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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Ballet Des Moines' first performance since Nutcracker 2019 is this weekend

It's free, and it's outside.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Art is not a luxury.  Our souls need it.  

That's how Ballet Des Moines approaches their work.

So the pandemic made them get creative. And their next event is unlike anything they've ever done.

"These dancers, they train all their lives to have a live audience, and so they thrive for it," Creative Director Serkan Usta said.  

When the pandemic hit and live performances were halted, it was devastating. Nutcracker 2019 was Ballet Des Moines' last in person show.  Now, the dancers will once again take to the stage this weekend.  Partnering with Hancher Auditorium, at the University of Iowa, they are touring the state with three performances

  • Friday, April 30, 7:30 pm: Lauridsen Amphitheater, Water Works Park, Des Moines
  • Saturday, May 1, 7:30 pm: Hancher Green outside Hancher Auditorium, UI Campus, Iowa City
  • Sunday, May 2, 5:30 pm: Riverside Park, Muscatine

For dancer Amelia Grubb, who has lived all across the country to follow her dream of being a ballerina, there is nothing like performing in front of an audience.  

"You and the audience are feeding off of each other's energy. And I think it's just it's really special to be able to witness,"  Grubb said.

This will be a multi-part performance.  Two principals from the Miami City Ballet will dance, there will be two ballets performed students at the University of Iowa, and of course Ballet Des Moines will dance two ballets.

Masks and social distancing practices are required.

"We want to embody the lives of everyone here, you know, and, and we want that to speak to people and make a difference in their lives and being out here. Outside literally in the community is a great way to share that," Grubb said.

These dancers, lovers of art, everyone needs this.

"Art is not a luxury.  And I believe that art is what you want, your soul wants it. So it's not a luxury. It's a need of the soul," Usta said.