Tag Archives: Grand Rapids Ballet

Summer fun activities abound in Grand Rapids

By Jeremy Witt


There is absolutely no excuse to be bored this summer, not with the variety of offerings from local schools and organizations.

Compass College in Grand Rapids offers interested participants help in making a movie this summer. Learn from professionals how to act on camera and make films in their Summer Film and Acting camps. Running from June 19th to 23rd, these camps are designed for teens ages 13 to 18. Each camp offers a completely different experience: as a Film Camp student, you’ll write, shoot, and edit your own short film with guidance from seasoned filmmakers; in Acting Camp, you’ll work on perfecting on-camera acting techniques with a film actor as your coach, and then star in a film produced by Film Camp. At the end of the week, walk the red carpet as the films premiere for family and friends on the big screen.

The Downtown Market in Grand Rapids has three- and four-day summer camps for the young foodie in your life. Camps are offered starting in late June and run through the beginning of August. Each camp has a distinct theme, ranging from Michigan’s fruits and vegetables to creating and utilizing a backyard farm. Sign up today for what Downtown Market cleverly calls their “Simmer Camps”.

Grand Rapids Treetop Adventure Park is hosting its first ever Treetop Climbing Camp, a climbing day camp for the curious, adventurous, and outdoor-lovers in your house. At the Treetop Climbing Camp, you will get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at what is involved in adventure climbing, including one-on-one training from their skilled park guides. Two sessions are now available, with session one from June 19th to 21st and session two from June 26th to 28th. The camp is best suited for kids ages 10 to 15, but more importantly, campers need to be able to reach six feet with their arms straight up.

The Grand Rapids Ballet has a variety of camps that are all centered around dance. Their Ballet School has programs for ballet, young dancers, boys ballet, and summer intensive training. They also have two Adaptive Dance programs, Explorer Dance (for children with Down syndrome) and Dancing with Parkinson’s (for adults with Parkinson’s disease). These Adaptive Dance classes allow students to experience the joy of dancing who may otherwise not have the opportunity to do so. Summer camps at the Grand Rapids Ballet are both fun and accessible for everyone.

The Grand Rapids Civic Theatre has summer camps that give students the chance to spend an entire week learning about theatre while having a blast making new friends. There are some fantastic additions to the extremely popular summer camp program this year, so you’ll want to take a look at their new offerings for the season. Camps range from age 4 all the way through high school.

Summer fun happens at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Join in and explore the wonders of science, history, culture, art and fun. For nine weeks this summer, kids ages 4 to 14 can use the museum as a learning lab, experimenting and growing, all while having a great time in one of the area’s most history-rich and “cool” environments.


Modern dance premieres on GR Ballet’s stage with MoveMedia series

Robert Dekkers and Vanessa Thiessen will be presenting their new work “Dear Light Along the Way to Nothingness”. (Supplied)

By K.D. Norris



The modern dance scenes in Chicago and San Francisco are two of a very short list of the world’s incubators of dance innovation, and this week the Grand Rapids Ballet is part of the innovation process as it hosts the latest installment of its MoveMedia series.


Robyn Mineko Williams will present the world premiere of “Gleam”. (Supplied Hubbard Street Dance Chicago/Todd Rosenberg)

Inbound to the ballet’s Peter Martin Wege Theater will be three world-renowned choreographers bringing world premiere works to the stage: from Chicago’s Hubbard Street dance company is Penny Saunders and Robyn Mineko Williams, each with new works, and from San Francisco’s Post:Ballet is Robert Dekkers, who will be collaborating with Vanessa Thiessen on a third new work.


“MoveMedia: World Premieres” will be presented Friday to Sunday, March 10-12, with 7:30 p.m. performances the first two nights and a 2 p.m. matinee on the final day. Tickets are still available for all performances, but the Friday night is near a sell-out.


Williams’ work is titled “Gleam”; Saunders’ is “In Frame”; and Dekkers and Thiessen’s work is “Dear Light Along the Way to Nothingness”.


Now in its seventh year, MoveMedia is “a contemporary dance series featuring dance works merging visual elements of sets, props, costumes and lighting, framed by technology and digital media to enhance the body in space by providing internationally recognized choreographers a creative canvas,” according to supplied material.


Taking full advantage of that “creative canvas” will be the impressive group Saunders, Williams and the duo of Dekkers and Thiessen.


