The only non-profit professional ballet organization in Southeastern North Carolina, Wilmington Ballet Company is a rising star in the Cape Fear Region Art Scene. With a dozen professional dancers and hundreds of youth participants, the company currently produces a ballet Wilmington-based season consisting of the “Great Wilmington Nutcracker,” “Adventures in Ballet,” and “Celebrations of the Classics.”
December’s “Great Wilmington Nutcracker” is anticipated to sell out. In March 2017, “Adventures in Ballet” will include three sections: 1. Jungle book – an original local work full of special effects, 2. Rainbow Fish – set by the prestigious Raleigh Dance Theater, and 3. Original works to the live orchestra of Cape Fear Community College. “Celebrations of the Classics” will showcase “Sleeping Beauty,” featuring world-renowned guest artists alongside local professionals.
“Nutcracker,” which was awarded Encore Magazine best Theatrical Production, is full of new surprises every year. “Adventures in Ballet” is a presentation of innovative choreographic works for the whole family with a new theme each year. “Celebrations of the Classics” is a full length traditional ballet from historic favorites.
“Swan Lake,” which played in June, was a historic first for ballet in Wilmington: the full four-act ballet without reduction or narration and the classical choreography of the iconic lake scene performed flawlessly in its traditional format. Hundreds of local youth performed the castle scenes, bringing majesty and grandeur to the stage. Special effects including live predator birds and massive fabric magic added spectacle and entertainment.
WBC opened in 1999 and has historically been supported by all the local arts foundations including Wilmington Arts Council and Landfall Foundation. WBC is raising the standard for dance in the Cape Fear region. The only organization in the region to achieve winners – with a half dozen – in the prestigious Youth American Grand Prix competition, WBC is also the only organization to work with prestigious Regional Dance America choreographers. WBC is the only non-profit ballet company in the area and the only to offer paid professional contracts for a full season.
Wilmington Ballet Company (WBC) performances are unique, designed as art and community festivals built around a ballet. Live art, characters, live birds and live music create a unique lobby show. Multi-cultural groups, variety dance groups, musical theater groups, Martial Arts groups, and more entertain the audience throughout the pre-show and intermission times.
Diversity and outreach are a core value of the company for ballet – Wilmington centric. WBC also makes every performance benefit another local non-profit. Kids making and Cape Fear Rapture & Rescue benefited this year.
Partnering with The Wilmington School of Ballet, The Company also offers merit and need-based scholarships for youth who are serious about studying ballet but lack resources. Dara Holmes (currently a soloist with the renowned Joffrey Ballet) was the first scholarship recipient in 1999.
WBC will be advertising nationally to grow the professional division and is seeking sponsors and volunteers. WWAY and Cumulus Broadcasting are both official sponsors of the company; Daniel Seamans (WWAY anchor) is the master of ceremonies.
Check out the WBC website at www.wilmingtonballetcompany.org for more information and sponsorship opportunities.
Photos by Erika Rigger Photography.