The Arts need you this April

We're entering into the last month of the 2016-2017 season at Ballet Des Moines. While this is usually a bittersweet time for us, we're beyond excited at the number of opportunities we've created in April for you to experience the beauty of ballet.

We believe it's always the right time to support the arts. But perhaps now more than ever, as we plan our last public performances during this season, we ask you to join us and be moved alongside us. 

Wednesday, April 5: Artist Open House. 

We're opening the studio doors to welcome the artists within our community inside. We've been so honored by the overwhelming interest from artists and support from the community as we launched our Artist-in-Residence Program this year and wanted to create an opportunity for any artist to come experience a rehearsal and create with the medium of their choice. 

Friday, April 7: Spring Artist-in-Residence Showcase, Amenda Tate Corso

We've had the great pleasure of spending the past several weeks with our spring artist-in-residence Amenda Tate Corso and her painting robot Manibus. On Friday, April 7, we'll host a one night show for her to display her work. We are thrilled she joined us and hope she was inspired by our art as we are of hers.

Saturday, April 15: Ballet Des Moines presents Snow White

Ballet Des Moines will present the much beloved fairy tale, Snow White, Saturday, April 15 at the Des Moines Civic Center. Live music will be performed by the Des Moines Community Orchestra The production will feature Ballet Des Moines’ professional and pre-professional dancers, in addition to hundreds of local student dancers. There will be two performances of Snow White at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Friday, April 21: Pop-up Ballet at the All Saints Center

Please join us for a fun and casual evening of ballet and friends and food. A brief performance will be followed by complimentary pizza and wine and a chance to meet the beautiful dancers.



Ballet Des Moines is pleased to name the third and final artist selected for its 2016-2017 artist-in-residence program.

Amenda Tate Corso has been a student of engineering and the arts, creating thought-provoking works that address ideas surrounding individuality, identity, permanence, and social culture in our digital age. For her work with Ballet Des Moines, Corso will be creating with a motion-controlled robotic device she invented, which translates the motion of dance into a static energetic form. The finished product is rendered in acrylic paint by the painting bot she’s named Manibus.

Corso will work with the ballet through Snow White, the final production of the 2016-2017 season, April 15. A community event is also being scheduled to allow residents to watch the bot work and try their hand at how technology can turn dance into art. 

About the Artist

Amenda Tate Corso was born in Des Moines, Iowa. Studies in mechanical engineering at Iowa State University led her to the realization that her interest in "how things work" would be better satisfied in a more aesthetically creative mode – Metalsmithing. She studied under professor Chuck Evans before moving to Colorado in 1998. Amenda worked as an apprentice to Todd Reed in Boulder, Colorado while completing her undergraduate studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with an emphasis in Jewelry Design and Metalsmithing.

Since returning to Iowa, Amenda spends time creating in her artist studio located in the Fitch Building, downtown Des Moines. Her works have been featured in various trade publications and the Denver Post as well as the book Art Jewelry Today 2.

For questions regarding the residency program, contact Ballet Des Moines at

A sample of work by Amenda Tate Corso inspired by Ballet Des Moines' artist, Amelia Grubb, as the Wicked Queen.

A sample of work by Amenda Tate Corso inspired by Ballet Des Moines' artist, Amelia Grubb, as the Wicked Queen.

Mirror, Mirror. . . By Amenda Tate Corso inspired by Amelia Grubb as the Wicked Queen.

Mirror, Mirror. . . By Amenda Tate Corso inspired by Amelia Grubb as the Wicked Queen.

Artist Showcase: Christine Hilbert

One creation in the Ballet Des Moines artist-in-residence series by artist Christine Hilbert

Ballet Des Moines welcomed artist Christine Hilbert for our five-week winter residency. Christine was an amazing addition to the studio — she radiates positivity, creativity and inspiration. In an effort to share a little more about her, we asked Christine a few questions to get to know her better. 

What inspires you to create?

There are so many things in my daily life that inspire me: sometimes it's the colors found in nature, something hilariously innocent that my 3 year old says, a line from a book that speaks to me. I try to always keep my eyes open for the next thing that sparks something within me; so much of it is found in the everyday.

When did you first start creating with watercolor and jewelry?

