Festival Ballet Theatre — Salwa Rizkalla, artistic director
Festival Ballet Theatre is a nonprofit organization founded in 1988 by Salwa Rizkalla. Its mission is 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.
Festival Ballet Theatre has performed at a variety of Orange County venues including Irvine Barclay Theatre, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Robert B. Moore Theatre, Karen & Richard Carpenter Center, Historic Huntington Beach High School Auditorium and more. FBT collaborates with other prestigious Orange County organizations and events including Pacific Symphony, Festival of Children at South Coast Plaza and Imagination Celebration.
Southland Ballet Academy, founded 1983, is the official school of Festival Ballet Theatre. Named one of the Top 7 Producing Schools in the nation by Pointe Magazine, Southland Ballet Academy provides elite ballet training in a creative and nurturing environment. Southland Ballet Academy graduates have gone on to dance professionally in renowned ballet companies across the globe. Arts Orange County named Festival Ballet Theatre Outstanding Arts Organization of the Year in 2001, and also recognized Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla with the Helena Modjeska Cultural Legacy Award in 2014. Youth America Grand Prix has recognized Southland Ballet Academy numerous times with its Outstanding School Award, an accolade given to only a few select dance schools nationwide. YAGP also recognized Southland Ballet Academy founder Salwa Rizkalla with Best Teacher Award multiple times since its inception in 1999.