Penny Saunders will present “In Frame”. (Supplied)

Saunders began her professional career at The American Repertory Ballet, has been part of Chicago’s Hubbard Street company since 2004, and in 2016 was the recipient of the Process Grace Choreographic Fellowship.


Williams, originally from Chicago, spent 12 seasons with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, where in 2010 a work co-choreographed with Hubbard Street 2 director Terence Marling her work premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.


Dekkers has been named one of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine and in 2013 was nominated for an Isadora Duncan award for “Outstanding Performance — Individual” with the Diablo Ballet. Thiessen graduated from the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre, teaches at Reed College and the Northwest Dance Project in Portland (Oregon), and is the Post:Ballet’s movement director.


For a video of Dekker’s Post:Ballet, visit here … and click on Season VI Highlights.


For more information on MoveMedia, visit GRballet.com .


‘Nutcracker’ includes sibling youth dancers from Kentwood

The Grand Rapids Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” returns to DeVos Performance Hall for two weekends — Dec. 9-11 and Dec. 16-18. (Supplied)

By K.D. Norris



When the annual run of the Grand Rapids Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” hits the stage Friday, Dec. 9, it will include staring rolls by the company’s professional dancers and, as always, often a stage full of youth dancers.


Again this year, Kentwood sisters Grace and Micah Jones will be among those lending their talents to the production a part of the ballet’s youth dance program — one sister because she sees dance as a possible future career and the other because it is just “so much fun.”


The classic family holiday tradition returns to DeVos Performance Hall for two weekends — Dec. 9-11 and Dec. 16-18 —  with four evening shows and four matinees. Live orchestra music is provided by Grand Rapids Symphony, conducted by symphony Associate Conductor John Varineau.


Grace, a 16-year-old junior at Grand River Preparatory High School, has been dancing at Grand Rapids Ballet for 11 years and has been a member of the Junior Company since its inception. This year will be her 8th Nutcracker appearance.


Grace Jones

“I started dancing when I was 2, my parents saw that I loved movement and loved dancing,” Grace said last week, prior to a rehearsal. “My parents saw I needed something to get my energy out so they said ‘Let’s put her into dance.’ I really didn’t get into ballet right away. I was into jazz and tap and hip hop, but at about 5, I went into ballet because I loved the movement.”


She also loved The Nutcracker, thanks to her father, Ronald.


“I remember going to The Nutcracker every year, when I was younger,” she said. “My dad would take me every year, starting at 4 and then every year until I was 8, when I got to be in it for the first time.”


Seven productions later, she is still excited about the annual holiday production.


“I have always loved being in front of the audience,” Grace said. “I love sharing, I love exposing the audience to something new. For me, when I first watched it, it was so beautiful, to watch those beautiful dancers, the beautiful colors and costumes and shapes they make on the stage. I said ‘Wow. I want to do that.’ … Now I want to give some other girl that feeling, the feeling I felt when I was younger.”


According to her mother, Sandra, Grace hopes to dance in college while pursuing professional opportunities. But she sees dance as a means to other career paths as well.


“I love teaching, maybe teaching dance, “ Grace said. “I would love to show others the joy I found in dance.”


One of the people she has shown the love of dance to is her sister.


Micah, age 13 and a 7th grader at Cross Creek Charter Academy, says music is her first love — she has been playing the piano for 8 years, and her mother says she has talked about assisting with her college expenses by playing piano for ballet companies.


Micah Jones

But Micah has been with working with the Grand Rapids Ballet youth program for four years and will be in the Nutcracker for the third year.


“I saw saw my sister, and other people, in dance and it looked so fun,” Micah said, explaining why she wanted to dance. “It is so free, you get to move how you want to move.”


She also said she receives plenty of advice and encouragement from her older sister.


“Since she is such a good dancer, she really helps me when I need help, with technique or how I am supposed to move,” Micah said.


And as far as her first time in front of the usually large crowds watching the Nutcracker, any advice from her older sister?


“She told me not to think of the crowd, just remember your choreography, remember what you are there to do.”


While the two sisters will be dancing different rolls this season, the thing they have in common is an affinity for the famous battle scene. “It is a giant battle scene,” Grace points out, while Micah simply says the scene is “so much fun.”


Anybody who has seen the production knows what they are talking about; those how haven’t have two weekends worth of opportunity.


