Magazine article Dance Magazine

The Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Opens: If Everything Is Bigger in Texas, Add the New Arts Center to the List

Magazine article Dance Magazine

The Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Opens: If Everything Is Bigger in Texas, Add the New Arts Center to the List

Article excerpt

Located in the heart of Dallas' thriving downtown arts district, the country's newest destination for dance, music, and theater opens to much fanfare. Gleaming, ultra-modern glass and steel buildings connected by sidewalks and expansive park space give the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts a small campus feel.

Looming above is its crown jewel, the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, with a shiny red glass dome and horseshoe-shaped auditorium. Inspired by the great opera houses of Europe, updated details include an outdoor plaza canopy to shade patrons on sultry Texas evenings.

Texas Ballet Theater, the Dallas Opera, and some TITAS productions will perform in the 2,200-seat theater, which boasts sophisticated acoustics, 12-karat-gold-gilded balcony fronts, warm neutral colors, and an elongated retractable tube chandelier as its centerpiece. Its restaurant and cafe are intended to draw patrons beyond the theater-going public. Across a walkway, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, and Dallas Theater Center have a new home in the ultra-modern 600-seat Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre.

Both Fort Worth-based Texas Ballet Theater and the Dallas Opera previously performed in the cramped and outdated Music Hall at Fair Park. The Winspear's expansive wings and backstage make it a dream for both performers and crew. An orchestra lounge and green rooms provide gathering places outside the dressing rooms.

"We're just thrilled to be the resident ballet company of the theater," says Texas Ballet Theater dancer Carolyn Judson, "especially after a season where we weren't sure if we'd keep our jobs." The company's first performance in the new space will be its Nutcracker Nov. 27-Dec. 6.

While a civic dedication is planned earlier in the week, Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company inaugurates the new opera house in the company's Dallas debut on Oct. …

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