ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS
Why did you make changes to your 20/21 season?
Various complexities pose challenges for the performing arts in the time of a pandemic. Our organization faces obstacles that are unique to the field of dance, and to Ballet Arkansas. Some of the factors that led to our decision to update the 20/21 season are listed below.
Dance is a field that requires close contact and touching. It also is a an activity that heavily expels aerosols into the air, both increasing the risk to the health and safety of our dancers.
We rehearse out of a single studio located in Downtown, Little Rock and can safely accommodate only 4 of our 15 dancers at any given time while adhering to the regulations outlined by authorities in professional dance and public health.
Our numbers are not large enough to conveniently replace dancers in their assigned roles without sacrificing the integrity of our production, should dancers become ill.
Audience sizes are reduced significantly but expenses remain steady, reducing the potential for profit.
Many of our venues have closed or cancelled events. Others do not have dressing rooms large enough or abundant enough to house our dancers while adhering to facility or public health restrictions.
We cannot be sure that cancellation in the near future will not occur. Loss of investment in cancelled productions without the possibility to fully recoup this investment could lead to further cancellation of Ballet Arkansas productions, increased financial hardship, or closure.
The health and safety of our performers and audience is our first priority.
What led to the cancellation of The Nutcracker Spectacular?
The Nutcracker Spectacular features nearly 500 dancers, musicians, volunteers and crew who work closely together to present our beloved production to an audience of 10,000 each winter. The production requires more than 350 hours of in-person rehearsal over the course of 11 weeks, held at Shuffles and Ballet II to accommodate the large volume of participants. This season, restrictions would impose a nearly 50% reduction of our cast members and volunteers and the removal of live music from the production. This reduction impairs the quality and spirit of our performances and we do not feel it is right to cut large numbers of children from the production during the holiday season. This, combined with reduced audience sizes and elevated risks for exposure to illness or cancellation, made this year's production in its traditional format an challenging endeavor to pursue. *The staff is working diligently with our partners in the arts and independently to find unique, new ways to engage our audiences and community performers this season. More details will be announced shortly.
What do you mean by unique, new ways to engage audiences and community performers?
Hybrid, open-air and virtual/broadcast performances and education programs. These things produce rewards with reduced risks to our organization, employees, and the public in the fall and winter. We will also explore add-ons to increase the value of our programming to our patrons in the spring.
Do you anticipate further changes to the 20/21 season.
We are confident that we will present an exciting spring season, and we will continue to adapt to the variables that present themselves and the restrictions and guidelines of authorities in dance and public health. We have planned for various scenarios that include the changing of dates and venues should alterations be necessary. We will think creatively when faced with the obstacles. After, all, that's what we do well at Ballet Arkansas!
When will tickets and subscriptions go on sale?
Tickets and subscriptions will go on sale near the first of the year. We want our patrons to feel confident with their purchases before planning to attend a Ballet Arkansas performance.
What opportunities are their to train with Ballet Arkansas this year?
Ballet Arkansas is offering online classes and limited on-site classes in the fall, winter, and spring. The spring will launch a series of enrolled programs for children and adults and the summer will feature add-ons to our traditional summer intensive program. Access to master classes and workshops from world-renowned instructors and choreographers will be presented independently and with our partners in the arts throughout the year.
Will their be enhanced audience safeguards, and what will they look like?
Contact-less ticketing and admissions, intermission-free programming, social distanced seating, digital programs, enhanced sanitation and cleaning measures, and much more.
How has the cancellation affected Ballet Arkansas' operations?
Revenue earned through the sale of tickets makes up approximately 55% of our budget, and reductions in seasonal programming have colossal effects on our organization. We project estimated losses in excess of $350,000 between March and December of 2020. Contributed income has never been more important to keep our company afloat and our dancers and and staff employed. We will weather this storm, but without the support of the public our recovery will be slowed and our momentum will be lost.
How can I help?
You can make a tax deductible donation to Ballet Arkansas' Pointe to the Future Resiliency Fund, our capital campaign in support of the artists and activities of Ballet Arkansas. Your support ensures more than 20,000 Arkansans have access to life-changing dance performances and education programs each year, and that the cultural ecosystem stays alive and well in our community. Click the link below to make a donation today.
Who do I contact with additional inquiries?
Please email our staff at with questions, or call us at (501) 223-5150.