For more information, call 616-454-4771 or visit grballet.com


The Weekend Edition: Things to do Dec. 8 – 11

kentwood-christmas-tree-lightingLight It Up


The City of Kentwood will host its annual tree lighting ceremony Friday, Dec. 9, at the KDL Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch, 4950 Breton Rd. SE.


Kicking of the event will be the annual Holiday Light Parade featuring local business and organizations including the Kentwood Police and Fire departments. The parade will start at the Kentwood Baptist Church, 2875 52nd St. SE and travel north on Breton for about a quarter of a mile, ending at Kentwood City Hall, 4900 Breton SE.


Also taking place from 5 – 9 p.m. will be the Elves Express Gift Shop at the KDL Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch. Families will be able to shop for grandmas, grandpas, sisters, brothers, moms, dads, aunts, uncles, friends, pets, and anyone else on their list. Also WKTV will be at the library to record Christmas greetings.


For more information about any of these events, visit www.yourkprd.org.


Candy CaneThe Great Candy Cane Hunt


It’s Wyoming’s Great Candy Cane Hunt Saturday, Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wyoming Senior Center, 2380 DeHoop SW.


Santa Claus will lead children through a scavenger hunt of hidden candy canes scattered in the Veterans Memorial Garden. Once the children have found all the sweet treats, they will head over to the Wyoming Senior Center for lunch and activities such as a holiday craft, work on a coloring book or to play games. Santa also will be visiting with all the children, collecting holiday wish lists.


The cost for the Great Candy Hunt is $4 for children ages 3-14 years old and $6 for non-residents. Additional family members of all ages may attend the event and have lunch for an additional $2 each. Pre-registration is required. Call 616-530-3164 or register at www.wyomingmi.gov/PRRegistration by Thursday, Dec. 8.


Soldier NutcrackerThe Nutcracker


The Grand Rapids Ballet kicks off its traditional holiday presentation of “The Nutcracker” on Friday, Dec. 9, with performances this weekend and next at DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave. NW.


Re-imagined by “Polar Express” author Chris Van Allsburg a couple of years ago, the production follows the story of Clare and her doll as they battle the Mice King and his army and travel to the Land of Sweets and meet its ruler the Sugar Plum Fairy. The production features choreography by Val Caniparoli and set design by Eugene Lee.


Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Fridays; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets start at $20. For more information, visit grballet.com or call 454-4771, ext. 10.


grinch_setFlick’s Festival Favorites


Everybody has some favorite holiday films and this weekend the Flick’S Family Film Festival celebrates its favorites by featuring two popular films, the 2000 “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Polar Express.”


Showings will be at area Celebration! Cinemas including South Celebration! Cinema. Showtimes do vary, so make sure to check local listings. Tickets are free for children 12 and under and $5 for anyone else.


For more information, visit the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/FlicksFamilyFilmFestival/.


santa-train-thumbThe Santa Train


Break away for the day and ride the Santa Train. Each child will be personally escorted to meet with the big guy by his elves and receive a present. A story-telling princess will read Christmas-themed books to the children as the Coopersville & Marne Railway train speeds along the tracks.


The Coopersville & Marne Railway is located at 311 Danforth St., Coopersville. Departure times available for this weekend are 10 a.m., noon, 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11. Other departure dates are Dec. 17, 18 and 24. Tickets are $19/adults, $18/seniors (60 and older), $17, children 2 – 12, and free, children two and under.


For more information, visit coopersvilleandmarne.org.


youth-chorusGrand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses’ Holiday Concert


Made up of students from throughout the Greater Grand Rapids area, including Wyoming and Kentwood, the Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses bring some holiday favorites and traditional classics to life in the organization’s annual holiday performance.


The performance is Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Basilica of St. Adalbert, 654 Davis NW. Performances are at 4:30 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 at the door and $5 for students.

The Weekend Edition: Things to do Oct. 20 – 23


Susan Fair
Author Susan Fair

Genealogy of the American witch

As Halloween is just around the corner, Schuler Books gets everyone ready with a visit from “American Witches: A Broomstick Tour through Four Centuries!” author Susan Fair Thursday, Oct. 20.


Fair will be at the store, located 2660 28th St. SE, at 7 p.m.  In her latest book, Fair explores the history of American witches, which is way wilder than what most people can even imagine. From bewitched pigs hell-bent on revenge to gruesome twentieth-century murders, “American Witches” reveals strange incidents of witchcraft that have long been swept under the rug as bizarre sidetones to history.



