Dorothy Gunther Pugh welcomes you to our Spring Season

I founded Ballet Memphis more than 30 years ago, and as I look back over its existence, I see much that has been accomplished by so many who both care for others and dare to dream. As I look to what its future life might be, these qualities must always be present and must be carried on by committed new generations, both within and outside of our institution. And I know that caring and dreaming take many different forms.

For the second half of our season, we are looking into the past as well as to the future of the Company. Coming off four sold-out Nutcracker performances at The Orpheum, as well as seven sold-out Fall Mix shows here at our beautiful, international award-winning building, our February Spring Mix production reflects our long-term, organizational commitment to using our art form to reflect civic and world issues; it addresses the natural world and our responsibility to care for it. We are reviving two of our most popular original works: Julia Adam’s Dew Point, which reminds of us our need of and delight in water; and Steven McMahon’s Flyway, remarking on the beauty of birds in flight and on their migratory path, in particular the Mississippi Flyway, over which more than 40 percent of all North American migrating birds travel. For the third work, former Company dancer Rafael Ferreras looks to the trees that shelter us, provide us nourishment and surround us to ask if we, as humans, will be good stewards of these life-giving natural resources.

Giselle is a remarkable and timely story, and we engage with it two different ways. First, with our Giselle: Redux we look at the story’s multiple themes of power, love, gender, anger, forgiveness and class, and we respond to them through the voices of two young choreographers. Then, at The Orpheum in April, we pay homage to the entire, beautifully staged work of Giselle, which was first performed in 1821 on a Paris stage. This ballet requires a level of stamina, strength and artistry from a fully professional ballet company–one that we have here in Memphis thanks to years of hard work, community support and that commitment to caring and dreaming.

In my reflecting, there are vital constants. Beauty, thoughtfulness and excellence take the generosity and skills not just of staff and Company but of anyone willing to share what they can to make something worth remembering. We dream and care for others through countless and various acts of kindness and generosity. To all of you who have been with us for a long time and to those of you just starting your journey with us–whether as donor, ticket buyer, volunteer, School family or Pilates patron–we thank you. We thank you for your generosity, for believing in crossing barriers, for believing in going forward and for your willingness to help us grow in countless ways. And if your haven't yet joined us in our mission, do it today! We all have created a treasure, and as long as we nourish it, is one that will continue to give again and again.