Text: Karla Jeltema
“Lifting the human spirit through the art of dance” is the lifeblood and motto of the Grand Rapids Ballet. While live, in-person performances have been suspended for the professional ballet company due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the talented group at Grand Rapids Ballet has devised ways to lift spirits through virtual ballet programs.
“Choreographers & Cocktails” premiering live this Thursday, May 14 at 2:30 p.m. on Facebook, features a conversation—and beverage of choice—with Artistic Director James Sofranko and Choreographers Danielle Rowe and Alejandro Cerrudo as they discuss Grand Rapids Ballet’s Virtual Program I: Classic & Contemporary. A second conversation is planned for June 2020.
If you miss the pirouettes and grand jetés beloved by ballet enthusiasts, for a generous donation to the GR Ballet between now and June 11, 2020, you can enjoy Program I on May 15: Classic & Contemporary with George Balanchine’s “Allegro Brillante,” performed by the Grand Rapids Ballet in October 2018; Danielle Rowe’s “November” performed by the Grand Rapids Ballet in February 2020 and Alejandro Cerrudo’s “Extremely Close,” performed by the ballet company in February 2019.
Program II, “An Evening with Penny Saunders,” is anticipated to premiere online June 12, 2020. Saunders is the Grand Rapids Ballet’s Choreographer-in-Residence, sharing four Grand Rapids Ballet movements with the virtual audience: “Amiss,” a world premiere; “Again,” which was performed in October 2019; “Testimony,” which was performed in October 2018; and “Ghost Light,” performed in February 2019.
Links to Program I and II will be emailed to anyone who makes a tax-deductible donation at grballet.com/donate.
Featured photo courtesy Grand Rapids Ballet by Eric Bouwens.