Pumpkins and treats


It’s a celebration of everything fall as the City of Kentwood marks is Fall Festival Saturday, Oct. 22.


From 10 a.m. – noon there will be all kinds of family fun events including hayrides, a bounce house, pumpkin races, face painting and other games all at the Kentwood Department of Public Works, 5068 Breton Rd. SE.


This is the second year the Fall Festival takes place at the same time as the Trunk or Treat, which is happening at the same location. Area businesses and organizations will have decorated their car trunks and will be passing out treats. Participants are encouraged to dress up and vote for their favorite decorated trunk. Also River City Cup & Cake will be on hand with coffee and hot chocolate available. For more, click here.


Grand Rapids Civic Theatre gets ready for its upcoming production "Holes." (Photo courtesy of GRCT)
Digging in

“Things aren’t always as they seem,” said Grand Rapids Civic Theatre guest director Jason Marlett. “Stanley believes his life is unfairly destined to be full of bad luck.  It isn’t until he is taken out of his home environment, his comfort zone, that he begins to see life a different way. You might say he starts digging deeper into his past and present – his destiny. It’s no coincidence this storyline is built like an onion, layers and layers of hidden meanings, messages, and treasures”.


Louis Sachar adapted his novel “Holes” with his story coming to life on the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre stage Oct. 21 – 30.  To stay true to the storytelling, production designers tackled two significant lighting and set design challenges. The first is how to create a stage full of holes? The second is creating a unique time period transformation. Three stories from separate time periods in history are combined in “Holes” to create one story. It is important for the audience to react to the changes without feeling awkward because while in the past we continue to reference the present, and no matter where we are in time, we never forget where the story is ultimately headed.


“Holes” is playing at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, 30 N. Division, October 21-30 and is recommended for ages 8 and older.  Please note, this play does contain violence. For tickets and other information, click here



Returning to Neverland

Peter Pan comes to life in Grand Rapids Ballet School Junior Company’s rendition of the classic story. Choreographed by Junior Company Artistic Director Attila Mosolygo, this one-hour performance includes pirates and mermaids and the vividness of a child’s imagination.


Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23 at the Peter Martin Wege Theatre, 341 Ellsworth Ave. SW. Tickets are $18. For more information, click here.



Refinery Smoke, Dress, July 2008: Untreated woven metal gauze, cow leather, cotton, Groninger Museum. Photo by Bart Oomes, No 6 Studios
Refinery Smoke, Dress, July 2008: Untreated woven metal gauze, cow leather, cotton, Groninger Museum. Photo by Bart Oomes, No 6 Studios

Say yes to the dress

It you have not heard, the designer behind some of Lady Gaga’s fashion,  Iris van Herpern, will have an exhibit featuring her work at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, 101 Monroe Ave. NW.


The exhibit, “Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion,” features 45 haute couture outfits carefully selected from 15 of van Herpen’s collections designed from 2008 through 2015: 18 pieces from the designer’s most recent lines and a selection of her shoe designs, and 27 pieces from van Herpen’s solo exhibition at the Groninger Museum, Netherlands.


The exhibit runs Oct. 23 – Jan. 15 at the museum. For more information, click here.


The Weekend Edition: Things to do Oct. 6 – 9

pumpkin-path-2011-261Ease on down the path

The area’s witches and warlocks, princesses and ninjas will be heading down the City of Wyoming Parks and Recreation’s annual Pumpkin Path Saturday, Oct. 8 at Lamar Park, 2561 Porter St. SW. The event runs from 4 – 6 p.m. and features area businesses and organizations handing out treats and items to those who come by. The event is free to the public. For more, check out the story.


fall-produceCelebrating the harvest

The City of Kentwood wraps up its famers market season with a very special event this Saturday, Oct. 8, a Harvest Celebration. Music and games will be part of the activities with the market’s usual vendors in attendance as well. Produce, flowers and homemade goods are some of the items you can expect to find. The event is from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the Kent District Library Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branch, 4950 Breton Ave. SE. The event is free to the public.



hansel-and-gretel-careballetMe and My Brother

Care Ballet kicks off its season with the Brothers Grimm classic “Hansel & Gretel.” No more than an hour in length, Care Ballet’s productions are a perfect way to introduce youngsters into the world of dance. The fall production is Saturday, Oct. 8, at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 9, at 3 p.m. with all shows at the East Grand Rapids Performing Arts Center, 2211 Lake Dr. SE. Tickets are $10/students and $15/adults and can be purchased through www.careballet.org.


