Ballet Backstory fills in the blanks to increase audience enjoyment of ballet classics
Twice a year, the USA International Ballet Competition teams up with its arts and community partners to offer Ballet BackStory, a program designed to expand the audience for classical ballet. The USA IBC collaborates with area ballet schools and companies, offering their artistic directors, dance instructors, choreographers, costume mistresses and dancers the opportunity to provide a free community demonstration based on an upcoming production.
The entertaining presentations typically include interesting notes on the ballet’s history, plot, characters, choreography, music, variations and significance.
Ballet BackStory debuted in 2015 with spring and late fall programs. “Ballet BackStory: Coppelia” was a lunch-and-learn presentation by Ballet Mississippi that was well attended by professionals in the downtown area. “Ballet BackStory: The Nutcracker” was a late afternoon program by Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet, previewing the holiday classic for a large crowd of children, parents and grandparents, many of whom had never attended a Nutcracker performance.
Evaluations of the program indicate Ballet BackStory sessions are valuable enhancements to the experience of attending the ballet. Attendees say the presentations helped them better understand what they would see on stage, adding to their appreciation of both the specific ballet and the art form overall.