Photos by Skye Schmidt
Experience an unforgettable night of dance at the 12th annual “Gala of the Stars.” This unique event boasts an incredible roster of world ballet stars from internationally-acclaimed ballet companies, whose talent will be complemented by select, inspired young protégés. Current and future stars will share the stage in one spectacular performance.
Celebrate the 30th anniversary of Orange County’s premiere resident ballet company with an exciting gala performance where world-renowned ballet artists share their love and expertise of the craft with future, inspired young stars.
Festival Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla has confirmed performances by these guest artists:
Svetlana Lunkina and Evan McKie of National Ballet of Canada, Beckanne Sisk and Chase O’Connell of Ballet West, Marcelo Gomes formerly of American Ballet Theatre, Alice Mariani of Semperoper Ballett, Julian MacKay of Mikhailovsky Theatre, Yuan Yuan Tan of San Francisco Ballet, and Vitor Luiz formerly of San Francisco Ballet.
The “Gala” presents an unprecedented opportunity to see future stars and current stars connecting through the same language of dance. The young protégés will demonstrate their talent as a final step in their two weeks of intensive training with distinguished artistic directors: Yuri Fateev of Mariinsky Ballet, Larissa Saveliev of Youth America Grand Prix and Patrick Armand of San Francisco Ballet School amongst other instructors.
The often sold-out performance is a rare opportunity for Orange County audiences to see dancers from different companies in a combined program that celebrates the continue art and passion of ballet.
As Festival Ballet Theatre honors their 30th anniversary, they continue their vision: “With reverence for classic masterpieces and a focus on developing future tours de force, Festival Ballet Theater is committed to presenting the best of dance, enriching lives, and developing a new generation of audiences and artists.” Festival Ballet Theatre is committed to their mission:
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.
GALA OF THE STARS TICKETS or (714) 556-2787
Friday, August 16 at 7:00 PM Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
Prices: $55 – $95
POST GALA DINNER WITH THE STARS AT CAFÉ ROUGE $300 Immediately following the “12th Annual Gala of the Stars” performance, patrons of Festival Ballet Theatre are invited to enjoy an exclusive dinner at Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge. Dine with the dancers in this customized experience to celebrate the special occasion. Tickets can be purchased by visiting
WELCOME THE STARS DINNER $200 Enjoy the Pacific Ocean panoramic view and watch the sunset while sipping a glass of wine. Mingle and dine with our Gala world-class stars at the luxury resort Waterfront Hilton in Huntington Beach. Information is available by visiting
SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES 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
Festival Ballet Theatre is a nonprofit organization founded in 1988 by Salwa Rizkalla.
About Salwa Rizkalla
Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla has served the Orange County community for over 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 Russian ballet masters. 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 local area institutions.
Ms. Rizkalla’s contributions have been recognized by many local organizations. She was named Orange County Arts Educator of the Year Award for Secondary Dance (2003); Youth America Grand Prix awarded Ms. Rizkalla Outstanding Teacher accolades since its inception; and Arts Orange County also recognized Ms. Rizkalla with the Helena Modjeska Lifetime Achievement 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.

This legal notice expires, and will be moved to the archive, on Tuesday August 20th, 2019.