Mobile ballerina hanging up ballet slippers this weekend, after 25-year career

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — It will be the final curtain for Katia Garza this weekend. Garza is an internationally-acclaimed ballerina who came to Mobile Ballet as the artistic director three years ago. She’s been teaching ballet full-time, but the Board of Directors asked her to take on the challenging role of “Giselle” in this weekend’s performance of Giselle.

Garza says has danced the role of Giselle two other times in her storied career. At age 42, she knew it would be physically difficult to be the principal dancer in the two-hour ballet, but she decided it would be a perfect ballet to say good-bye to full- time roles.

“It’s a very beautiful ballet. Many times people don’t have the opportunity to say goodbye. It is something I will remember forever,” Garza said.

Her fellow dancers say it’s been a privilege working with Garza on this production of Giselle because she has such a wealth of knowledge. Garza has danced the lead role in every major classical ballet.

“It’s cool to see her. One minute she’s teaching, she’s in rehearsal with us, and all of a sudden, she is dancing. She’s been a great inspiration,” Isabella Benton said. Benton is one of Garza’s students.

“I am watching her, and learning from her, and when I have to play my part, it’s hard to look away. She is quite an amazing dancer,” soloist, Raul Peinado said.

Garza says it is very emotional for her to hang up her ballet slippers at the conclusion of the performances this weekend, but she says, “it’s time.” She says she’s fortunate to have made the decision on her terms, instead of being forced to retire because of an injury.

“It will be a magical moment. It’s not like you are finishing one show. You are finishing years of work. Enjoy each moment of the 2-hour show,” Garza said.

Here is a short synopsis of the ballet:

Regarded as the first ballet ever when performed in 1841, Giselle is a masterwork of the Romantic era that still captivates audiences with a story of mad love that turns to madness… and ultimately forgiveness. Giselle is a peasant girl who dies of a broken heart on discovery
her lover Albrecht is betrothed to another.

Mobile Ballet

If you are interested in purchasing tickets to Giselle, click here.

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