Festival of the Arts Announces World Premiere Grand Rapids Ballet Performance

Festival of the Arts is excited to announce a special world premiere performance by the Grand Rapids Ballet that will grace Calder Stage during Festival’s 50th Year Celebration.  The performance will take place on Saturday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. on the Calder Stage at Calder Plaza. 

Festival of the Arts is a free, three-day community event celebrating every discipline of the arts including dance, music, literature, media, visual arts and design. The event will celebrate 50 years in 2019 and will take place June 7-9 in downtown Grand Rapids.

The performance will be what is known as a mixed bill – one program comprised of multiple stand-alone pieces. The works to be performed will include:

  • Trey McIntyre’s wildly popular Wild Sweet Love featuring contemporary pop music by Queen, Roberta Flack, The Partridge Family, and more.
  • Danielle Rowe’s moving tribute to her grandmother, For Pixie, originally created for Sofranko’s contemporary San Francisco dance company, SFDanceworks
  • James Sofranko’s Mozart’s Symphony which will be presented by a professional dance company for the first time at this special performance

“Festival of the Arts is thrilled to present a world premiere piece from the Grand Rapids Ballet on Calder Stage,” said David Abbott, Executive Director for Festival of the Arts.  “Having the professional company perform takes us back to our first year with their school performing at Festival.  We are proud to have Michigan’s only professional company as our centerpiece for Festival.  Come join us and let your spirit be lifted!” 

“I am so excited to be bringing the world-class talent of the Grand Rapids Ballet to the 50th Anniversary of Festival of the Arts, to be experienced by the entire community in a welcoming atmosphere,” said Grand Rapids Ballet Artistic Director James Sofranko.  “I am especially pleased to be presenting the Grand Rapids Ballet premiere of my work “Mozart Symphony”, a neo-classical ballet set to W. A. Mozart’s 31st “Paris” Symphony, as well as other contemporary ballets that show off our versatility.  It is so important that we participate in this performance because as Michigan’s only professional ballet company, we belong to the community.  Art should be experienced by everyone from all walks of life and Festival of the Arts exemplifies that spirit.” 

Festival of the Arts takes place the first full weekend of June every year, and is celebrating its 50th anniversary on June 7, 8 and 9 in downtown Grand Rapids. 

About Grand Rapids Ballet

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in the 2021-22 season, Grand Rapids Ballet—Michigan’s only professional ballet company—is committed to lifting the human spirit through the art of dance under the current leadership of James Sofranko as artistic director, Glenn Del Vecchio as executive director, and Attila Mosolygo as director of Grand Rapids Ballet School and its Junior Company. A proud recipient of the ArtServe Michigan Governor’s Arts Award for Outstanding Cultural Organization, Grand Rapids Ballet has a rich history marked by steady growth, a commitment to excellence, and strong community support. Keep up with us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and YouTube, and visit grballet.com today.

About Festival of the Arts

In 1969, Alexander Calder’s La Grande Vitesse was installed in front of City Hall in downtown Grand Rapids. The 43-foot-tall, vibrant red stabile, which became known as “The Calder,” inspired a celebration – one that’s grown to encompass most of downtown Grand Rapids.

Festival of the Arts, always the first full weekend of June, will celebrate its 50th year in 2019 on June 7, 8 and 9 in downtown Grand Rapids.  The three day event family friendly remains free and features several stages of performances taking place all day, a juried arts exhibition, and dozens of food booths run by local non-profit organizations. Festival also offers creative activities for children and adults to enjoy with opportunities to make your own art or purchase art from many West Michigan artists. For more information visit festivalgr.org or check out Festival of the Arts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

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