May 28th, 2009 5:33 pm | by KELLY CLARKE News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP

Oregon Ballet Theatre: $750,000 or bust.


Oregon Ballet Theatre is gearing up for its biggest performance ever—raising three-quarters of a million dollars in one month.

Barry Johnson over at the O had the scoop last night:
Unless the company raises $750,000 by June 30 to cover expenses and pay creditors, it may have to close its doors. "It is not clear that we will survive," said Jon Ulsh, the company's executive director.

Read the rest of the gory details over at, but suffice to say OBT owes a lotta people money. Among other factors dismal fund raising and a Nutcracker ticket sale slump thanks to our current economic awesomeness has put the company in dire straights.

On the bright side, the company has pulled every string the dance network to launch a huge gala event on June 12 to help 'em raise the much needed funds. OBT sent out a fairly cheery press release yesterday afternoon detailing the event. Check out the roster of performers so far:
Leading dancers from world-class companies across North America will perform in support of OBT. Confirmed participants at this time are: the New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, the Joffrey, the Washington Ballet, Boston Ballet, the Trey McIntyre Project, Ballet West, White Bird, Bodyvox and Oregon Ballet Theatre.

That's a huge outpouring of support for a local ballet company that has markedly improved over the past couple of years. According to OBT, the Portland Center for the Performing Arts is letting them use the Keller Auditorium gratis, plus the dancers are all donating their time. It promises to be one hell of a show. Here's hopin' it's not one of their last.

Oregon Ballet Theatre's final regular program of the season, Rush & Robbins, featuring works from dance legend Jerome Robbins as well as Christopher Wheeldon's Rush, takes place at the Keller June 5-7. Look for a preview of the show in WW next Wednesday.

Dance United takes place at the Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., 274-6560. One performance only, 7:30 pm Friday, June 12. $50 - $200. Tickets go on sale Monday, June 1, at 9 am. Order online at and or call 222-5538.

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