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Three world-class ballets to be performed right here in Grand Rapids

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Grand Rapids Ballet’s upcoming production titled “Rubies for Valentine’s Day” showcases three top-notch world-renowned ballets.

/Grand Rapids Ballet, pictured Monica Pelfrey & Kyohei Giovanni Yoshida

Ticket Information

Tickets are $40 adults, $35 seniors (60+), $30 children (2-12), $20 college students with ID in advance, $12 college students at the door (seating not guaranteed). Culture Pass GR members and groups of 8 or more save 20%! Tickets are available at the Ballet Box Office (616) 454-4771, 341 Ellsworth SW, or at More information at

/Grand Rapids Ballet, pictured Megan DeMuro

Grand Rapids Ballet (GRB) is both a local and international ballet company. Locally, GRB performs new works for the dance series MOVEMEDIA, but a majority of the time, the works that are performed have been previously performed by national and internationally known ballet companies. These companies include New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Slovak National Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and more. The type of ballets GRB performs is not your run-of-the-mill works. These ballets are known throughout the ballet world as “the greatest hits.” Grand Rapids Ballet’s upcoming production titled Rubies for Valentine’s Day showcases three top-notch world-renowned ballets.

Rubies for Valentine’s Day is different from a full-length ballet such as The Nutcracker or Sleeping Beauty because it features three shorter, completely different ballets that focus more on choreography than a story. This type of production exhibits the different kinds of style, music, costume, and choreography that can be used in ballet. The eclectic style of Rubies for Valentine’s Day makes this a great production for balletomanes and new comers alike. Guests can also attend a pre-show talk with Artistic Director Patricia Barker one half hour before each performance to learn more about the significance of each piece.

The first work on the production is Mario Radacovsky’s Boléro.  Choreographer Mario Radacovsky is no stranger to Grand Rapids. In 2011, he created Romeo & Juliet for GRB, and then returned in 2012 to create Black Swan/White Swan. Mario first premiered Boléro in 2005 with Jeune Ballet du Québec and will be premiering it for the first time in America right here in Grand Rapids. Mario’s spin on this popular ballet uses the game of chess as a main theme. Dancers will interact with oversized movable chess pieces on stage, creating a dramatic and powerful game contrasting white vs. black, man vs. woman, and winner vs. loser. This on-stage game is sure to draw in the audience and win them over with dance.

The second piece on the program is considered to be one of the greatest works of 20th-century modern dance. The piece is titled The Moor’s Pavane and is choreographed by José Limón. It is a 20-minute ballet based upon the tragedy Othello by William Shakespeare. It’s not a retelling of Othello, but a compressed formal dance for four central characters. What makes this piece unique is that the style is completely unique from the other two works that it is sandwiched in-between on the program. Rather than a large group dance, only four dancers are on stage depicting a dramatic tale relying mostly on their powerful movements and refined acting skills. The story in concentrated on center stage – creating a black hole, pulling the dancers in and creating a formidable spatial and energetic tension. The result is a captivating work that leaves you entranced and engrossed until its tragic conclusion.

Show stopper, Rubies, will close out the production. Rubies is a part of a three-act ballet Jewels choreographed by the founder of the New York City Ballet, George Balanchine (1904-1983). The music for this work is composed by Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), acknowledged as one of the great composers of the twentieth century. The pairing of these two big name artists creates a ballet that is vibrant and beautiful. The angular shapes, high extensions, jutting hips, flexed feet and more create a “wow factor” that leave audiences fascinated by the skill involved in such a challenging piece.

Grand Rapids is an up-and-coming city with a passion for the arts. Grand Rapids Ballet is one of many great arts organizations among ArtPrize and the Grand Rapids Art Museum bringing in big-name talent and premium programming. As Michigan’s only professional ballet company, Grand Rapids Ballet is the only place where you can find world-class ballets performed by world-renowned talent. Rubies for Valentine’s Day is an opportunity that you won’t want to miss!



Disclosure: Article written by Grand Rapids Ballet

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