The Special Message Behind Grand Rapids Ballet’s Benefit Performance of ‘Black and White: Swan Lake’ for Humane Society of West Michigan
By Adrienne Warber
Grand Rapids Ballet (GRB) and the Humane Society of West Michigan (HSWM) are joining together to give a special Valentine’s gift to ballet fans all over Michigan. The two organizations are presenting “Pas & Paws,” a special command performance of GRB’s “Black and White: Swan Lake,” and pet adoption information event on Tuesday, February 14 at Grand Rapids Ballet’s Peter Martin Wege Theatre. This is a chance to see the Grand Rapids Ballet’s critically acclaimed “Black and White: Swan Lake” as well as to support the worthy causes of art and pet adoption.
Mario Radacovsky’s ‘Black and White: Swan Lake’
If you are searching for a romantic Valentine’s Day activity, Grand Rapids Ballet’s “Black and White: Swan Lake” is a great option. The ballet, a modern tale based on “Swan Lake,” was choreographed by world renowned choreographer Mario Radacovsky, Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Brno in the Czech Republic, celebrated its world premiere at Grand Rapids Ballet in 2012, achieving critical acclaim and sold out shows. The pairing of Radacovsky’s innovative choreography, Grand Rapids’ talented cast of dancers and the compelling twist on the classic story make this show one of the gems of GRB’s repertoire. It is a romantic ballet that celebrates love and passion and the complexity of relationships.
Grand Rapids Ballet’s “Black and White: Swan Lake” opens this Friday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 pm and nearly all four weekend shows are sold out. Tickets are still available for the special “Pas & Paws” performance on Tuesday, Feb. 14.
Grand Rapids Ballet’s ‘Pas & Paws’
When Grand Rapids Ballet and the Humane Society of West Michigan partnered for “Pas & Paws,” they wanted to create an event that celebrates the art of dance and the importance of pet adoption. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 7.6 million companion animals enter shelters and rescue organizations each year nationwide and need homes. In West Michigan, the Humane Society of West Michigan, a 100% donor-funded 501(C)3 organization, has been a driving force in helping companion animals find forever homes. In 2016 alone, HSWM helped 3,768 animals find homes. “Pas & Paws” strives to raise awareness of the importance of considering adoption when looking for a new pet.
“We’re very excited to help such a worthy cause,” said Grand Rapids Ballet Artistic Director Patricia Barker. “As an animal lover myself, it brings me great joy to know that we can play a part in the well-being of these animals through our art form.”
A portion of the “Pas & Paws” ticket sale proceeds will be donated to support Humane Society of West Michigan’s efforts to find forever homes for dogs, cats and small pets. HSWM will be on-site at the performance before the performance from 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., and during intermission to provide information about the organization’s services and programs, including pet adoption information. Guests can also visit with some of HSWM’s adoptable animals at the event.
“All we can say is “Thank you!” to the Grand Rapids Ballet for bringing this wonderful event to the table,” said Trudy Jeffers, Humane Society of West Michigan Executive Director. “Partnering with such an established arts organization in the community will provide us with an effective—-and fun—-way to get our message out to what could be an entirely new group of animal lovers and supporters.”
This is an opportunity for those who love the arts and animal welfare causes to support two important causes.
“We hope to bring awareness to the wonderful work the Humane Society of West Michigan does, and maybe get a dog or cat adopted in the process!,” said Michael Erickson, Grand Rapids Ballet Marketing Director.
‘Pas & Paws’ Ticket and Showtime Information
Grand Rapids Ballet presents “Pas & Paws” event on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at the Peter Martin Wege Theatre at 341 Ellsworth SW in downtown Grand Rapids. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the “Black and White: Swan Lake” starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $50 and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com or by calling Grand Rapids Ballet’s box office at (616) 454-4771, ext. 10.