Media City Ballet (MCB), Natasha Middleton, Artistic Director & Choreographer, the Southland’s leading dance company specializing in the presentation of performances in the tradition and style of the Ballets Russes, will celebrate their current 10th Anniversary Season by making their debut at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre; 2580 Cahuenga Boulevard East, Hollywood, CA 90068, on Friday, August 12, 2011 at 8:30 p.m. with the World Premiere of AXIS MUNDI: A Global Multi-Cultural Celebration of Ballet Dance. MCB Principal Dancers Tatiana A’Vermond, Annia Hidalgo, Enton Hoxha, Vardan Khachatryan, Edgar Nikolyan, Gabrielle Palmatier and guest artists, Antoinette Peloso (Metropolitan Opera) and Jesus Solorio (So You Think You Can Dance) will lead a cast of over 40 performers in a program including Italian swordplay, a French Baroque ball, folk dances from Hungary, Spain, Armenia, Poland, Russia and China, and show-stopping repertoire like Khachaturian’s Saber Dance, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Schéhérazade and Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances. Richard Gilkerson (of Burbank) will appear as the Narrator. The show will also feature a special appearance by Armenian character dancers, Karapet Jereiyan, Arthur Akopyan, Shant Avadisian, Narbeh Khachikyan, Vardan Dagstayan and Henry Ousepyan from the Glendale based, Zvartnots Dance Ensemble.

Sponsors of the event include: KCSN 88.5 FM, 88.5 HD2 KCSN Classical, L’Italo-Americano Weekly Newspaper, K-Mozart 1260 AM, Panorama Media Group (including Panorama, Friday Express, KMNB Radio and KTYM Radio), The Burbank Leader, Glendale News-Press, Gangi Development and Cobblestone Vineyards.

Natasha Middleton, Artistic Director and Choreographer of AXIS MUNDI said: “We are excited to be making our debut at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre this summer during our 10th Anniversary Season. Our program will feature over 40 ballet dancers performing repertoire staged in the style of the Ballets Russes. The ballets we have all come to love over the years have their roots in cultural dances like the Mazurka, Pandéros and Czardas, which are among the pieces we will be presenting in this program. People who come to see our performance of AXIS MUNDI: A Global Multi-Cultural Celebration of Ballet Dance on August 12th will be in for a visual and aural treat. They will also learn something about the origins of ballet from all corners of the world, including Italy, France, Poland, Spain, Hungary, Russia, Persia, Armenia, China, Arabia and the Middle East.”

The Principal members of cast for AXIS MUNDI: A Global Multi-Cultural Celebration of Ballet Dance will include: Tatiana A’Vermond (of Burbank) as Lead in the Hungarian Czardas and Lead Polovtsy Wife; Annia Hidalgo (of Burbank, formerly a Soloist with the Ballet Nacional de Cuba) as Scheherazade, Polovtsy Slave Princess and Armenian/Georgian Lezginka; Enton Hoxha (of Van Nuys, formerly of the Metropolitan Opera of New York) as the Golden Slave, Saber Dance, Armenian/Georgian Lezginka and Polovtsy Warrior; Vardan Khachatryan (of Glendale, formerly a Principal with the Armenian Opera and Ballet and The Israel National Ballet Company) as Lead in the Hungarian Czardas and Chieftan in the Polovtsian Dances; Edgar Nikolyan (of Granada Hills, formerly with the Vienna Staatsoper) in the Armenian/Georgian Lezginka; Gabrielle Palmatier (of Hermosa Beach) in the Oriental; Antoinette Peloso (of New York City; Guest Artist; formerly of the Metropolitan Opera of New York) will dance the Polish Mazurka and the Chinese Gold Fingers Dance; and and Jesus Solorio (of Reseda and So You Think You Can Dance) as King Louis XIV in the French Baroque dance.

