The Year In Review 2011 ~ 2012 ~ 2013 ~ 2014

April 18, 2015 ~ Metairie Country Club

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Delta Festival Ballet welcomes you to La Fete du Ballet – In the Mood. We are delighted that you have joined us in this evening of dance, music, dining and auction bidding as we honor our own Maria Giacobbe and the Greatest Generation.

Your support tonight enables Delta Festival Ballet to continue its tradition of exceptional dance programming in Greater New Orleans and throughout the state of Louisiana. This includes our signature annual production of The Nutcracker, which gives aspiring young dancers the opportunity to perform alongside professional artists. Since 1967, Delta has remained Louisiana’s premiere professional ballet company, with dancers going on to careers with some of the world’s leading dance companies including New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Cincinatti Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Zurich Ballet, and the Radio City Rockettes as well as numerous Broadway and touring productions.

As we began planning this year’s La Fete du Ballet, a casual reference was made to Maria’s service with the USO in the early 1940’s and suddenly we had the theme of our evening. Maria is part of the Greatest Generation, and no other name could be more appropriate. These men and women struggled through the Great Depression before fighting a world war on two fronts. Tonight we honor my sister Maria Giacobbe and all those who, like her, gave their talents in service to our country during this difficult time. To the servicemen and women who fought oversees, to those who kept the home fires burning, to those who built the planes and ships (especially the Higgins Landing Craft made here in New Orleans), and to those who, like Maria, lifted the spirits of so many by performing with the USO, we give our deepest appreciation and our pledge that you will never be forgotten.

Thank you all for being here to support Delta Festival Ballet. I know I speak for Maria as well as for myself and our entire company of artists when I tell you how deeply we appreciate your presence and continued patronage. Have a wonderful evening!

Joseph Giacobbe



Our Generous Sponsors and Patrons

Andrews Sisters Level

The Gail and Tom Benson Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. Paul B. Kavanaugh
Dr. and Mrs. Charles E. Schlosser, III

Benny Goodman Level

Mr. and Mrs. Ash Abbott
Azalea Title, LLC
Mr. and Mrs. Deryle Bourgeois
Brandner Law Firm
Fowler, Rodriguez Counselors at Law
Mr. and Mrs. Roy Frischhertz

Duke Ellington Level

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Armstrong
Ms. Lisa Borges
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Corcoran
Ms. Karen Danna
Mr. and Mrs. Scott Dessens
Ms. Ana Doratan
Mr. and Mrs. Aubrey Facenda
Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Fernandez
Mr. and Mrs. Rob Giacobbe
Mr. Joseph Giacobbe
Ms. Terri Giacobbe
Ms. Sandra Gilbreath
Dr. George Greenberg
Mr. and Mrs. John Henton
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Holley
Ms. Joan Patrick
Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Plessala
Mr. Thomas Ralabate
Ms. Stephania Simoneaux
Ms. Jessica Touchet
Mr. and Mrs. Carl Toups
Mr. and Mrs. John Van Vrancken
Mr. and Mrs. Larry Welch
Mr. and Mrs. Kent Wise
Dr. Lisa Wyatt, D.D.S.

Auction Donors

Academy of the Sacred Heart
Acme Oyster House
Angel Edrington
Antoine's Restaurant
Audubon Nature Institute
Camille Barnes Studio
Katie Brandner
Celebration in the Oaks
Chateau Country Club
Clutter Clearer
Cookies from Scratch
Contemporary Arts Center
Doug Gitter/The Gitter Gallery
Elmwood Fitness Center
Equest Farm
Fisher & Sons Jewelers
Fowl Talk
Giacobbe Academy of Dance
Ground Patti
H2O Salon and Spa
Hotel Monteleone
Huck Finn's Café
Inka's Uniforms
JADE Interiors
John's Tuxedos
Jos. A Banks
Joseph Giacobbe
Keife & Co.
Krewe of Tucks & Lloyd Frischhertz
Laura Gilbreath Tisserand & Jerome Tisserand
Le Foret
Leon Loard
Lil Squirts
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
Louisiana State Museum
Maison Dupuy
Martin Wine Cellar
Metairie Country Club
Metairie Small Animal Hospital
Mignon Faget
Milestone Photography
Muriel's Jackson Square
The National World War II Museum
New Orleans Friends of Music
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation
New Orleans Museum of Art
New Orleans Paddlewheels
New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
Oak Wine Bar
Ogden Museum of Southern Art
The Old Coffepot Restaurant
Olivia Grey Pritchard Photography
Palm Tree Playground
The Prytania Theatre
Puglias Sporting Goods
Pure Barre
Richard Rholdon
Rome's Tuxedos
The Roosevelt New Orleans
Tori Rose Designs & Dawn Gallo
Pamela Ross
Salon M
Sheraton French Quarter
Stanley Restaurant
Steamboat Natchez
Stella and Dot
Toso Orthodontics LLC
Tutti Frutti
Two Sprouts
Dr. Lisa Wyatt, D.D.S
Ye Olde College Inn/Rock'n'Bowl
Yeaux Yeaux Bows
Younique2You by Ann Francis
The Woodhouse Spa



