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The 2019/20 Season includes three world premieres by Artistic Director Julianna Rubio Slager


Slager Choreographing New Work

Slager Choreographing New Work



“consistently imaginative”

-K.D. Norris, WKTV Journal, on Ballet 5:8’s Compass

“leaves us distinctly richer for the experience”

--John Barcanic, Executive Director, World Relief Chicago, on Ballet 5:8’s Compass

“spectacular and mature”

-Jeffrey Pierce of the Elgin Review on Ballet 5:8’s Scarlet

“effortless” adaptation of classic literature

-Kristian Jamie of March Magazine, San Antonio, on Ballet 5:8’s Scarlet

Painted by by 34 year old Bedrich Fritta at Terezin


Inspired by “I Never Saw Another Butterfly"

“The various artworks left behind by this great woman and the children of Terezin are their legacy to the present, to all of us today. They demand that we continue in our quest for a society that truly treasures human life, transcending all differences of race, religion, politics and ideology….” -Tokyo Fuji Art Museum founder Daisaku Ikeda

During the Holocaust, the Nazi’s settled 140,000 Jews in the town of Terezin. Nazi proganda promoted it as a “spa town” where Jewish children and elderly could retire in safety away from the forced labor camps. The ghetto in Terezin existed for 3 ½ years and caused the death of 90% of its residents.

From the ashes of this hellscape, glimmers of hope emerge. A Jewish art teacher refuses to let the children of Terezin die without hope. She challenges her students to create art that speaks of their misery but also of the hope that lies within. As the residents of Terezin die of malnutrition and debilitating disease, one survivor collects these works of art to tell the story of human evil, suffering and resilience.

From the whispers of the past we hear a resound that cannot be silenced. Every human, male or female, beautiful or plain, desirable or marginalized, born of privilege or born of poverty, each one is precious and created with purpose. The remnants of art from the nearly forgotten children of Terezin beckon each of us to see the future with clear eyes that recognize and protect the deepest magic there is - the chaos and wonder that is the gift of life.


Costume Sketches by Lorianne Barclay

Costume Sketches by Lorianne Barclay


Brothers & Sisters

There is something innately beautiful about men and women. Contrast and subtlety. Difference and similarity. Overlap and distinction. The Creator must have moved with delight as he drew his children with contrasting and complementary strokes. Men and women. Brothers and sisters. A family both fully unique and yet strikingly similar.


Costume Sketches by Lorianne Barclay

Costume Sketches by Lorianne Barclay


Of Splendors and Horrors

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.” - C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory.