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Ballet Des Moines returns to Des Moines Civic center for one-night-only performance

Ballet Des Moines is performing tonight at the Des Moines Civic Center for the first time since April of 2019, and they have a new artistic director.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Ballet dancers from across the country and locally will gather to put on a show called "Kiss" Friday night at the Des Moines Civic Center. 

For the dancers of Ballet Des Moines (BDSM), it will be their first time performing at the venue since April 2019. 

BDSM, a classical ballet company, is partnering with Chicago-based contemporary ballet company Para.Mar Dance Theatre for the performance. 

Blaire Massa, CEO of BDSM, said the performance will consist of 16 dancers.

The show is being choreographed by Stephanie Martinez, founder of Para.Mar. 

Both say it's an honor to partner together for this show and combine both company's different dancing styles. 

Martinez noted the show is special because it is reflective of the Des Moines community and what's been happening in the world for nearly two years. 

"Kiss is a vignette of very exorbitant ballet," Martinez said. "Full of little vignettes of storytelling's about the disconnect and the connection that we so needed and desired during the pandemic."

During the five weeks her dancers and the Des Moines Ballet dancers have been practicing, they made it a point to bring ballet into areas that wouldn't normally have access to it. 

That includes free performances at the Evelyn K. Davis Park. 

Massa said combining new faces to their performances and bringing in outside choreographers is the vision of the new artistic director, Tom Mattingly.  

"He sees the role, the larger role that dance can play in the arts community in Des Moines and is poised to help take us there," Massa said. 

The show "Kiss" is Friday at 7 p.m., and is one night only. Tickets are available here.

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