Celebrating our 27th year
as a performing and educational organization


The lights dim as the faint yet bright and lilting opening strains of Tchaikovsky's overture fills The Montgomery College Theatre. The curtain opens on twelve beautiful classically trained ballerinas of the newly conceived Festival Ballet Company. It is the long anticipated premier performance of The Nutcracker, the year is 1996
and in the words of Houston Chronicle’s Jackie Barker, "A time honored Christmas tradition continues when Festival Ballet takes the stage in Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker".

Festival Ballet, now celebrating its 27th Season, became instantly successful with those first performances of
the The Nutcracker. It did not, however, happen without incredible vision, love of the art of dance, and dedication of countless volunteers. Festival Ballet is the brainchild of Artistic Director and founder, Deborah Rayburn. The company was conceived in 1994 under the auspices of a Board of Directors and founding members who had the dream and desire to bring to our community quality dance performances and dance education.

According to Mrs. Rayburn, “Our small ballet company provided local dancers with the opportunity to showcase their talents and their commitment to the very high standards of classical dancing." Ms.Debi, as she
has for the past years, continues to provide the training, rehearsal, and choreography for Festival Ballet
dancers at the Woodlands Dance Academy and Academy of Ballet & Dance Arts, assisted by her artistic
staff and artists in residence.

This wonderful opportunity to perform has been extended to not only Festival Ballet Company dancers, but
also hundreds of young local dancers over the past years that have auditioned for and received roles in
Festival Ballet productions including The Nutcracker and such productions as Cinderella, Les Sylphides, Paquita, Coppelia, and The full length Sleeping Beauty in 2001. Festival Ballet has grown from the original twelve company dancers, who, that first year, were required to dance several of the many roles in "The Nutcracker. The strength of the dancers has made it possible for Artistic Director Rayburn to cast almost exclusively over the years from her own cadre of dancers. “I was very much honored to observe from the
wings as the dancers performed The Sleeping Beauty in June of 2001” says Rayburn. “It was an artistic
pinnacle for our company”.

The 2009/10 Season was a new milestone for Festival Ballet as the company performs The Nutcracker in
Brazoria County and Montgomery County. The Season opened with the enchanting holiday tradition for the entire family, “The Nutcracker”, running November through December, set to the familiar, well-loved music
of Tchaikovsky. The Season will conclude with the performances of Festival Ballet’s lavish production of Cinderella in June.

“The response by our audiences has been tremendous, drawing many first-time audience members; we will continue this season to broaden the appeal of ballet for families and individuals who appreciate the arts.
Looking back over the past 27 years we enjoy a great sense of accomplishment as our community efforts
have paved the way for many of our local dancers who are now dancing with major ballet companies and
most recently the revival of West Side Story on Broadway this past year” states Deborah Rayburn, Artistic Director

For more information, opportunities to volunteer or tickets please call 832-830-5987

Festival Ballet is a 501 c-3 arts organization.


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