Grand Rapids Ballet’s 2021-2022 Season brings to life the joy and art of dance
By Adrienne Warber
Grand Rapids Ballet’s 2021-2022 Season is one that every West Michigan dance fan will want to see. The line up of shows promises to provide something for all ages and lovers of both classical ballet and contemporary movement. Two productions at DeVos Performance Hall with live Grand Rapids Symphony accompaniment, a selection of some of the field’s most talented choreographers from around the globe, and a talented cast of company dancers are features of the 2021-2022 Season. Both in-person and virtual subscription options are available. This is the Season to return to the ballet and celebrate the joy of dance, starting with “The Nutcracker” this weekend.
‘Off The Canvas’: The Brilliant Start of the Season
Grand Rapids Ballet first returned to stage with live performances after a 24-month break due to the pandemic in October with “Off The Canvas.” The critically acclaimed show was an excellent beginning of the 2021-2022 Season because it featured three ballets in one production that showcased the talent of their current company of dancers, the creative choreography of some of the field’s leading choreographers and celebrated the beauty of both classical ballet and contemporary movement.
The three ballets, “Off The Canvas” by Katarzyna Skarpetowska, “In-Frame” by Grand Rapids Resident Choreographer Penny Saunders and “Cold Virtures” by Adam Hougland, commented on the beauty of the art of dance. The dancers made art and told stories with their movements, appearing to dance on and off the stage like artists painting on canvas. The dancing, choreography, lighting, and music all came together seamlessly to create miniature masterpieces. The choreography was moving and fully of artistry. The dancing was emotional and masterful. The dancers’ joy at being on stage in front of a live audience and the audience’s enjoyment of their performance was beautiful to behold. This is West Michigan’s ballet company, and the community shows pride in the company’s incredible talent. Each performance received a standing ovation. It was clear that many in the audience will return for future shows.
The excellence of “Off The Canvas” promises that Grand Rapids Ballet’s 2021-2022 Season will lead the way in dance art creativity in Michigan and the Midwest region. The company’s shows are as enjoyable as they are inventive.
‘The Nutcracker’: West Michigan’s Christmas Masterpiece is Back at DeVos
Nothing ushers in the Christmas spirit for West Michigan like Grand Rapids Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” West Michigan’s favorite “Nutcracker” is back on stage at DeVos Performance Hall this weekend. The holiday classic returns to stage after a 24-month hiatus due to the pandemic. This enchanting “Nutcracker” was created for Grand Rapids Ballet with the award-winning creative team of author-illustrator Chris Van Allsburg, set-designer Eugene Lee and choreographer Val Caniparoli in 2014. Grand Rapids Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” features gorgeous sets by Van Allsburg and Lee, captivating choreography by Caniparoli, the masterful dancing by Grand Rapids Ballet dancers, and beautiful music by the Grand Rapids Symphony. The company will hold eight performances of the how on Dec. 10-12 and Dec. 17-19. A virtual option is available for anyone who cannot attend a show in-person. The virtual option will be available after the Dec. 10 opening night until Jan. 2, 2022. Tickets are available online at Grand Rapids Ballet or through Ticketmaster or through the Grand Rapids Ballet Box office at (616) 454-4771, ext. 10.
Upcoming Shows for Grand Rapids Ballet’s 2021-2022 Season
This is an exciting time for Grand Rapids Ballet as they celebrate their 50th anniversary and the return to live shows on stage this 2021-2022 Season, Moving Forward. West Michigan ballet fans will be able to enjoy both classical ballet and contemporary works on stage. “The Nutcracker” will run for two weekends in December to celebrate the holidays. In February 2022, Grand Rapids Ballet will perform the beautiful classic ballet “Cinderella” at DeVos Performance Hall accompanied by the Grand Rapids Symphony. The beloved fairy tale is brought to life through the choreography of internationally renowned choreographer Ben Stevenson, OBE. “Jumpstart 2022,” the annual contemporary dance and choreography series, will be held in March 2022. Company dancers will choreograph original works and partner with local community organizations to create dance art. The 2021-2022 Season will close with the Shakespearean ballet, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in April 2022. Company dancers will share the stage with Grand Rapids Ballet School students to create the magic of Shakespeare’s story with Christopher Stowell’s lovely choreography set to music by Felix Mendelsohn. In-person and virtual options are available for all shows, including a virtual season subscription. Learn more about the 2021-2022 Season and ticket information at the Grand Rapids Ballet website.