Ballet Theatre of Maryland | Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Ballet Theatre of Maryland

Photo by Hayley Ann-Vasco

​Artistic Director Dianna Cuatto, who has led the Ballet Theatre of Maryland for the past 17 years, has announced her retirement effective in June. The Board of Trustees has selected Nicole Kelsch to succeed her.

“We are deeply grateful for the contributions that Dianna has made during her tenure as Artistic Director,” said Board President Ted Atsinger. “She has raised the Ballet Theatre of Maryland to a higher level of professionalism and artistry. Through both the Company and the Conservatory, she has cultivated not only the dancers’ technical skills, but also their passion for the art of dance, and their understanding of how to pursue personal and professional development in the world of professional ballet. Among these excellent dancers is Nicole Kelsch, who we are pleased to announce we have selected to lead the Company upon Dianna’s retirement.”

Cuatto joined the Ballet Theatre of Maryland in 2003. Previously, she spent four seasons as the Ballet Mistress with the Richmond Ballet. Throughout her long ballet career, she has served in many roles including Artistic Director, Choreographer, Ballet Mistress, adjunct faculty, teacher, and Principal Dancer in companies and universities throughout the country.

Cuatto began her career as a professional dancer with Ballet West in 1963 where she went on to become a Principal Dancer. As a Principal Dancer, she performed a wide range of classical and contemporary roles with national companies including Sacramento Ballet, Oklahoma Ballet, Berkeley Ballet Theatre, the San Francisco Chamber Ballet, and the Sangre de Cristo Ballet Theatre.

In addition, she worked in Hollywood performing for the American Music Awards, Broadway musicals, and national television, where she also choreographed the Wonderful World of the Waltz for PBS.

Cuatto is a gifted, prolific choreographer who has created more than 109 works of ballet choreography for the Ballet Theatre of Maryland during her 17-year tenure including The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, An American Southwest Carmen, Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet, Beauty and the Beast, Tango Dramatico, Little Women, and Excalibur - most to critical acclaim.

The final choreographic works of her tenure as Artistic Director with the Ballet Theatre of  Maryland will be presented at Innovations 2020 on April 17 and 18 at Maryland Hall in Annapolis. Immediately following the performance on April 18, you can attend the Season Grande Finale Retirement Party for Artistic Director Dianna Cuatto and honor her many contributions to the community. More information will be posted on Ballet Theatre of Maryland’s website regarding this event in February. 

Cuatto’s husband, Al Kessler, a member of the Board of Trustees will also be retiring from Board, company, and as a volunteer.

All you need is ten or more people to enjoy a performance to receive a reduced ticket price for a group.  You don’t need to be an official organization or club to qualify.  Just find ten friends, relatives or co-workers and you can receive discounts on tickets for selected performances and save money on ticket fees.  Groups pay a flat $7 fee for a group ticket order.

To order group tickets, please come in or call the Box Office between noon and 5 pm, Monday through Friday, at 410-280-5640 or 410-263-5544, press 0.  You must pay for your order with a single credit card or a check at the time of reservation.  Email the box office with questions:


The following Maryland Hall performances have group ticket prices:

Spooky Silents:  A Silent Film Halloween with the Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra: Saturday, November 1, 7:30 pm.  Group price:  $13/person.

Comedy Pet Theatre: Friday, March 20, 7:30 pm. Group price: $12/person.

The following Ballet Theatre of Maryland performances have group ticket prices:

A Mid Summer Night's Dream: Friday, October 24, 7:30 pm; Saturday, October 25, 7 pm; and Sunday, October 26, 2 pm.  Group price: $42.30/person (section A); $36/person (section B)

The Nutcracker: Saturday, December 13, 7 pm; Sunday, December 14, 1 and 4:30 pm; Saturday, December 20, 7 pm; Sunday, December 21, 1 and 4:30 pm.  Group price:  $42.30/person.

Cinderella: Friday, February 20, 7:30 pm; Saturday, February 21, 7 pm; Sunday, February 22, 2 pm.  Group price:  $42.30/person.

Innovations 2015: Friday, April 17, 7:30 pm; Saturday, April 18, 7 pm; Sunday, April 19, 2 pm.  Group price:  $42.30/person (section A); $36/person (section B)

Join the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Annapolis OperaBallet Theatre of Maryland and Live Arts Maryland and help us fight hunger this holiday season!

Collections boxes are located in the lobby of Maryland Hall now through December 16th.

Benefits the Anne Arundel County Food Bank

The following items are needed:

  • Canned Meat, Ham & Chicken
  • Oatmeal Infant Formula
  • Peanut Butter
  • Multigrain Crackers
  • Pudding & Custard
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Whole Grain Cereals
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Canned Stews
  • Rice Cakes
  • Canned Soup
  • Canned Tuna, Salmon & Sardines
  • Whole Grain Pasta Sauces
  • Salad Dressings
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Dried Beans
  • Powdered Milk


Subscribe to RSS - Ballet Theatre of Maryland