watch grand rapids ballet virtual performances at home

Grand Rapids Ballet


Because you can’t come to the ballet, we’re very excited to bring the ballet home to you!

Here, to show our appreciation for those who love the arts and support Grand Rapids Ballet, we’ll feature video from past performances including two new virtual programs, dancer-created content, and more. We are committed to celebrating the beautiful way dance lifts the human spirit by finding unique ways to bring that belief to life. Enjoy!


Because we can’t be together as a Company to rehearse, we are thinking outside the box to bring you the joy of dance. Introducing Virtual Programs featuring video of prior performances woven together to create a brand new production.

The second virtual program, An Evening with Penny Saunders, will be available online starting June 12 for 72 hours only to anyone who is kind enough to make a donation between May 15 and June 11. You will be sent a link via email to view the performance. Thank you for your support. We appreciate you!

VIRTUAL PROGRAM II: An Evening with Penny Saunders
Available June 12 for 72 hours

AMISS (world premiere)

Choreographed by our resident choreographer, Penny Saunders, this world-premiere piece emerged as a way to remain connected and create something meaningful during this time of great uncertainty. 

choreography: Penny Saunders
music: Michael Wall
soundtrack: Penny Saunders
video editing: Quinn Wharton

cast:  Company dancers Yuka Oba-Muschiana, Matthew Wenckowski, Nigel Tau, Madison Massara, Adriana Wagenveld, Gretchen Steimle, Alexandra Meister-Upleger, Steven Houser, Isaac Aoki, Emily Reed, Ingrid Lewis, and Julia Turner

collaborators: Artistic Director James Sofranko; Artistic Coordinator and Ballet Master Dawnell Dryja Black; Grand Rapids Ballet School students Tevryn Black, Vivian Mosolygo, Cameron Mosolygo, and Jack Sofranko; Grand Rapids Ballet School Junior Company mambers Madeline Muth and Christopher Karhunen; School and Junior Company Director Attila Mosolygo; School Curriculum Coordinator Melinda Mosolygo; Pilates instructor Cindy Sofranko; Company and Facilities Manager John Ferraro; Board President Leah Voigt; Board Secretary Jeffrey Gurney; volunteer Ray King; and supporter Patrick McConeghy


If only we could enjoy it over and over again. A performing career saturated with love, dedication, and shared joy is limited only by time. And so, the memory of it is what we are left with.

choreography: Penny Saunders
costumes: Brennan Smith
lighting: Matthew Taylor
world premiere: October 2019, Grand Rapids Ballet, Grand Rapids, Michigan


Created specifically for Grand Rapids Ballet by resident choreographer and Princess Grace Award winner, Penny Saunders, this piece showcases the strengths of our female dancers. It is inspired by current events related to the #MeToo movement.

choreography: Penny Saunders
sound design: Penny Saunders
lighting design: Trad A Burns
prop designer: John Ferraro
costume design: Danielle Truss & Penny Saunders
world premiere: February 2019, Grand Rapids Ballet, Grand Rapids, Michigan

cast: Yuka Oba, Cassidy Isaacson, Gretchen Steimle, Adriana Wagenveld, Connie Flachs, Ashley Conroy, Sydney Scully, Micaelina Ritschl, Alexandra Meister-Upleger, Grace Haskins, Matt Wenckowski, Nigel Tau, Steven Houser, Isaac Aoki, Ednis Gomez, David Senti. Levi Teachout, Branden Reiners, Nathan Young


A popular theatrical superstition holds that every theater has a ghost. It is believed that ghost lights provide opportunities for ghosts to perform onstage, thus appeasing them and preventing them from cursing the theater or sabotaging the set or production. Ghost Light tells the story of what happens after the audience leaves the theater and the “ghosts” of former performers are left to their own devices.

performed by Grand Rapids Ballet October 2018

choreography: Penny Saunders
costume design: Lisa Choules
lighting design: Scott Bolman
lighting recreated by: Catherine Dreher
world premiere: 2017, Owen/Cox Dance Group, commissioned by Johnson County Community College, Kansas City

cast: Gretchen Steimle, Isaac Aoki, Steven Houser, Matthew Wenckowski

Thank you choreographers and IATSE Local 26 union crew for allowing us to present these pre-recorded performance videos.


We are happy to share with you this virtual hug video to honor and salute our healthcare and essential workers for all they’re doing to keep us safe. It’s our hope this special message will offer them — and you — a healthy dose of strength and encouragement.

The dancers (who are all wearing blue in a sign of solidarity with healthcare workers) volunteered their time and talents for the cause. They are James Cunningham, Steven Houser, Ingrid Lewis, Celeste Lopez-Keranen, Madison Massara, Alexandra Meister-Upleger, Yuka Oba-Muschiana, Emily Reed, Gretchen Steimle, Nigel Tau, Julia Turner, Adriana Wagenveld, Matthew Wenckowski, and Nathan Young. Cellist Jeremy Crosmer of Grand Rapids’ ESME (Eclectic String Music Ensemble) appears on the video playing the prelude from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major. The piece was produced by James Sofranko and Cindy Sheppard Sofranko and edited by Joe Sofranko and Lili Fuller.

Our mission is to uplift the human spirit through the art of dance and we hope you’ll keep the momentum going by sharing this video with your friends and family, too. Thank you. #GRBATHOME #GRBVIRTUALHUG #MICAREMATTERS #COVID19HEROES


Just about every week, we’ll email you a link to view a video of one our past performances. Simply join our email list today to make sure you don’t miss a moment!


Keep up with your favorite Grand Rapids Ballet dancers on Instagram as they create content of their own and share with you what they’re up to at home. Simply click on their image below to start following them today.

isaac aoki grand rapids ballet dancer
ednis gomez grand rapids ballet dancer
grand rapids ballet dancers
steven houser grand rapids ballet dancer
josue justiz grand rapids ballet dancer
Sarah Marley Grand Rapids Ballet
Madison Massara grand rapids ballet dancer
branden reiners grand rapids ballet dancer
Julia Turner Grand Rapids Ballet
adriana wagenveld grand rapids ballet dancer
matt wenckowski grand rapids ballet dancer
nathan young grand rapids ballet

To see more dancer profiles, click here.