By Mary O’KEEFE
Media City Ballet is celebrating its 10th anniversary season with “A Crazy Spring Mad Hatter Party” on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Media City Dance Centre, 237 E. Palm Ave. in Burbank.
The fundraiser/celebration will feature music and Media City Ballet dancers roaming among the crowd dressed as special characters.
“The tea party was the idea of our executive director. She went to one of these in the [past],” said Natasha Middleton, artist director.
Members of the ballet company will perform an “Alice in Wonderland” dance; there will be food and drinks, a silent auction and a Mad Hat Contest.
Media City Ballet is dedicated to providing quality live ballet productions, utilizing the inspired and creative talents of the local community as well as professionals from around the world.
The company has performed at the Alex Theatre in Glendale for several seasons. This season they will be making their debut at the Ford Amphitheatre with the world premiere of a new piece called “Axis Mundi.” Their performance is scheduled for Aug. 12.
“It was time we branched out,” Middleton said. “I presented an idea to the [Ford Amphitheatre] and they accepted us and put us on as a partner.”
The amphitheater is a different venue than Media City is used to but Middleton is looking forward to the challenge.
“Axis Mundi: The Cultural Heritage of Ballet” is a performance that reveals the roots of ballet as influenced by 16th century Italian Baroque dancing, the court promenades of France’s King Louis the XIV and the folk dances of Hungary, Armenia, Poland, Spain, Russia and China.
Middleton said the popularity of television shows like “Dancing With the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance” along with movies like “Black Swan” have brought some popularity to dance.
“I think we are on a trend,” she said. “One thing about ballet, it doesn’t die. It goes in a new direction and goes on.”
Tickets for the “A Crazy Mad Hatter Party” are $25, which includes a raffle entry.
Tickets for children 12 years and younger are $15 each. Reservations can be made by contacting (818) 972-9692. For more information visit the company’s website at www.mediacityballet.org.