In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Grand Rapids Ballet (GRB) – Michigan’s only professional ballet company – announced today the in-person live programming originally scheduled for the 2020-21 season will be postponed until the 2021-22 season. In its place, Artistic Director James Sofranko will present a season of virtual performances; the choreographers and titles are to be determined.
“While this season will not bring what any of us expected, we are eager to tackle the challenges and opportunities we are presented with today,” said Artistic Director James Sofranko. “Never has our world — much less a dance company — been faced with such an unprecedented set of hurdles. We pledge to be innovative, collaborative, and creative to find our way through the unknown toward a path of purpose and pride.”
For those who purchased a 2020-21 season subscription, it will automatically be shifted to the 2021-22 season with no price increase or loss of preferred seating. They will also receive the new virtual 2020-21 programming at no charge. Additionally, they will receive first opportunity to purchase any in-person live programming we are able to present this season.
“In the next few weeks, we will announce the structure of the new reimagined 2020-21 season, including information on how to purchase a subscription or individual tickets,” said Sofranko. “If we are able at any point throughout the 2020-21 season to safely bring patrons back to our theater for in-person live performances, we will do so.”
For those who purchased Junior Company’s Aladdin (March 13-15 & 21-22, 2020) or the Company’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (April 24-26 & May 1-3, 2020) – both from the 2019-20 season – GRB would greatly appreciate donating the full transaction ticket value by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with name, phone number, and the performance dates(s) and time(s) by Friday, July 31. However, if GRB does perform either of these two productions in the future, a new ticket purchase will be required. They may also request a refund by sending an email to email@example.com with name, phone number, and the performance date(s) and time(s) of their tickets also by Friday, July 31.
Grand Rapids Ballet School (GRBS) continues to evaluate plans for resuming classes in the fall taking into consideration all local, state, and federal safety guidelines. First, there will be no live in-person performances for the students through at least the end of December 2020. Second, regarding the first semester of Fall 2020 classes, GRBS will be formulating three different plans that will coordinate with the current COVID-19 phase the state of Michigan is in at that time as the public-school systems were advised to do by Governor Whitmer. Additional information will be shared as it becomes available.
Lastly, GRB asks you to save the date for its virtual season gala on October 1 in partnership with A.K. Rikk’s. More details coming soon.
Donations may be made on the organization’s website to help sustain GRB through this time and keep health benefits for its dancers and staff in place. Since the beginning of this crisis, GRB has raised over $150,000, but more is needed to meet these goals.
About Grand Rapids Ballet
Celebrating its 50th anniversary season in 2021-22, 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 Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and visit grballet.com today.