Another Season Of World Class Dance To Come as Grand Rapids Ballet Announces Their 2023-24 Season
By Marketing Director Meghan Dolata
May 12, 2023
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., May 12, 2023 — Grand Rapids Ballet (GRB), Michigan’s first professional ballet company, is delighted to announce its 2023-2024 Season. Grand Rapids Ballet’s upcoming season features an abundance of programming for everyone to enjoy between world-premiere choreography, well-known inspirational repertories, and beloved classical works!
The 2023-2024 season is full of dynamic pieces sure to please diverse audiences and welcome new generations. “Our 23-24 Season continues to uphold the reputation of Grand Rapids Ballet as a leader in the arts community, presenting the best of classical and contemporary ballet as well as commissioning new and exciting works by in-demand choreographers,” James Sofranko, Artistic Director at Grand Rapids Ballet says.
The new season officially launches in October, but GRB encourages patrons to take advantage of the gorgeous Michigan summers by joining them for their outdoor performances at various local venues. Grand Rapids Ballet is thrilled to bring back its second annual Summer Dance Festival outside the Peter Martin Wege Theatre. This one-of-a-kind festival grants loyal patrons and curious art lovers alike the opportunity to experience the diversity of art here in Grand Rapids for free. GRB and other local dance groups will represent a multitude of genres as they perform in a festive atmosphere, complete with food trucks, beer, and wine. The West Michigan community can follow GRB to their next outdoor venue and enjoy a performance under the colorful summer skies at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Amphitheater on Tuesday, August 29. Featured works include “Elemental Brubeck,’ with choreography by Lar Lubovitch and music by renowned jazz composer Dave Brubeck. GRB will also celebrate the return of “Who Cares?” choreographed by George Balanchine from their 2022-23 season. The iconic piece features exciting, high-energy choreography featuring the entire company and a romantic pas de deux set to Gershwin tunes such as “I’ve Got Rhythm” and “The Man I Love.”
“Ballet is a living and breathing art form, performed by our company dancers who come to us worldwide. They come to share their passion, uplift the human spirit, and contribute meaningfully to this community,” James said. “I am proud to lead the Grand Rapids Ballet and these dancers in our new season, performing well-known classical repertoire but pushing the art form forward with new works that surprise us in ways we can’t even imagine. With each of our programs, we keep the joy of music and dance present in our lives and pay it forward for future generations.”
Grand Rapids Ballet officially starts its season in October with their first in-theatre performance, “Contemporary Visions.” This production features four stand-alone works created by explorative and dynamic choreographers who will be sharing stories through movement. For the first time, veteran company dancer and up-and-coming choreographer Yuka Oba-Muschiana will premiere a full company work. Moving along through their season, GRB will continue with the magical holiday tradition of “The Nutcracker” at DeVos Performance Hall this December, with accompaniment from the Grand Rapids Symphony.
GRB will return to DeVos Performance Hall in February to perform one of the most beloved classical ballets of all time, “Sleeping Beauty.” With elegant choreography created by Devon Carney, with sections after Marius Petipa and Tchaikovsky’s exceptional score performed live by the Grand Rapids Symphony. This timeless production follows the traditional tale of Princess Aurora and the curse placed on her and her kingdom.
GRB then returns to their home theatre, the Peter Martin Wege Theatre, to present an audience-favorite, “Jumpstart 2024”. Patrons will be enthralled as Grand Rapids Ballet’s Company dancers scrutinize movement and musicality by exerting new choreography and ideas as they create world-premiere works performed by their peers. With ideas and movements that are fresh and constantly evolving, this is a production that you won’t want to miss.
Closing out the 2023-24 season, Grand Rapids Ballet is thrilled to present “one of the greatest ballets of all time” (New York Times, October 2022), “In the Upper Room.” Choreographed by renowned choreographer Twyla Tharp this program pushes dancers to the edge of physical limits as the choreography draws on elements of classical ballet, jazz, tap dance, yoga, and boxing to create a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience. This program also features the return of “Serenade,” Balanchine’s memorable 1934 neo-classic masterpiece. Featuring sweeping choreography, exquisite stage patterns, and iconic long tulle dresses, all paired with a lush score by Tchaikovsky. Two of ballet’s most celebrated works come together to create one unforgettable program to close out the season.
“In the 23-24 season, our audience will be able to experience a full range of what makes ballet so exciting. From the classical tradition of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ to the contemporary thrill of ‘In The Upper Room’ to our free Summer Dance Festival that celebrates the diversity of dance in our community, I am confident that this season will amaze, inspire, and perhaps most of all, connect us through the arts,” James said.
The 2023-24 season is thrilling for the GRB Company and Grand Rapids Ballet School’s Junior Company alike. The Jr. Company is pleased to present two spectacular productions, “Carnival of the Animals” in October and “Snow White” in March, at the Peter Martin Wege Theatre.
Season Subscriptions are now available for returning, and new patrons; individual tickets will be available to the public later this summer. New this season, GRB is excited to offer a Family Package Subscription. This package differs from the organization’s traditional subscription packages in that it offers the best deal on tickets to all GRBs and GRBS Junior Company’s family-focused, story ballet performances, specifically. Perfect for families with young children who love Grand Rapids Ballet. For additional information on subscriptions, performance dates, and times, visit GRBALLET.COM.