It’s hard to believe that in less than a week we will be celebrating the 2010 Nutcracker holiday season, our twenty-fourth, where we will again be reminded through the production’s elegant beauty and magic that miracles can and do happen. Our current season has been met with a resounding roar of approval and a renewed interest in the ballet thanks to the return of live musical accompaniment with our season opener, Ballet Unplugged Live!. The evening showcased members of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra on stage along side the professional dancers. Audiences have spoken and raved with their approval and enthusiasm for more of the same entertainment. That collaborative spirit will continue with the premiere of The Ellington Experience which will match Charleston Ballet Theatre with the Charleston Jazz Orchestra in February for an unprecedented live production set to the music of the great Duke Ellington.
Listening to the comments and desires of our cherished patrons, we will approach planning our upcoming 25th anniversary season with the desire for more live music placed firmly in our minds. Additional artists of course means additional costs to make our productions the top quality you have come to expect from South Carolina’s world class professional dance company. The cost of assuring a live musical production is significantly higher, with a production such as Ballet Unplugged Live! reaching additional costs ranging from $5,000 – $10,000. Our Nutcracker production, long missing the extra enrichment of a live orchestra, can again renew that same spirit with a significant contribution aimed solely at bringing live music back to our holiday classic. However, a production of that magnitude requires additional costs from $15,000 – $30,000 to make that combination of music and dance happen We ask that you keep this hope for a greater artistic experience in mind as you consider the importance of your annual contribution to our wonderful ballet company. We can make it happen with your passion and support.
The CBT Board of Directors is devoting more energy to ensuring the long-term health of our ballet company by focusing on membership, debt reduction and endowment. Today we are writing to ask for your help in the short term to allow for the aforementioned long term advancements . As you know, ticket sales alone are not enough to support any professional ballet with the national percentage level hovering around 37%. This low percentage doesn’t begin to cover our operating expenses, much less the myriad of educational programs and support services we provide now and in the future.
Your participation in our End of Year Appeal is crucial to maintaining the success and health of Charleston Ballet Theatre. We are more than a just a dance company, we are our community’s dance home. We hope you feel the same way and choose to help keep our home safe and secure for years to come. Far more important than any achievement or event is the fact that we have a place where we can gather, grow and experience magic and the sense of wonder that offers us all a much needed escape from time to time. I urge you to invest in our future by making a meaningful contribution to Charleston Ballet Theatre. Every gift is important, is tax deductible and will truly be appreciated by everyone at the ballet.
The Artistic Staff, Dancers, Administration, and the Board of Directors of Charleston Ballet Theatre wish you peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, and joy to fill your holidays. Thank you for experiencing our productions, celebrating our special events, and spreading the word about South Carolina’s World Class Dance Company throughout the 2010 season.
We look forward To seeing you in the coming year,
Jill Eathorne Bahr – Resident Choreographer