“Always moving forward.” This motto summarizes Ballet Arkansas’ mission and artistic vision, particularly during a year when performing live has proven to be a challenge. Ballet Arkansas is the foremost professional ballet company in the state, and its world-class education programs and performances have touched the lives of nearly 300,000 Arkansans.
The company’s roots can be traced to the Little Rock Civic Ballet, which was founded in 1966 by Donald C. Cranford. Ballet Arkansas was formed as a non-profit group in 1978, and the organization became fully professional in 2009. Since the beginning, Ballet Arkansas has provided the region with dynamic productions that advance the public’s perception of dance and the performing arts.
More than 500 dancers from around the world audition to join the company every year, and the bold performances reach communities across the state. Ballet Arkansas’ production of The Nutcracker Spectacular with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is the largest and longest-running holiday production in the state.
The company’s commitment to providing beautiful and accessible art throughout the state has continued throughout the coronavirus pandemic. A series of open-air events this fall and winter, in partnership with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and the Arkansas Arts Center, will give guests a safe way to enjoy the arts during the holidays. The spring season contains both classics and cutting-edge contemporary dance projects that patrons can anticipate for next year. Ballet Arkansas has also launched the Pointe to the Future Resiliency Fund, which supports the organization’s artists and activities so they can continue to grow and perform in the future.