Soloists will include: Albertossy Espinoza (of Los Angeles) as Zanni, Lead in the Spanish Pandéros, Chinese Gold Fingers Dance and Polovtsy Slave Boy; Robson Tadeu Freire (of West Hollywood) as Harlequino/Arlecchino, Lead in the Arabian Saracen Dance, Chinese Gold Fingers Dance and Polovtsy Slave Boy; Kristine Gregorian (of Burbank) in the French Baroque, Hungarian Czardas, Chinese Fan and Ribbon Dance and Second Maiden to Polovtsy Slave Princess; and Meghan Mendoza (of Granada Hills) Lead in the Spanish Pandéros.

Demi-Soloists will include: Candice Sanchez (of Northridge) as Lead Dancer in the Arabian Saracen Dance, Chinese Fan and Ribbon Dance and Polovtsy Wife; Lauren Farrell (of Burbank) in French Baroque, Russian Gypsy Dance and Third Maiden to Polovtsy Slave Princess; Michael A. Hamilton (of Valencia) as Fabrizzio and as Polovtsy Warrior; Natalie Kramer (of Hollywood) in French Baroque and First Maiden to Polovtsy Slave Princess; Nick Müller (of Santa Clarita/Saugus) as Polovtsy Warrior; and Moses Navarro (of Glendale) as Mongolian Guard.

Members of the Corps de Ballet include: Heather Blodget (of Burbank) in French Baroque and Polovtsy Slave Girl; Irena Gharibyan (of Burbank) as Colombina, Russian Gypsy Dance, Chinese Umbrella Dance and as a Polovtsy Wife; Jessica Haganey (of Northridge) in Hungarian Czardas, Chinese Umbrella Dance and Polovtsy Slave Girl; Hannah Hart (of Burbank) in Russian Gypsy Dance, Chinese Umbrella Dance and Polovtsy Slave Girl; Ezra Shippin (of North Hollywood) in the Chinese Umbrella Dance and Polovtsy Wife; Audrey Young (of Van Nuys) as Isabella, Chinese Umbrella Dance and as Fourth Maiden to the Slave Princess; Alexandria Wong (of Burbank) in the Chinese Umbrella Dance and Polovtsy Wife; and Ian Waschak (of Santa Clarita/Saugus) in Chinese Fan and Ribbon Dance and Polovtsy Warrior.

Character Dancers will include: Jody Balsam (of Burbank) in the French Baroque and Polovtsy Guard; Nayila Duveux (of Burbank) as a Polovtsy Slave Girl; Danielle Haber (of Van Nuys) as a Polovtsy Slave Girl; Charlotte Harrop (of Burbank) Polovtsy Slave Girl and Russian Gypsy Dance; Ani Hovannisian (of Glendale) Polovtsy Slave Girl and Hungarian Czardas; Philippe Leipzig (of Studio City) in Italian Baroque/Commedia dell’Arte, French Baroque and as the Sherherazade Key Holder; Raymond Meadows (of Burbank) as Polovtsy Guard; Mario Perez (of Burbank) as Combat Fighter; James Logan (of Los Angeles) as Combat Fighter; Oscar Reyna (of Reseda) as Il Capitano and as a Polovtsy Guard; Tina Yedgarian (of La Crescenta) as La Ruffiana, Hungarian Czardas and Polovtsy Slave Girl; and Carly Young (of Van Nuys) as Combat Fighter.

Production personnel for AXIS MUNDI: A Global Multi-Cultural Celebration of Ballet Dance include: Choreographers Natasha Middleton, Andrei Tremaine, Ruben Tonoyan and Regine Astier; Production Manager, Stephanie Pease; Stage Manager, Miriam Gootman and Costume Designer, Chisato DeBose.

