Grand Rapids Ballet Announces 2017-18 Season

Grand Rapids Ballet (GRB), Michigan’s only professional ballet company, has announced its 2017-18 season for its 47th year. This coming season will also be the last under the artistic direction of Patricia Barker—a former principal dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet—who has occupied the position since the 2010-11 season. Barker will split her time during the 2017-18 season between GRB and her new role as artistic director for Royal New Zealand Ballet.

“I am very proud of what my seven years at Grand Rapids Ballet has accomplished. The entire organization has worked tirelessly to turn GRB it into a world-class ballet company with over 30 professional dancers that is well respected within the dance community,” said Barker. “I am especially pleased with the platform I have helped provide emerging choreographers—especially female ones—that continues to propel them onto the world stage and it’s important to me that this positive momentum continue in the 2017-18 season. I am committed to being fully engaged for my dancers, choreographers, patrons, donors, sponsors, and staff until my final day and I look forward to watching GRB continue to grow and thrive. As I prepare to take my final bow on what will be my 8th season, I am thankful to everybody who made my time here so extraordinary.”

“This upcoming season will be very special as we say goodbye to Patricia. To say we’re pleased with her performance and impact on the company’s repertoire over the last eight years would be an understatement,” said Stephen Wert, outgoing GRB board of directors’ president. “She has put an undeniable creative spotlight on Grand Rapids that has raised the bar for arts and culture in West Michigan and from which we will benefit for years to come. We wish her all the best and thank her for her hard work and dedication to GRB.”

“As the incoming president of GRB’s board of directors, I am thankful to Patricia for laying the ground work for our continued success,” said Michael Kling. “The solid foundation she has established here creatively will endure and flourish as we enter an exciting new chapter at GRB. She will be missed and I wish her all the best.”

The 2017-18 season show titles, dates, performance venues, and descriptions are as follows:

From Russia with Love

  • October 6-8 & 13, 2017
  • Peter Martin Wege Theatre
  • Any dance enthusiast knows many of the greatest ballets in history originated from behind the Iron Curtain. Filled with mystery, intrigue, beauty, and romance, this performance will lovingly pull back our velvet curtain with selections from Giselle, Flames of Paris, Esmeralda, Don Quixote, and more. This is a ballet lover’s dream come true!

The Nutcracker

  • December 1-3 & 8-10, 2017
  • DeVos Performance Hall
  • It’s not the holidays in West Michigan without bringing the family to The Nutcracker! Reimagined in 2014 by Chris Van Allsburg, award-winning author and illustrator of The Polar Express, this family favorite also features sets by Tony Award winner Eugene Lee (Wicked, Sweeney Todd, and Saturday Night Live); choreography by world-renowned ballet dancer Val Caniparoli; and live music from Grand Rapids Symphony.

A Christmas Carol

  • December 22-23, 2017
  • Peter Martin Wege Theatre
  • Can’t get enough of the holidays? Join us for Charles Dickens’ beloved tale of redemption, reflection, rebirth, and the true spirit of Christmas. All your favorites will be there: Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future will make this performance the perfect way to bring a touch of faith to your holiday celebrations.

Movemedia: Diversity

  • February 9-11, 2018 (MOVMEDIA I) & March 23-25, 2018 (MOVEMEDIA II)
  • Peter Martin Wege Theatre
  • The world is a complicated canvas of varying views, realities, and expectations. The next two installments in our innovative contemporary dance series, MOVEMEDIA, will explore and celebrate these beautiful differences. Experience thought-provoking panel discussions and powerful community outreach bookended by complementary world-premiere works by some of today’s most important and influential choreographers.

The Wizard of Oz

  • February 23-25 & March 3-4, 2018
  • Peter Martin Wege Theatre
  • Grand Rapids Ballet School Junior Company presents the classic story of Dorothy, the cowardly lion, the tin man, and the scarecrow, on their journey to Oz and back. Grab your ruby slippers and follow the yellow brick road!

The Happy Prince & Other Wilde Tales

  • May 4-6 & 11-12, 2018
  • Peter Martin Wege Theatre
  • Often provocative, always ironic, never boring, Oscar Wilde was one of the world’s most colorful and popular playwright-poets of the late 19th century. But did you know he also wrote beloved children’s stories like The Selfish Giant, The Happy Prince, and The Nightingale & The Rose? Our choreographer-in-residence and Princess Grace award-winner, Penny Saunders, will wistfully weave together these tales into a family-friendly ballet to remind us all what it’s like to see the world through the innocence of a child’s eyes.

Single tickets are available starting Monday, June 19 at or Season subscriptions are available now by calling 616.454.4771 x10. For more information, call 616.454.4771 today.