Ballet 5:8 Presents Four New Ballets on Navigating Cultural Tension with Compassion

CHICAGO – This October, Ballet 5:8 returns to the Quad Cities, hometown of Ballet 5:8 Co-founder & Executive Director, Amy Kozol Sanderson, for the third time since the company’s founding in 2012. Ballet 5:8’s Compass features four one-act ballets inspired by the challenges of navigating cultural tension in the present day. From an alien society to 1970’s Chicago, Compass stretches across time and space to explore some of our country’s most pressing topics. At times witty and satirical, and at times deeply emotional, Compass is full of athleticism, power and poetry. A single performance will be held on Saturday, October 7 at 7:00pm at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, 1800 7th Ave, Moline, Illinois. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for students and seniors, and $15 for children. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 312-725-4752. Performance information is available at

A unique professional company, Ballet 5:8’s mission is shaped by a desire to engage audiences in meaningful discussion through innovative storytelling and the beauty and power of professional dance. Compass is based on the theme “navigating cultural tension with compassion” and is inspired by a desire to consider the pressing issues of the day through the lense of compassion. The four original ballets in the Compass program include works inspired by poems authored by African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist, Sojourner Truth, and Pulitzer Prize author and Chicagoan, Gwendolyn Brooks. After the performance, audience members are invited to stay for a Ballet 5:8 tradition, the Talk Back. During this panel discussion, Ballet 5:8 Artistic Director Julianna Slager and artists of the company discuss questions, comments and feedback on the performance with audience members.

A childhood native of Eldridge, Iowa, Ballet 5:8 Executive Director Amy Kozol Sanderson fell in love with ballet at an early age and received her classical ballet training at Ballet Quad Cities School of Dance under former Artistic Director Johanne Jakhelln Constant. After studying as a trainee with the Ballet Quad Cities professional company for three years and with Ballet Magnificat in Jackson, MS, Amy later moved to Chicago and worked in the administrative offices at the Joffrey Academy of Dance. She went on to become one of the co-founders of Ballet 5:8 in 2012 and performed with Ballet 5:8 for three seasons before retiring to full-time administrative work. Amy currently lives in Chicago with her husband Clayton and their one-year-old daughter.