The Year Ahead: Mark Your Calendar

In the first quarter of this year, Ballet Des Moines will perform two triple bills broadcast on Iowa PBS in February and March. The productions will include a broad range of contemporary and classical work, including an excerpt from Sleeping Beauty as seen above. Photographer: Jami Milne.

If you’re like us, and we bet you are, you’re eager to fill your 2021 calendar with arts and cultural performances and events. For the first half of the year, most shows will still be virtual, but we’ve all learned not to let that stop us from enjoying the rich and diverse offerings our cultural community presents. Here are just a few in the first quarter that we’re looking forward to:

“Live From the Temple: Dance, Rhythm and Blues,” Des Moines Symphony, livestreamed Jan. 21: We know this concert will give us a lift, as the wide-ranging program spans a century of dance music, from Stravinsky’s “L’Histoire du Soldat” to the ragtime riffs of Joplin’s The Entertainer.” The Symphony will perform additional livestreamed concerts on Feb. 11, March 18, April 15 and May 13.

“Acts of Resilience II: Vision,” Ballet Des Moines, airing on Iowa PBS, Feb. 5: This triple bill includes a collaboration with the Roseman String Quartet; the premiere of a contemporary ballet by Oklahoma City Ballet master Ryan Nye; and a live performance alongside Max Wellman and his band. Then on March 12, “Acts of Resilience III: Spirit” will air on PBS. This trio of works features a cutting-edge modern piece by renowned choreographer Ma Cong; excerpts from classical ballets; and the romantic storytelling of Edith Piaf.

“Judith Schaechter: Path to Paradise,” Des Moines Art Center, opening Feb. 12Called the “post-punk stained-glass sorceress,” the Philadelphia-based Schaechter creates vibrant panels depicting a feminist sensibility and nonstandard visions of beauty. As one art catalog describes, she “has stretched the medium of stained glass into an incisive art form for the 21st century.”

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