May 22, 2020
FORT WORTH, Texas (May 22, 2020) – As businesses in Texas start to reopen, Texas Ballet Theater (TBT) looks ahead to what the future holds for the nonprofit ballet company.
“The health and safety of our artists, patrons, students and staff is our top priority,” Executive Director Vanessa Logan said.
TBT originally planned to open its 2020-2021 season with Beauty and the Beast September 11-13 at Winspear Opera House in Dallas and October 2-4 at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, but will now delay the start of the season and open with The Nutcracker November 27-December 27 in both Dallas and Fort Worth to ensure the company and audiences are ready to return to the theater.
Beauty and the Beast will now run May 14-23, 2021.
Starting July 1, the company will also reduce the salaries of full-time employees and reduce dancer contracts from 40 weeks to 38 weeks. Salary reductions range from five to 20 percent of current pay based on a bracket system.
TBT has retained all employees thus far, avoiding any furloughs or layoffs.
These reductions are part of TBT’s plan to cut its budget by $2 million in order to protect the company’s future. The company also established the TBT Relief Fund to help support dancer and staff salaries, artistic productions and general operations.
Amid the uncertainties created by the pandemic, TBT has developed new ways to connect with its audience off the stage.
The company streamed two previous performances, Ma Cong’s Firebird and Carl Coomer’s Henry VIII, on its YouTube channel. It also shares photos and videos from dancers’ lives outside of the studio on its social media channels, and dancers recently called patrons to thank them for their support.
“We are committed to creating safe spaces and adapting so we can continue to bring ballet to the community, now and for years to come,” Logan said.