September 22, 2020
By Dallas Guill
As Texas Ballet Theater (TBT) approaches eight months since our last production, we want to take a moment to thank our subscribers for their support during this difficult time. The pandemic has presented TBT with unprecedented challenges, but your generosity and understanding has helped us stay strong. We miss you and look forward to the day when we can be with you in person again.
In the meantime, we love hearing from you through our Patron Services Center. We enjoy catching up, hearing about how you’re doing, and of course, learning how you first connected to TBT.
Long-term Texas Ballet Theater patron Mr. Paul Harral is one such example. Here is his story:
Mr. Paul Harral and his family are no strangers to ballet. Since 1987, they have been loyal season ticketholders for Texas Ballet Theater productions. Mr. Harral grew up in a small Texas Panhandle town and opportunities to experience, let alone practice ballet, were essentially non-existent. Mr. Harral may not remember the first ballet performance he ever attended, but he will never forget the production that had the largest impact on his life: The Nutcracker. By 1979, he had 36 performances of The Nutcracker under his belt, having participated in numerous productions through various dance schools in Jacksonville, Florida. He even enjoyed the opportunity to perform alongside both his son and daughter, who were cast in the productions as children.
Mr. Harral and his family relocated to North Texas in late 1986. The following year, the Harrals attended their first performance of Texas Ballet Theater’s The Nutcracker in 1987. Since then, attending the production has become a family tradition, not only with his children, but his grandchildren as well. Like many families throughout the region, Mr. Harral began his patronage of TBT through one of ballet’s timeless classics. His family’s collective enjoyment of ballet has been much more than the annual pilgrimage to see the holiday mainstay The Nutcracker; instead, it has become an intricate piece in the family’s shared passion of local artistic and cultural events.
To quote Mr. Harral, “Texas Ballet Theater’s Artistic Director Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., adds richness to new and classical ballets with intricate stage… choreography that, frankly, is not visible elsewhere. [Mr. Stevenson’s productions are] a broad and beautiful tapestry of movement, music, athletic ability, fairy tales and fables and history, similar and yet different in every performance.”
Mr. Harral’s experience with TBT reflects the importance and significance of the performing arts. While each TBT production is a showcase of the incredible skill of professionally trained ballet dancers, they are also a chance for audiences young and old to fall in love with the art form and transform that passion into a family tradition of supporting the athleticism, beauty, and poise that is ballet.
Have some stories of your own about how you first connected with Texas Ballet Theater?
Send them our way! We may feature them on our blog when we highlight TBT subscribers throughout the season.