The City Ballet

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A Night Under ‘The Spell’

Come be a part of a historical night for the arts when the fantasy ballet “The Spell” makes its world premiere May 13 and 14 at The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown.

Created by choreographer Danielle Horochowski and composer Arshak Sirunyan, the full length ballet takes the audience on a journey inspired by the Grimm’s fairy tale ‘The Twelve Dancing Princesses.’ The story explores the mysterious enchantment of five princesses who wear out their dancing shoes each night though they have been locked in their bedroom. A peasant boy in love with the youngest princess sets out to solve the mystery to save her.

The ballet features Oscar Sanchez and Nicole Graniero from The Washington Ballet in the lead roles. Artists from The Western Maryland City Ballet Company, The City Ballet School, and The Maryland Symphony Orchestra bring the story to life.

Horochowski, artistic director of The City Ballet School, was first inspired as a child through a storybook she still owns. The story’s vibrant imagery was a source of inspiration for ‘The Spell.

With ‘The Spell’s’ world premiere, Horochowski becomes one of the first women to stage a full-length ballet with an original score performed by a symphony. “My passion is to tell a great story on stage and sweep our audience away from real life to indulge a magical adventure.” she says. “I’m excited to take our audience on this journey”.

Sirunyan, an Armenian jazz and ballet composer wrote the score for “The Spell’ and describes the 90 minutes of new music as “haunting, magical, and fun.”  Added Horochowski “Working with a composer is incredible because there are no limitations,” she says. “We had this beautiful rare opportunity to create the music and ballet together”.  “Arshak put in all the bells and whistles to create the magic for this story” says Elizabeth Schulze, conductor for the Maryland Symphony Orchestra. “To have this opportunity to be involved with a new ballet and score is rare, it’s historic”.

Horochowski and Sirunyan collaborated to create the ballet in 2017 with the world premiere set for 2020 which was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the world premiere, Horochowski hopes her audience will treasure being the first to experience this ballet.  “It’s a special opportunity to attend a premiere” she says.

Tickets for ‘The Spell’ are on sale now and can be purchased through the Maryland Theatre box office in person, calling 301-790-2000 or through the theatre’s website at

The City Ballet School

63 E. Franklin St., Hagerstown, MD 21740

301.733.5833  •

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