Bringing The Magic Of Ballet Online

Amelia Grubb creatively masked up as a part of Ballet Des Moines’ season promotion earlier this fall. Grubb and Executive Director Blaire Massa were guests on the latest dsm CultureCast podcast. Photo: Jami Milne.

Writer: Luke Manderfeld

If you ask Amelia Grubb, there’s nothing quite like performing in front of a live audience. Because of the pandemic, the Ballet Des Moines dancer hasn’t been able to feel that magic this fall season, although she’s still grateful to do what she loves, even with adjustments, she said on the latest dsm CultureCast podcastThe organization has pivoted all of its shows into livestreams on Iowa PBS; the first performance will air Dec.18.

“Performing for film instead of live audiences was very different,” said Grubb, who has performed for Ballet Des Moines for five years. “You really get that reciprocal audience energy when you’re dancing for a whole auditorium of people. It’s not the same when it’s just a camera.”

Blaire Massa, executive director of Ballet Des Moines, said “pretty much everything” is different about this season. But the support from the community and other arts organizations has been positive. Ballet Des Moines has partnered with the Des Moines Symphony, Noce, Belin Quartet and others to offer engaging virtual performances.

“In some ways it’s been an exciting, interesting adventure,” Massa said about the season so far. “It’s been scary at times, and also a challenge.”

She’s impressed with how her team and dancers have been able to adapt, and since performances will be shared online, Massa is “really excited about how widely we can share our joy and work.”

Ballet Des Moines has recorded seven ballets, which will be aired in three full-length broadcasts on Iowa PBS. They will be accessible for free digitally on the Ballet Des Moines website and channels. The first ballet is “Peter and the Wolf,” which debuts on Dec. 18. Go to the Ballet Des Moines website to find more information.

You can listen to the full podcast episode, which includes conversations about Des Moines, personal ballet stories and more, here. Subscribe to the dsm CultureCast on Apple PodcastSpotify and more.

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