Orange County's own Festival Ballet Theatre to present SLEEPING BEAUTY, March 19-20, 2016 at the Irvine Barclay Theatre

Orange County’s Festival Ballet Theatre (FBT) announces the stunning storybook masterpiece Sleeping Beauty

Performances: March 19-20, 2016 at Irvine Barclay Theatre

This timeless love story will feature International Ballet Stars GILLIAN MURPHY and MARCELO GOMES as Princess Aurora and Prince Désiré, Festival Ballet Theatre company dancers, and young talent from across the Southland.

Fountain Valley, CA | January 26, 2016 Orange County’s own Festival Ballet Theatre will present the enchanting  production  of Sleeping Beauty, with International Ballet Stars Gillian Murphy and Marcelo Gomes in the lead roles.  Festival Ballet’s traditional, full-length production is choreographed and directed by FBT Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla (after M. Petipa), and set to music by P.I. Tchaikovsky.  Sleeping Beauty was first premiered by the Imperial Ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg on January 15, 1890. Salwa Rizkalla captures the heart, energy, and excitement of this original production in her staging for Orange County’s resident ballet company.  

This fairy tale features sweeping corps de ballet sequences, and dazzling classical ballet virtuosity. Audiences of all ages will be thrilled by storybook characters, including Princess Aurora, Puss ‘n Boots, Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf.  The ballet takes place in the spectacular palace of Aurora’s parents, King Florestan and his Queen. Festival Ballet Theatre’s ornate costumes and sets create a heightened luxurious visual experience. The Grand Pas de Deux in Act III will showcase the brilliant artistry and athleticism of Princess Aurora and her handsome Prince Désiré (Gillian Murphy and Marcelo Gomes).

Sleeping Beauty is the third production in Festival Ballet Theatre’s 2015-2016 season. FBT recently performed to full houses during their 13-show run of The Nutcracker at the Irvine Barclay Theatre this past December.

TICKETS or (949) 854-4646

Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Sunday, March 20, 2016 at 2:00 PM

$40 adults; $35 senior (65+) and children (12 and under)


9th Annual Gala of the Stars
Irvine Barclay Theatre
Friday, August 12, 2016


About Festival Ballet Theatre

Founded in 1988 by Salwa Rizkalla, Festival Ballet Theatre (FBT) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting works that epitomize the artistry of classical and contemporary ballet, offering cultural awareness of dance through educational programs, and nurturing a creative environment for choreographers and some of Orange County’s most talented dancers. For more information, visit


About Salwa Rizkalla

Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla has served the Orange County community for over 30 years by presenting excellence in dance performance through Festival Ballet Theatre, and providing top-tier classical ballet training at Southland Ballet Academy.

During her own professional dancing career, Ms. Rizkalla graced the stage in leading roles in well-known classical ballets, as well as contemporary pieces. She had the privilege of working under the direction of world-renowned choreographers Leonid Lavrovsky and Serge Lifar. As a young dancer, Ms. Rizkalla trained in the Russian Vaganova method and studied with ballet masters of the Bolshoi and the Kirov. As the culmination of her training, Ms. Rizkalla completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ballet Pedagogy. She established Southland Ballet Academy in 1983, and debuted Festival Ballet Theatre in 1988. In addition to teaching and directing, Ms. Rizkalla was a faculty member of several local area institutions.

 Salwa Rizkalla’s contributions have been recognized by many local organizations - she was named Orange County Arts Educator of the Year Award for Secondary Dance (2003); Youth America Grand Prix awarded Ms. Rizkalla Outstanding Teacher accolades from 2002-2015, and Arts Orange County and also recognized Ms. Rizkalla with the Helena Modjeska Lifetime Achievement Cultural Legacy Award (2014).

 Ms. Rizkalla has been honored to impact the lives of hundreds of students and their families through her teaching, and is proud to be a dedicated educator, a tireless promoter of the arts, and an active participant in the cultural life of her community.