Dallas-Fort Worth's premier dance company, Texas Ballet Theater, is in recovery mode after a water pipe break during Winter Storm Uri shut down operations of its Fort Worth headquarters.
"Unfortunately, Texas Ballet Theater (TBT) was not spared the devastation [of the storm] and sustained catastrophic damage to the Fort Worth facility due to a massive water pipe break," the company wrote in an email to patrons February 24.
The Fort Worth facility, at 1540 Mall Circle near Ridgmar Mall, is home to offices, rehearsal and class studios, costume storage, and more.
"Over the weekend, a team, including members of the Board of Governors and staff, came together for an immediate and robust effort to salvage, organize, and transport costumes, furniture, and technology for safekeeping," the company told patrons.
They discovered that ankle-deep water had destroyed all specialized sprung ballet floors in every studio, among other damages.
According to the email, after extracting the water, the team had to:
- Remove and/or dispose of computers and furniture in the building, including the majority of TBT's artistic, production, company management, executive, and financial services office spaces.
- Transport the entire wardrobe department to TBT warehouses, an emergency call answered by TBT’s local union stage crew.
- Mitigate additional damage by lowering the temperature in the building to below 50 degrees.
- Temporarily transition student performances and company dancer rehearsals for this spring’s Mixed Repertoire digital series at TBT studios in Dallas.
"It is impossible to overstate the damage to the Fort Worth facility," the email said. "The building will remain inoperable for the near future, and TBT is strategizing how to restore operations in accordance with the organization’s long-term vision and as good stewards of its resources."
The building destruction comes as a crushing blow to the company after a year of financial and artistic hardship due to COVID-19. The pandemic has forced the cancellation of six of their productions, including the annual holiday presentation of The Nutcracker.
Because of ongoing health concerns, restrictions on audience size, and the closure of Bass Hall, they've pivoted to a virtual format for their spring season, with the first performances streaming March 18.
“It’s a heartbreaking situation, but the events of the past year have shown us that we have a resilient community," says TBT executive director Vanessa Logan. "The support we’ve received to our Relief Fund inspires us as we take the next steps in this process.”
To find out how to support the ballet, visit their website.