I have been painting since I was a child, and studied oil and acrylic painting in school, but only recently found a love of watercolor. There is a delicacy to the art form that I felt complimented the movement of the ballet and dance. I have been creating jewelry for about 9 years. This series of combining the two, which I call Heirloom Anthology, started about a year ago, as a way to bridge the two loves.

What has been your favorite/meaningful artifact/piece and why?

This is the most difficult question! I created a statement necklace for myself out of heirloom pieces from my grandmother's jewelry box. The sentiment and history of this piece is something I treasure. The fact that I was able to put my own creative spin on it made it even more special.

What was the most inspiring/exciting part of being an artist-in-residence with Ballet Des Moines?

I have had a constant smile since starting my residency. There is something truly magical about the ballet: the delicacy and grace of motion and the beauty and intricacy of the costumes are the two components that I have felt most inspired by and have tried to convey within my work.

What upcoming projects are you most excited about?

This residency has been such a catalyst for inspiring more work within this series based on the ballet. I am planning to continue to push the series further after my residency ends. Of course, I will continue to create jewelry and accessories. I am also going to try my hand at writing and illustrating a children's book.

Learn more about Christine and see the full body of her work on the Artist Showcase Event, December 6 from 5–7PM at Moxie

Your support matters. Here's how.

There are many ways to show support and we would not be as strong as we are, growing year after year in size and abilities, without those who have believed in us along the way.

Our season began last week with nine professional dancers walking through the studio door, ready to begin another year of creating magic. 

As we roll into October, we have more work to do than just perform. We also have to ask for help. In order to grow, to continue to add dancers and performances, we need your help. There are two immediate ways you can help us today: supporting us by attending our fall fundraiser, Ballet at the Barn, and by purchasing your ticket to our fall season premier, A Triple Bill.

Ballet at the Barn

In it's fifth year, this annual fundraiser kicks off our season around the campfire with entertainment, comfort food and cocktails at The Bluffs Barn in Van Meter. Wear flannels and relax as you get a sneak peek of our professional company performing brief excerpts from the season premiere. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased here

A Triple Bill

A Triple Bill premiers October 28 through October 30. You have the opportunity to take in three short performances, by three different choreographers. Ballet Des Moines Ballet Mistress Lori Grooters, Tulsa Ballet's Ballet Master Ma Cong and Kansas City Ballet's Second Company Manager, Anthony Krutzkamp have created unforgettable pieces for you to experience. We've been watching these unfold in our studio space and there isn't a dry eye left in the building. We would love to share this experience with you. Tickets can be purchased at the Hoyt Sherman box office or through Ticketmaster. 

We are honored to have so many fans believe in us, and in the art of ballet. For that, we are and always will be thankful.

And so it begins

Missing from photo: Eugeniu Cilenco and apprentice Mary Cooper.

This morning, nine beautiful dancers will walk through the Ballet Des Moines studio doors. Dancers from the midwest, northeast and as far as Moldova will passionately dedicate themselves to the art of ballet for the next seven months. They will train tirelessly to create performances that move you, inspire you, captivate you and energize you. They will make you hold your breath in wonder and most importantly, give you permission to feel. 

Please join us as we welcome our professional company to our favorite city. And we welcome you to share in our passion for the premiere of our 2016-2017 season, Triple Bill, October 28-30 at Hoyt Sherman Place. Tickets go on sale September 19.

Want to know more about our dancers? Read our recent piece in dsm here

The Artist-in-Residence at Ballet Des Moines

Our inaugural artist-in-residence, Jami Milne, at the Ballet Des Moines studio on the first day of her residency.

In June, Ballet Des Moines welcomed our first artist-in-residence, Jami Milne. We launched this artist-in-residence program because we believe inspiration comes from both within our walls and outside of them. This innovative program provides an opportunity for local artists to be inspired, explore and create projects which we believe, will create inspiration to the artist, our ballet and our city. 

We're eager to have Jami create with us through our season premier of Triple Bill, this October. Check back for behind the scenes photos from her residency, commentary on her thought process for her residency project and upcoming dates including an artist showcase event and future application information. 

For more information regarding this program, contact Executive Director Laurel Knox

A heartfelt thank you to our generous donors who helped make this program a reality: Connie Wimer, John Pappajohn and the Iowa Arts Council.