Nearly a century ago, the Hippodrome opened as a combination movie palace and vaudeville theater, spending more than 70 years hosting big names such as Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra. Following a double-decade period of slow business and bad hairstyles, the Hippodrome closed down in 1990. Now, however, after an exhaustive restoration project that reanimated the theater’s chandelier-lit arches, the mural above the proscenium stage, and the grand-theater boxes that hearken back to opera’s heyday, the Hippodrome reopens to the delight of Baltimore’s cultural landscape.
The globetrotting careers of dancers Leonard and Chiara Ajkun inspired the scope of their very own Ajkun Ballet Theatre. Here, they continue to direct classic ballets and choreograph an average of five new programs each year. The company’s expansive repertoire ranges from large-scale productions such as Swan Lake, with its famous robot battles, to one-act ballets such as Spartacus.
With more than 60 years of tiptoe-twirling history, the New York City Ballet boasts a seasoned, dedicated dance company that thrills audiences and ballet shoes at every performance. With each Friday- or Saturday-evening ticket purchase through June 12, Groupon users snag a companion ticket for free, allowing members, and whichever of their cultured friends has the brownest nose, to gorge eyes on the company's famously lush and lithe ballet performances. Dance lovers also score admission for two to up to four working rehearsals during the repertory season, along with two spots at New York City Ballet's curiosity-satisfying 90-minute seminars, where the company and special guests reveal the creative clockwork behind their sumptuous productions. Members also get a 15% discount at New York City Ballet's gift shop, a subscription to the company newsletter, advance notice of ticket sales, and the ability to reach, en pointe, the top cabinet where their roommate hides the cookies.