Ballet Arkansas premieres AMERICAN IMAGES

Just a few short years ago, Ballet Arkansas pretty much existed to produce the annual production of The Nutcracker.  Now, they are in the position to present an evening of six newly commissioned dance pieces!  Congratulations to all who have made this possible.

Tonight, Ballet Arkansas kicks off the 2012-2013 season with American Images, an evening of six commissioned works each built around the American cultural landscape.  The works are:

Times Torn
A Civil War ballet by Marla Edwards, the ballet’s new Ballet Mistress, herself a former soloist with Ballet Arkansas and a veteran of the Houston Ballet School.
American Dream
Choreography by Stephanie Thibeault, Associate Professor of Dance at UALR.
Choreography by Michelle Alexander, based on the art and writings of pop culture icon Andy Warhol.
Delta…Push Up Open
Choreography by Little Rock native Leslie Schickel, which premiered in March, 2012.
A silent-film era pas de deux choreographed by former Ballet Arkansas guest dancer Edmond Cooper
Nowhere/Now Here 
Choreography by Tong Wang, currently assistant professor at University of California – Irvine Department of Dance. Wang is a former principal dancer at Ballet West in Salt Lake City and has worked with Shanghai Ballet, Tulsa Ballet Theatre, Dayton Ballet,
and Colorado Ballet, among many others.


The works premiered last night and will continue today at 4:00pm and tomorrow at 2:00pm at Wildwood Park for the Arts.  Also, while at Wildwood, enjoy this weekend’s Harvest Festival.

Ballet Arkansas Master Class


Internationally known dancer/teacher/choreographer Tong Wang will teach an open master class for intermediate and advanced dancers this Thursday. The class begins at 6 pm and will conclude at 8 pm. This will be the first class in a series of Master Classes to be taught by Ballet Arkansas’ guest choreographers and guest dancers throughout the 2012-2013 Season. Mr. Wang is choreographing a new work for Ballet Arkansas’ fall concert, American Images</em, which premieres at Wildwood Park for the Arts October 12-14.

Where: Ballet Arkansas Studio at Shuffles & Ballet II
1521 Merrill Drive, Little Rock

When: This Thursday, August 30th
6:00-8:00, please arrive early to register

Class Fee – $25
Observer Fee – $15

Both participants and observer numbers are limited, so advance reservations are required. Female dancers should bring pointe shoes.


Tong Wang is assistant professor at the University of California at Irvine Department of Dance. For the last twenty years, he has enjoyed a successful international dance career as a principal dancer. After graduating from Beijing Dance Academy in 1986, he danced with Shanghai Ballet, Tulsa Ballet Theatre, Dayton Ballet, Colorado Ballet, and most recently, Ballet West in Salt Lake City. He has performed almost every leading male role in the classical ballet repertoire and also danced a full range of ballets created by world-renowned choreographers such as George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Frederick Ashton, John Cranko, Paul Taylor, Glen Tetley, Birgit Culberg, Choo-san Goh, William Forsythe, Ben Stevenson, and Hans Van Manen. While dancing professionally, he completed his B.F.A and M.F.A degrees with the University of Utah Ballet Department and also worked as a guest faculty member.

In addition, he has enjoyed a choreographic relationship with Ballet West, the University of Utah Ballet Department, Wright State University, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, DanceOhio, and Ballet West Conservatory. Mr. Wang has served as Assistant Professor of Dance at Wright State University and at Butler University in Indianapolis.