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Grand Rapids Ballet presents Rubies for Valentine's Day Feb. 14-23

Enjoy a night of romance at the ballet.
Enjoy a night of romance at the ballet.
Photo by Grand Rapids Ballet

The Grand Rapids Ballet has a special Valentine for West Michigan. On Valentine's Day the company's production of Rubies for Valentine's Day opens at the Peter Martin Wege Theatre. The production is comprised of three separate ballets by world famous choreographers - George Balanchine's Rubies, Jose Limon's The Moor's Pavane and Mario Radacovsky's Bolero. All three ballets express love and romance through the art of dance. The production will run six shows February 14-16 and February 21-23.

Rubies for Valentine's Day

Rubies for Valentine's Day tells tales of the different aspects of love and expressions of passion through the three ballets. Bolero is a sensual chess game danced to Maurice Ravel's famous music. The Moor's Pavane is a ballet version of William Shakespeare's romantic tragedy, Othello, in the form of a Renaissance pavane, where love wars with jealousy. Rubies is a one act of the award-winning ballet, Jewels, where dancers dance with joy, love and energy to Igor Stravinsky's music.


Many people are familiar with Ravel's music, Bolero. Ravel originally developed it as a type of game orchestra warm-up. Radacovsky took this game concept and created a ballet in the form of a tantalizing game of chess that has man versus woman as game pieces in combat and courtship that builds with energy and emotion with the music. The king and the queen come out to fight for their people in a romantic partnership. The piece is full of athleticism, with many turns and partnering.

The Moor's Pavane

Shakespeare's Othello, a tale of love, jealousy and betrayal, is told with passionate dancing in the form of a Renaissance pavane. The audience feels Desdemonia's devotion, the moor's pain, and the scheming of Iago and Emilia through the dancing. Limon's movement in this ballet is considered one of the greatest in all modern dance. The audience will feel a spectrum of emotions as they watch the quartet.


Rubies is one of Balanchine's most joyful and energetic acts of the ballet, Jewels. It is Balanchine's comment on America during the jazz age. Visually beautiful and packed with emotion and athleticism, the dancers move across the stage like a force of nature to Stravinsky's jazz influenced musical piece.

Rubies for Valentine's Day Is a Work of Love

This production was a labor of love for the Grand Rapids Ballet because of the collaboration with some of ballet's leading talents. The Grand Rapids Ballet worked with Colleen Neary, Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Ballet and the foremost expert on Balanchine's choreography, to stage Rubies. Mario Radacovsky, the Artistic Director of Balet Bratislava in Slovakia and the choreographer of Bolero, came to the Grand Rapids Ballet to stage Bolero. Michigan native Sarah Stackhouse, a former dancer with the Limon Dance Company and a leading Limon expert, staged The Moor's Pavane. The audience will experience a truly authentic interpretation of the choreography of each ballet due to the expert staging.

Grand Rapids Ballet Artistic Director Patricia Barker found it inspiring to watch her dancers take on the unique movement of each choreographer. Barker talks about the profound effect this has on the dancers, particularly working with Limon expert Sarah Stackhouse, "Sarah Stackhouse is an icon, gracious and awe-inspiring. Working with her on such an important work is something the dancers will never forget."

Staging is equally as important as dance technique and Balanchine expert Colleen Neary staged Rubies to reflect Balanchine's original concepts. "Colleen's staging is neat, clean and precise. It is amazing to see her put together the enormous puzzle of the staging so that all comes together beautifully," says Barker.

Barker hopes the audience will feel the love and emotion of the production. "I hope they will smile, laugh, hold loved ones tight, think of someone special, and know that love survives."

Rubies for Valentine's Day Ticket and Venue Information

The Grand Rapids Ballet will perform Rubies for Valentine's Day on February 14-23 at the Peter Martin Wege Theatre at 341 Ellsworth SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

Performance times for this weekend:

  • Friday, February 14 - 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, February 15 - 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, February 16 - 2:00 pm

Performance times for next weekend:

  • Friday, February 21 - 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, February 22 - 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, February 23 - 2:00 pm

Grand Rapids Ballet Artistic Director Patricia Barker will give a pre-show talk about the production 30 minutes before each show.

Tickets prices:

  • $40 for adults
  • $35 for seniors,
  • $30 for children
  • $20 for college students.
  • College students with ID can also purchase available tickets at the door for $12.

Purchase tickets online at Ticketmaster or locally at the Grand Rapids Ballet Box Office. Call the Grand Rapids Ballet Box Office at 616-454-4771 for more information. The Grand Rapids Ballet Box Office is open Monday-Friday at 9 am - 5 pm, and one hour before each show.

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