GV dance program takes the stage at Grand Rapids Ballet


GVL / Meghan Tripp (Landgren)

Steven Lawrence, Staff Writer

On Aug. 26 and 27 Grand Rapids Ballet hosted a Summer Dance Festival that showcased different dance groups in the area including the Grand Valley State University Dance Program. 

In honor of their 50th anniversary, Grand Rapids Ballet created this festival to showcase different dance styles to the area, and hope to connect the community through dance. This free event was held at the Peter Martin Wege Theater in Grand Rapids and featured not only dancers of old ages but other aspects such as food trucks and live music. 

Hannah Seidel, who is an associate professor of dance at GVSU, restaged her dance piece entitled “Gentle Pressure” for the showcase. The piece was created for the GVSU Dance Company’s 2022 Spring Dance Concert and features GVSU dance majors. 

 “The Summer Festival event is giving additional dancers a chance to perform as they step into the roles of last year’s seniors,” Seidel said. “We have been back in the studios for the week before GV classes begin to help the group find its cohesion and dynamic for the upcoming performances.”

The restaging of the piece maintained the original choreography. Seidel explained how the movement of the contemporary piece works together to create a visual for the audience.  

Dancers move through the piece in pairs, weaving through and around other duets,” Seidel said. “The piece culminates with a gentle touch that sets off a chain reaction bringing all the pairs together into one group for a brief moment in time.” 

Seidel said that the opportunity to partake in the Summer Dance Festival is exciting for her and the dancers. 

“I am proud of the energy the dancers have all put into this performance – coming back to GVSU a week early for rehearsals and preparing to dance on an outdoor stage,” Seidel said. “I am also thrilled to share their work with the greater Grand Rapids community.”

The festival showcased about 11 other dance groups in the area including Arthur Murray Dance Studio, CPR Dance: Inhale Movement, DanceSpire and GVSU’s dance program’s newest faculty member Edgar L. Page

As Grand Rapids Ballet kicks off its 2022-23 season, it will be hosting many other events in addition to its performance. One event is a Black-tie gala on Oct. 1 at Frederik Meijer Gardens. The event features a dinner and performance from the ballet company.

GRB hopes to celebrate dancers, choreographers, artists, musicians and audience members who have contributed to the work of the company over the last 50 years. All proceeds from the event will benefit Grand Rapids Ballet’s 50th Anniversary Campaign as they move towards the next 50 years.

For more information about the dance program at GVSU, those interested can contact the GVSU Department of Music, Theatre and Dance, or visit their website