Can you believe it? 45 years old! 16,425 days! 410,625 hours! 24,637,500 minutes!

Yeah, that’s a long time presenting classical ballet, arts education, artistic forums, and dance instruction to the Southern California community. We’ve been saying for years that we’re the fifth oldest ballet company in California, but when you look at how many minutes we’ve been around, it really hits home, doesn’t it?

To celebrate our 45th Sapphire Anniversary, California Ballet Company is presenting our entire season at the gorgeous San Diego Civic Theatre! And what a season it is, too! Take a look below at what we have in store for you:

Drac 45 2

This tale of love, death, and the supernatural has been around for a long, long time. The original Bram Stoker novel was published in 1897, and was followed by movie after movie. From the 1929 German Expressionist Nosferatu, to the 1931 classic starring Bela Lugosi, to the 1992 remake with Keanu Reeves, Dracula has been a mainstay in Hollywood for many, many years.

California Ballet Company debuted their version of Dracula, choreographed by the late Charles Bennett, in 1987. This dance production deviates from the ballet company’s classical standard. Dracula is not a ballet, but a dance drama. Sure, there are pointe shoes and partnering, but most of the dancers onstage spend their time barefoot. And the acting! Oh yes, California Ballet’s dancers need to be able to do more than just smile for this production

If you are not crazy about ballet, give this production a try. Heck, if you are are crazy about ballet, give it a try. CBC’s Dracula is a dance experience unlike any other.

Nut452

Sugar plums, toy soldiers, evil rats, and a prince – nothing says the Holidays like The Nutcracker. And it wouldn’t be a full season of ballet without this annual favorite. It’s been around forever, it seems. The first performance of The Nutcracker was in 1892 at the Mariinksky Theatre in Saint Petersburg. The original E.T.A. Hoffman story is even older, dating back to 1816. Everyone knows this ballet, whether you’ve seen it onstage, Macaulay Culkin’s movie version, or Barbie’s straight to video – this ballet gets around. Besides, you can’t go into a CVS or Target without being bombarded by 15 different varieties of the toy for which this ballet was named!

California Ballet’s full-length The Nutcracker debuted in 1971 at the Russ Auditorium, and it moved to the San Diego Civic Theatre the following year. This year marks the 40th consecutive year that our Nutcracker has called the San Diego Civic Theatre home! Don’t miss it. Like the picture says, we will be accompanied by the San Diego Symphony as usual. And to mix it up, for the first time four of our performances will be accompanied by Orchestra Nova! This will be a year to remember!

Swan lake

Love, enchantment, betrayal . . . this ballet has it all. Everyone knows Swan Lake, whether you’re a ballet fan or not! The music is singular, the dancing is sublime, the story of good versus evil and everlasting love is entrancing. If you can only see one ballet . . . well, see The Nutcracker . . . but if you can see two, this is it! The story is particular to ballet, although some say that the story originated in Germany, others say in Russian folklore. And really, does it matter? The Bolshoi Ballet debuted Swan Lake in 1877, and the world has loved the story, its music, and its swans ever sense!

California Ballet Company has been performing snippets of the ballet since 1968, but CBC’s full-length Swan Lake debuted at the Escondido California Center for the Arts in 1997 to packed audiences and enthusiastic ballet lovers. California Ballet’s production is huge! An enormous corp de ballet fills the stage every act, the sets are gorgeous, the costumes even better! There is no better choice to celebrate California Ballet’s 45th Anniversary than Swan Lake. And to top things off, the ballet company will be hosting a special Gala Dinner prior to the May 18th evening performance. Great food, great company, and great ballet – now that’s a celebration!

The year is shaping up to be fantastic! We know that many of our readers aren’t in the San Diego area, but if you can make it into town for one of these productions, it will be worth it! Energy will be high, parties and receptions will be plentiful, and this year will go down in California Ballet history as one heck of a celebration!

Oh, and with every production at the San Diego Civic Theatre, you can buy your seats for the entire season and sit in the same place for all three shows! This can only be done through the California Ballet Ticketing Office, so call 858-560-6741 now to reserve your seats for the year!

Tickets will be available online through Ticketmaster starting August 1, 2012.

See you at the ballet!