Berkeley - The New York-based American Ballet Theater is dedicating its West Coast tour, which starts tonight (Wednesday, Sept. 19) at the University of California, Berkeley, to victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and associated relief efforts.
The theater company and Cal Performances will encourage support for relief organizations, distributing envelopes for contributions to the American Red Cross at ballet programs tonight through Friday. The three performances are expected to draw about 10,000 patrons.
"Not one of us will be untouched by the events on the East Coast this past week," Robert W. Cole, director of Cal Performances, and Kevin McKenzie, artistic director for the American Ballet Theater, said in a joint statement. "While we will mourn the losses of our fellow Americans, we will also find cause to express gratitude."
The dancers' determination to continue their scheduled performances is symbolic of the spirit of New York and hope for the nation, they said in the statement.
Tonight's American Ballet Theater performance marks the resumption of regularly scheduled events by Cal Performances, which cancelled a Sept. 16 program by vocalist Tania Libertad due to the national tragedy.
Both Cole and McKenzie are available for interviews.
McKenzie also is scheduled to lecture on "Making Theater" at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, at UC Berkeley's Durham Studio Theater. The program is sponsored by Cal Performances and the campus's department of theater, dance and performance studies in the College of Letters & Science. It is free and open to the public.