, up-and-coming talent, the company’s productions feature internationally-acclaimed guest artists from prestigious companies, such as American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Kirov Ballet, New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Scottish Ballet.
Festival Ballet Theatre strives to enrich the experience of Orange County’s dance audience by highlighting the work of world-renowned guest and resident choreographers. With reverence for masterpieces of the past and a clear focus on developing future tours de force, FBT presents a varied repertoire of full-length classical ballets, including The Nutcracker, Coppélia, Don Quixote, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake, as well as contemporary works by some of the nation’s most sought-after choreographers. Festival Ballet Theatre was also the bid winner of Ballet Pacifica’s Assets Auction, purchasing the dissolved company’s names, sets, costumes and photography archive in order to preserve these treasures for FBT and the Orange County dance community.
Aspiring to the heights of artistic excellence, FBT simultaneously attracts the best in professional dance to its home base while sending its own dancers out as artistic ambassadors to the nation. Festival Ballet Theatre’s significant work has been recognized with a 2001 Arts Orange County Award for Outstanding Arts Organization of the Year.