The Northwest Florida Ballet has long been known for its stunning classical repertoire. Its annual performance of holiday favorite The Nutcracker has become a cherished Emerald Coast tradition. What many may not realize, however, is that the Ballet is also a center for creation and innovation.



This month the Ballet will premiere works by three local choreographers, which will collectively be presented as the Northwest Florida Balletís The New Works Project. The works will be performed four times in a specially-designed black box theater at the Balletís downtown Fort Walton Beach studios. Performances will occur at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21; 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22; and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 23.



Tickets are available atwww.nfballet.org, or by phone at 664-7787. Adult tickets are $28; tickets for children age 12 and under are $14. Due to the nature of the performance space, only 110 tickets will be available for each performance. 



The Project will be accompanied by an art exhibit provided by Okaloosa Public Arts. The exhibit will feature works in a wide range of mediums, from traditional paint on canvas to stunning high-resolution photography. All of the artists were inspired by last yearís performances of A Midsummer Nightís Dream and Afterglow, and feature the dancers of the Ballet both in rehearsal and mid-performance. The exhibit will be formally unveiled during an RSVP-only wine reception at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20.  Attendees will have the first chance to see the exhibit and will have the opportunity to meet some of the artists and participate in a question and answer session led by Artistic Director Todd Eric Allen. Space at this event will be limited.



The three choreographers for the Project, Jazz Rozer, Kelly Murdock and Sharon Allen, were chosen from the local Northwest Florida community, and are all highly talented dancers in their own rights.