Ballet brings women’s stories to stage

Deos Ballet is on stage at St. Cecilia Music Center March 15-17. Photo courtesy of Deos.

A ballet about a fire that served as a catalyst for change in labor laws will premiere at St. Cecilia Music Center the weekend of March 15-17.

The “EMBER Series 24” ballet, presented by Deos, promises an evening of artistic exploration and historical reflection.  Featuring four world premieres alongside a returning audience favorite from Deos’s 2018 debut, the series culminates with “Locked Doors.” This performance delves into the events surrounding the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, a tragedy that sparked significant changes in labor laws and workplace safety standards.

Timely coinciding with Women’s History Month, the ballet acknowledges the predominantly female and immigrant victims of the fire, as well as its role in the establishment of International Women’s Day.

“Locked Doors” brings together a diverse cast, including guest artists from the Grand Rapids Opera and accomplished violinists, alongside students from the Michigan Ballet Academy. Choreographed by Artistic Director Tess Sinke and guest choreographer Isaac Aoki, “EMBER Series 24” offers a multifaceted exploration of human experience. With contributions from Attila Mosoylgo, Director of the Grand Rapids Ballet School and Junior Company, the series promises to captivate audiences with its innovative storytelling and artistic vision.

“With an entirely female-identifying roster of dancers and artistic staff, Deos Ballet has quite literally been built by women,” said Sinke. “I frequently bring women’s stories to the stage through my choreography because I firmly believe in the power of sharing our perspectives, our struggles, and our successes. Dance is the perfect medium to express the depth of women’s experiences, and ‘Locked Doors’ is a prime example of that.”

As the production unfolds, audiences are invited to witness history retold through the transcendent language of dance—a testament to the enduring impact of tragedy and the quest for societal change. The ballet serves as both a celebration of artistic expression and a poignant reminder of the events that have shaped our collective consciousness.

Learn more here.




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