Oliver Wendell Holmes observed that life is like painting a picture. That observation could not be more apt for describing the artistic trajectory of Maria Giacobbe. She has been active in the performing arts since 1943, when the dance studio, Giacobbe Academy of Dance, was opened by Maria and her sister, Georgie. The legacy they started continues today with Maria and her brother Joseph, who are also co-directors of the Delta Festival Ballet. Maria made her entrance into the world stage as the first child of newlyweds, Lawrence and Leona Giacobbe. She was born at the end of the “Roaring 20’s” and made her stage entrance on Valentine’s Day. Maria embodied the “Renaissance Woman.” Although women had earned the right to vote only nine years before her birth, Maria was a trailblazer whose early childhood was marked by vigorous intellectual and artistic activities.

Dance training began with Gerry Fenasci in the early 1930’s and continued with Lelia Haller in classical ballet. Ballet training led her to perform with the New Orleans Opera Association Ballet, where she danced with Royes Fernandez, who later became a principal male dancer for American Ballet Theater for decades. She also danced alongside his sister, Jeanne Fernandes Bruno and they remain lifelong friends today. It was during this same period of educational and dance training that she performed with the USO, along with her first cousin, Mary Ann Lambert deLaneuville, as the “Lambert Sisters.” Their grandmother accompanied them to perform for the troops. Maria’s dedication to her craft continued through opera performances in both high school (where she was salutatorian of Holy Name of Jesus) and through college at Loyola University, where she graduated cum laude, becoming the first college graduate in her family.

After graduation, Maria’s versatility became more evident when in addition to teaching dance, she began teaching educational courses at Metairie High School, Holy Name of Jesus, Riverdale and Grace King High schools. She formed dance teams at some of the high schools, with the Grace King dance team being asked to perform in the lead off position for the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. In the late 1960’s, Maria and Joseph co-founded the Delta Festival Ballet, where they imported professional dancers and instructors from all over the world to teach and perform with the Company and at the studio. A Who’s Who of international dance stars, such as Edward Villela, Patricia McBride, Cynthia Gregory, Royes Fernandez and Gelsey Kirkland were early international guest stars who inspired students and audiences. Maria and Joseph later founded the New Orleans Youth Ballet to give dancers ten years and older the opportunity to gain invaluable experience that has fostered many professional careers in dance and in other professions such as the legal and medical professions. In 1984, Maria was honored by St. Mary’s Dominican College and the Women’s Office of the City of New Orleans as one of the “area’s outstanding women artists.” She also received the Mayor’s Arts Award in 1988. In 1993, she was honored by Dance Magazine for her outstanding contributions in dance and she received a Proclamation from the Jefferson Parish Council for a half century of dedicated teaching. In 2000, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Classical Awards Committee of the Big Easy Organization. Her legacy of artistic achievement and dedication continues to inspire. Maria’s life is still being painted, but the picture that has already unfolded is one of artistic achievement, dedication and inspiration for generations.

See More Photos in the LaFete 2015
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The Year In Review 2011 ~ 2012 ~ 2013 ~ 2014

Delta Festival Ballet
Post Office Box 7425  Metairie, Louisiana 70010  Phone (504)888-0931  Fax (504)888-0941