/ Modified sep 26, 2013 4:21 p.m.

Dracula in the Desert?

Ballet Tucson celebrating its 10th year as a professional company, offers variety in dance as a way to build audience.


Tucson is one of the few American cities that hosts its own symphony, theater, opera and ballet. The youngest of these, Ballet Tucson, is now going into its 10th year as a professional company.

Originally concentrating on classical ballet, the company has expanded to doing more contemporary and cutting edge works.

"We're sort of offering something for everybody's taste," said Mary Beth Cabana, Founding Artistic Director of Ballet Tucson. "I think you have to do that in this world and in this economy."

From a dancer's perspective, the switch between the two can be challenging. Principal dancer, Deanna Doncsecz said that dancing in the contemporary style requires more strength than traditional ballet.

"It challenges the artist in a way that you wouldn't even imagine, to be able to have to shift back and forth from one to the other," Doncsecz said.

Ballet Tucson concentrates on training dancers of all ages and styles, offering workshops during the summer with the University of Arizona's Dance School. They hope to shape students into professionals who will move on to dance professionally.

Cabana said that Ballet Tucson seeks to offer a variety, and that has become the key to growing their audience.

"There's lots of different ages coming to see what we're willing to offer," Doncsecz added.

They company is opening this season with Dracula, Under My Skin and Gemini at the University of Arizona's Stevie Eller Dance Theater from Oct. 11-13.

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