2019 2020 season grand rapids ballet michigan dance

Dance moves people in different ways.

It touches both our hearts and our minds. It transcends words and transforms thoughts. It takes what is mysterious and unfamiliar and wraps it in beauty and romance. It is grounded in the past, reflects our present, and strives to envision the future.

This rich and diverse tapestry comes together to create a world where anything is possible—a place where you can discover “What moves you?”

The 2019-20 season is all about finding what moves you! We are presenting a fantastic line-up of ballets, ranging from contemporary and classic works to world premieres and beloved favorites; there is truly something here for everyone including our new Family Matinee series designed specifically to introduce your young ones to the world of professional ballet. I am eager to further Grand Rapids Ballet’s reputation as a cornerstone of the arts in Michigan and as a leader of innovation and excellence. Some of the dance world’s most influential and in-demand choreographers will come to Grand Rapids to work with our talented dancers, presenting ballet that is truly of the present, yet rooted in tradition. I hope you are as excited about the new season as we are; we do this all for you and couldn’t do it without you. I’ll see you at the ballet!

James SofrankoArtistic Director
grand rapids ballet firebird


October 18-20 & 25, 2019

This powerful collection presents Firebird, San Francisco Ballet’s resident choreographer Yuri Possokhov’s transformation of Stravinsky’s captivating story of good and evil; Artistic Director James Sofranko’s elegantly wrought and intensely musical Mozart Symphony; Adam Hougland’s mesmerizing dark drama, Cold Virtues; and a world premiere by our choreographer-in-residence, Penny Saunders.


December 13-15 & 20-22

West Michigan’s favorite holiday tradition returns to the grandeur of DeVos Performance Hall with sets by famed children’s book author and illustrator Chris Van Allsburg (The Polar Express, Jumanji), Broadway-quality set design by Tony Award winner Eugene Lee (Wicked, Sweeney Todd, Saturday Night Live), choreography by Val Caniparoli, and the live music of your Grand Rapids Symphony. Don’t miss the magic!

2019 2020 grand rapids ballet season


February 14-16 & 21, 2020

The second exciting collection of the season, is filled with passion and promise. See Artistic Director James Sofranko’s Romeo & Juliet Pas de Deux; the triumphant return of Trey McIntyre’s Wild Sweet Love featuring the music of Queen, Roberta Flack, and The Partridge Family; resident Choreographer Penny Saunders’ moving and inclusive Give Me; a world premiere November from choreographer and audience-favorite Danielle Rowe; and a world premiere from James Sofranko featuring live ESME string quartet.


March 6-8

Talent lives within all of us and must be nurtured to succeed. This new showcase will discover the next generation of great choreographers by providing the dance world’s emerging talent and the dancers of Grand Rapids Ballet a platform to explore their artistic vision and the inspiration to bring it to life.


April 24-26 & May 1-3

The season ends on a wonderful comedic note with one of Shakespeare’s most popular and treasured works. Choreographed by associate artistic director of  the National Ballet of Canada, Christopher Stowell, the story of four star-crossed Athenians whose love lives are turned upside down by a miscast spell proves “the course of true love never did run smooth.” The performance will also feature George Balanchine’s beloved and ethereal Serenade.

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