Ballet in the Park will begin its 25th season this Sunday, July 19, at the Butler Bandshell in Lithia Park.

Ballet in the Park will begin its 25th season Sunday at the Butler Bandshell in Lithia Park. Previously held on Monday evenings, it was decided this year that Sundays would be better for the ballet performances.

"(Sunday performances) will be more accommodating to our crew, volunteers, guest companies, artists and teachers," Artistic Director Diane Gaumond Hyrst said.

Ballet in the Park performances will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Sunday evenings, July 19, 26, Aug. 2 and Aug. 9. Because of limited parking, walking or biking to Lithia Park for the performances is recommended.

On the mornings of the performances "Little Ballerinas," a free ballet class for children ages 5 through 10, will be available. The class is taught on the Butler Bandshell stage from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

The program this year will consist of Don Quixote's "Dream of Dulcinea" after "Petipa, The Dance of the Seven Veils," (1983) "Eric Hyrst and Axis" (1981) "Eric Hyrst," (2009) restaged by Hyrst.

There will also be guest groups performing: Gallery Ballet with Edwina Castle on July 19, Traduza with Valerie Ball July 26, Polaris Dance Theater with Robert Guitron Aug. 2 and Kinetic Images with Kim Watson on Aug. 9.

Many enjoy the evening performances by bringing picnics and blankets or lawn chairs. In the grassy area to the side of the stage, aspiring young dancers can twirl and move to the music in a designated "dance area" for children.

The City of Ashland and private donors fund the operating expenses of the Ballet in the Park series. The funding challenge this year is to replace the cement floor of the Bandshell so that it is safe for the dancers but also agreeable with the Concert Band Series.

For further information on the program call Ballet Rogue at 773-5118 or visit www.balletrogue.com.