Madame Overdone (Ariana Martineau) discusses her call girls with Lucio (Liam Purtle) in Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure." Photo courtesy of GVSU University Communications.
Madame Overdone (Ariana Martineau) discusses her call girls with Lucio (Liam Purtle) in Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure.” Photo courtesy of GVSU University Communications.

For Good Measure

The production for this year’s Grand Valley State University’s Shakespeare Festival is the Bard’s darkest comedy “Measure for Measure.” The story tackles the twin evils of power and corruption with outrageous humor, giving hope to the hopeless and courage to the powerless. His city caught in a moral free-fall, the Duke of Vienna hands over power to Lord Angelo, who enforces long-dormant codes of chastity with zealous fervor. When Isabella, a pious young nun, pleads for the life of her condemned brother, Angelo’s response is surprisingly sensual — revealing a web of desire, deception, and hypocrisy that infects every corner of society. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Oct. 6 and 7 and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 8 and 9 at GVSU’s Louis Armstrong Theatre, located on the Allendale Campus at 1 Campus Drive. Tickets are $14/adults, $12/alumni/seniors/faculty/staff, $6 students/groups. Call 616-331-2300.


Gerald Arpino’s “Light Rain” will be one of three works presented Oct. 7-9 by the Grand Rapids Ballet as part of its MoveMedia; Made in America program. (Supplied photo)
Gerald Arpino’s “Light Rain” will be one of three works presented Oct. 7-9 by the Grand Rapids Ballet as part of its MoveMedia; Made in America program. (Supplied photo)

Two for the Money

Two other performances highlighted earlier this week are the “I Love the 90s” show set for Saturday, Oct. 8, at Van Andel Arena, 130 W. Fulton. The show is in celebration of the Van Andel’s 20th year with ticket prices at $35 and $20. The show is at 7:30 p.m. For more, click here.


Also the Grand Rapids Ballet kicks off its season with “MoveMedia: Made in America,” Friday- Sunday, Oct. 7 – 9, at the Peter Martin Wege Theatre, 341 Ellsworth Ave. SW.  Showtimes re 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. For more, click here for the story.

Grand Rapids Ballet opens season with American modern ‘Movemedia’

Gerald Arpino’s “Light Rain” will be one of three works presented Oct. 7-9 by the Grand Rapids Ballet as part of its MoveMedia; Made in America program. (Supplied photo)
Gerald Arpino’s “Light Rain” will be one of three works presented Oct. 7-9 by the Grand Rapids Ballet as part of its MoveMedia; Made in America program. (Supplied photo)

Grand Rapids Ballet artistic director Patricia Barker, recently discussing the company’s season opening MoveMedia program of three 20th Century works created in America, was asked how one restages modern dance works which defy easy description – music has its scores, drama its screenplays; but dance?


infobox“Tribal memory,” Barker answered, explaining that while notes, video and living memory exist, revisiting works such as Gerald Arpino’s “Light Rain” – one of three works on the “Made in America” program – begins with previous presentations of the work but is always influenced by the unique strengths and personalities of the company and its dancers.


If the brief interaction with the works offered in the ballet’s free to the public Inside Look live rehearsal and discussion Sept. 28, the unique personalities of the dancers as well as the unique visions of the three choreographers will be on full display Oct. 7-9 at Peter Martin Wege Theatre.


Grand Rapids Ballet artistic director Patricia Barker discussed MoveMedia; Made in America program at a free to the public Inside Look live rehearsal and discussion Sept. 28. (Supplied photo)
Grand Rapids Ballet artistic director Patricia Barker discussed MoveMedia; Made in America program at a free to the public Inside Look live rehearsal and discussion Sept. 28. (Supplied photo)

“MoveMedia: Made In America” features work ranging from classical to neo-classical and contemporary, and will include George Balanchine’s 1935  “Serenade” (the first work by the famed Russian emigre after moving to America) as well as Arpino’s “Light Rain” from 1981, and Paul Taylor’s “Company B,” a truly Americana homage from 1991.


