Nevada Ballet honored

Talk about ballet cachet.

Nevada Ballet Theatre announced Wednesday that the company has been invited to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C..

“I want us to start receiving some national recognition, and this is the first step in doing that,” says Beth Barbre, executive director of Nevada Ballet Theatre, which has been selected to represent Nevada at the Kennedy Center’s 24th Annual Open House Arts Festival in September.

The event is part of the center’s season-opening “Prelude 2008: Arts Across America,” presenting performances with artists from all 50 states. The program marks the 50th anniversary of the National Cultural Center Act signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, as well as the reopening of the renovated theater named after him.

“Arts Across America” also will include 30 Washington, D.C., theater companies, as well as such varied acts as the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Blind Boys of Alabama and Mos Def.

“I hope it will put Nevada Ballet on the national stage, literally and metaphorically,” Barbre says.

The company will share a bill Sept. 13 with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, and Barbre says dancers will begin rehearsals for their Washington, D.C., debut in August.

“Our board is very excited,” Barbre says. “We’ll be taking a group of board members with us.” And they’ve got a friend on that other board — Steve Wynn is one of the Kennedy Center directors. “That’s a nice tie-in with Las Vegas and D.C.,” she says. “And I’m hoping it’s the beginning of more national tours for us.”

Before they rev up for their date with the Kennedy Center, Nevada Ballet Theatre will close out its season with performances of “Cinderella” May 16-18 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Contact reporter Steve Bornfeld at or 702-383-0256.

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