The Program Repertoire for Act I of AXIS MUNDI: A Global Multi-Cultural Celebration of Ballet Dance will include: Italian Baroque/Comedia dell’Arte (music by Claudio Monteverdi, choreography by Natasha Middleton); French Baroque (music by Jean-Baptiste Lully, choreography by Regine Astier of Santa Barbara); Poland – Mazurka (music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, choreography by Natasha Middleton); Spain – Pandéros (music by Alexander Glazonov, choreography by Natasha Middleton); Hungary – Czardas (music by Alexander Glazonov, choreography by Marius Petipa, staged by Natasha Middleton); Russian Gypsy Dance – Folk Song, Two Guitars – (music by an anonymous composer, choreography by Natasha Middleton); and Persia – Schéhérazade (music by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, choreography by Marius Petipa, staged by Natasha Middleton and Andrei Tremaine (formerly of The Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and Advisory Board, Media City Ballet).

The Program Repertoire for Act II of AXIS MUNDI: A Global Multi-Cultural Celebration of Ballet Dance will include: Armenia – Saber Dance (music by Aram Khachaturian, choreography by Ruben Tonoyan, Associate Artistic Director and Ballet Master, Media City Ballet); Armenia/Georgian – Lezginka (music by Aram Khachaturian, choreography by Ruben Tonoyan; Armenia/Georgian – The Red Poppy (music by Reinhold M. Glière; Fan and Ribbon Dance, choreography by Natasha Middleton; Umbrella Dance, choreography by Natasha Middleton; Gold Fingers Dance, choreography by Andrei Tremaine; Arabia – Saracen Dance (music by Alexander Blazunov, choreography by Marius Petipa, staged by Natasha Middleton); Middle East – Orientale (music by Alexander Glazunov, choreography by Natasha Middleton); and Polovtsian Dances (music by Alexander Borodin, choreography by Michel Fokine, staged by Natasha Middleton).

Purchase tickets by August 5, 2001 and pay only $35, $27 or $19. The full price of tickets after August 5, 2011 will be $40, $32 and $24. VIP Premium Seats with a private pre-show reception at 6:30 p.m. are $65 each. Theatergoers attending the event can also enter a Media City Ballet raffle to win valuable prizes. Tickets for full-time students with identification and children are 20% off. Groups of 8 – 15 people receive a 10% discount and groups of 16 or more people receive a 20% discount off adult tickets. If three or more Ford Amphitheatre evening events are purchased simultaneously, patrons receive a 20% discount. Tickets for this event are Reserved Seating. Tickets may be purchased from the Ford Amphitheatre Box Office by calling 323-461-3673 (323-GO-1-FORD for non-visual media), or online at www.fordtheatres.org. For further information about Media City Ballet, please the website, website www.mediacityballet.org.

Ford Amphitheatre Box Office Hours are from 12 Noon – 5:00 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday. The Box Office is closed on Monday. On show days, the Box Office is open two hours before the start of the show. The Ford Amphitheatre is located at 2580 Cahuenga Boulevard East, Hollywood, CA 90068, just off the 101 Hollywood Freeway across from the Hollywood Bowl and south of Universal Studios. The grounds open two hours before show time for picnicking at 6:30 p.m. The Ford Amphitheatre offers a number of dining options: a variety of food and beverages are available on site and box dinners for evening events may be ordered in advance. Patrons are welcome to bring their own food and drinks as well. The Ford Amphitheatre is accessible for the disabled. Portable wireless listening devices are available upon request. On-site, stacked parking costs $5 per vehicle for evening shows. For evening amphitheatre shows only, FREE non-stacked parking, which is serviced by a FREE shuttle to the Ford Amphitheatre, is available at the Universal City Metro Station lot located at Lankershim Boulevard and Campo de Cahuenga. The shuttle, which cycles every 15-20 minutes, stops in the “Kiss and Ride” area.

This event is part of the Ford Amphitheatre 2011 Season, a multi-disciplinary arts series produced by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission in cooperation with Los Angeles County-based arts organizations. Ford Amphitheatre Season Media Sponsors include: ABC7 Television, Discover Hollywood Magazine, KPFK Radio 90.7 FM, L.A. Weekly, LA 18 KSCI-TV, Univision 34 and Telefutura 46. For a complete season schedule, directions to the theatre and parking information, log on to www.FordTheatres.org.

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