With a deeper appreciation of what some call “contemporary” modern dance, “Light Rain” is the work I am most anticipating experiencing.


Created to showcase the new young dancers of the Joffrey Ballet on its Silver Anniversary, Arpino described his work as “my gift to these talented youngsters … I am inspired by their modes and rituals, their passions.” The work features a contemporary original score by Douglas Adamz and Russ Gauthier.


And it will, undoubtedly feature the unique personalities of the Grand Rapids Ballet’s “tribe”.


What’s Next:

The Grand Rapids Ballet, as part of ArtPrize 8 and through Oct. 9, is hosting a UICA-commissioned “in-process” mural by Louise “Ouizi” Chen and photography by Grand Rapids Ballet dancer Isaac Aoki; it will also present its Michigan Dance Festival on Oct. 15 and the ballet’s Junior Company presents “Peter Pan” Oct. 21-23.


For more on the Grand Rapids Ballet’s season, visit

UICA expands its ArtPrize offerings to the Grand Rapids Ballet

Luisa xxxx
Louise “Quizi” Chen creates an ArtPrize entry at Grand Rapids Ballet’s Ellsworth building.

The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts’ (UICA) ArtPrize Eight exhibition extends beyond the gallery walls. This year, UICA’s exhibition features a satellite site, located on the exterior walls of the Grand Rapids Ballet Company building at 341 Ellsworth Ave. SW.


This summer, UICA commissioned the Detroit-based artist Louise “Ouizi” Chen to create a sprawling public mural as part of its ongoing public art initiative, the Exit Space Project. This mural is an official ArtPrize Eight entry (Vote Code: 63983), and a permanent addition to Grand Rapids’ public art collection. ArtPrize goers can watch Chen work at the mural site as she finishes the final touches on her recent public work. Chen will be working at the site during ArtPrize, Sept. 27 – Oct. 3.


UICA, Michigan’s largest contemporary arts center, is host to the Exit Space Project, a dynamic series of art installations investigating ideas, images, and conversation that are conveyed by contemporary artists working in public spaces. The first volume of the Exit Space Project featured public works and street artists from the Midwest who installed work in a public-facing but protected space in UICA’s building facing Fulton St. The second wave of the Exit Space Project highlights and continues to support local and regional artists on buildings and structures throughout the city.


This UICA initiative aims to increase Grand Rapids’ vibrancy, build the sense of creative place for our residents and visitors, and advance the city’s identity as a growing collaborative ecosystem that nurtures business, technology, art, and design. The Exit Space Project was first introduced to Grand Rapids by local artists Erwin Erkfitz and Brandon Alman, who continue to work with UICA to implement public artworks.

Calling All Dance Students: Nutcracker Auditions are Here!

The NutcrackerThe Nutcracker is a holiday classic that comprises a massive effort behind the scenes. Grand Rapids Ballet (GRB) will hold auditions for The Nutcracker on Saturday, September 19 from 12pm-3pm. Dancers must be registered as a full-time student in Grand Rapids Ballet School (GRBS) to audition.

All students interested in auditioning for The Nutcracker need to sign up at the School Office prior to the audition date. The School Office is located at the Meijer-Royce Center for Dance at 341 Ellsworth Ave SW and is open Monday through Friday, 9am – 5pm.

The Nutcracker, re-imagined in 2014 by Polar Express author Chris Van Allsburg, is a magnificent production featuring choreography by Val Caniparoli and sumptuous set design by Eugene Lee. Sugar plum fairies, fighting mice, and toy soldiers make this enchanting story the perfect tradition for the entire family.

It is preferred that both parent and student be present to sign-up (a parent signature is required to complete the form). In addition, students need to provide an audition photograph meeting the following qualifications:

  • 4 x 6 OR 5 x 7 portrait
  • Full body, wearing classroom attire (class leotard/shirt, tights, ballet shoes, and hair pulled back from the face)

“This is a wonderful opportunity for local dance students to take part in a beloved holiday classic by an internationally renowned, professional dance company,” said Patricia Barker, Artistic Director of Grand Rapids Ballet. “The creative team of Chris, Eugene, and Val have created such an enchanting story that truly is a product of Grand Rapids.”

“The Nutcracker” will take place at DeVos Performance Hall with show dates: December 11-13 and 18-20, 2015. For more information on Grand Rapids Ballet, visit www.grballet.com or connect with on Facebook.