Dancer gives lift to Southern Ballet

For ballet dancer Yan Chen, "commuting to work" has a whole new meaning. For half the year she dances with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre in New York City. For the rest of the year she makes her home, with husband and son, here in Orlando.

Chen has offered her considerable expertise as a guest teacher for the Southern Ballet Theatre, and this weekend she performs in a passage from the ballet "Don Quixote" as part of SBT's Spring Gala. The New York Times has said that Chen possesses a rare mix of "delicacy and exuberance"; Orlando audiences will want to take this chance to marvel at her skill.

The first half of the Spring Gala's program includes four short pieces; the company performs the third act of "Don Quixote" after the intermission.

The Friday, March 12, performance will be followed by a fund-raising reception with cocktails and desserts and a chance to meet the dancers. Maybe Chen will offer some tips on combining work and family at a 1,000-mile remove.