Queer Premiere: ‘Love Letters’ at Ballet Des Moines

Ballet Des Moines’ triple bill explores love in various forms. (Photo: Jami Milne)

Ballet Des Moines features a new work, “Love Letters,” in its annual spring show this weekend, alongside classics by George Balanchine and Christopher Wheeldon. The new work is choreographed by the company’s artistic director, Tom Mattingly, who drew inspiration from crowdsourced stories from the LGBTQ Iowans.

“For me, ‘Love Letters’ really sprang from the idea of wanting to create a ballet for and by the queer community in Iowa,” Mattingly said.

He said the chance to stretch creatively with these kinds of projects was one of the reasons he came to Des Moines in 2021. “I felt like I had the opportunity to have a hand in creating something and growing something,” he said. “Giving time and love and effort to any type of arts organization — it’s never easy — but when you’re surrounded by people who have your back, there’s so much that can be accomplished together.”

Read more about “Love Letters” in our recent story from Brianne Sanchez, who previewed other new LGBTQ-themed commissions for the Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus and Des Moines Metro Opera.

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