CHICAGO – Ballet 5:8 is set to debut in Des Moines this April with The Space in Between. Known in part for its innovative adaptations of classic literature in the form of classical and contemporary ballet, Ballet 5:8 has been recently called “spectacular and mature” by Jeffrey Pierce of the Elgin Review, and “these are serious, talented dancers” by Lauren Warneke of See Chicago Dance. Artistic Director Julianna Rubio Slager’s newest work to go on tour draws inspiration from The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis, exploring the nature of eternity and the joy found on its shores. Also featured in the program is Ballet 5:8 audience favorite Four Seasons of the Soul, set to a re-orchestration of Vivaldi’s timeless The Four Seasons. The single Des Moines performance will be held on Saturday, April 13 at 7:00pm at the Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50309. Attendees are additionally invited to attend a post-performance Q&A. Tickets are $35 for adults, $25 for students and seniors, and $15 for children. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000. Performance information is available at ballet58.org/space-in-between.
Ballet 5:8 tours regionally and nationally, and the company’s performances have a reputation for providing a unique opportunity to engage in conversation on relevant life and faith topics in the context of an evening of professional dance. Ken Norris of WKTV Journal in Grand Rapids said that Ballet 5:8’s The Space in Between “does not disappoint” and that “Slager successfully uses the full strength of her dancers… as well as the thematic power of C.S. Lewis’ story The Great Divorce...”. In Chicago, Lauren Warnecke of See Chicago Dance described Ballet 5:8’s The Space in Between as “exceptionally well done.” The Space in Between is also not the only Ballet 5:8 work to receive acclaim. Kristi Licera of Dancermusic.com called Ballet 5:8’s 2017 premiere Compass “an evening of inspired choreography and thought-provoking performance” and Kristian Jamie of March Magazine, San Antonio, called Ballet 5:8’s Scarlet in 2018 an “effortless” adaptation of classic literature.
According to Slager, The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis is a timeless and timely work of literature that deserves a fresh, 21st century revisiting. Ballet 5:8’s world premiere The Space in Between invites viewers into a riveting story that begins in a grey town where the rain falls continuously - where the narrator stands at a bus stop on the brink of heaven and hell. In Lewis’ work, Hell is not a place where a vengeful God tortures his victims, but a place where, according to Lewis, “the gates are locked from the inside.” The Space in Between invites audience members from any faith background or opinion to consider this fascinating premise as they watch the story unfold with bold imagery, choreography and music.
Also featured in the program is Four Seasons of the Soul, a re-creation of the poignant work which originally premiered in 2014. Seasons explores how the turning of the seasons in nature parallels the recurring themes of human life. With vivid color and emotion, the work paints a moving picture of the soft innocence of youth, the impassioned zeal of adolescence, the celebrations and tragedies of adulthood, and the coming winter of life’s final chapter. Using a new orchestration of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Slager lets this classic work influence and inspire yet another generation as it strikes the deep chords of humanity and nature in harmony.
Ballet 5:8 Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer Julianna Rubio Slager is co-founder of the company and brings a wealth of experience to her work. Beginning in 2014, Ballet 5:8 began touring nationally, bringing Slager's critically acclaimed ballets such as Scarlet, The Stor(ies) of You and Me, and Compass to audiences across the nation. Slager is also a groundbreaking figure within the field, as one of the few Mexican-American Artistic Directors and Resident Choreographers of professional ballet companies in the world. She hopes that her leadership and creative work at Ballet 5:8 will pave the way for other women and minorities in professional ballet.
ABOUT BALLET 5:8 - Founded in 2012, Ballet 5:8 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization based just outside of Chicago, IL. The mission of Ballet 5:8 is to engage communities in Chicago, the Midwest and across the nation in conversation of life and faith through innovative storytelling and breathtaking dance. Ballet 5:8 performs over 40 times throughout Chicago and across the nation each year, in settings ranging from school gyms and professional theaters, in addition to teaching workshops and master classes. Ballet 5:8’s dance education center serves over 250 students each year through a wide range of dance classes, nationally-recognized advanced classical ballet training programs, and a five-week summer intensive. Ballet 5:8’s 2018/19 Season is made possible in part by Prima Soft Dancewear, Athletico, Allegro Dance Boutique of Chicago, and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.