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Grand Rapids Ballet Honors Beloved Ballet Dancer in Final Curtain Call: Stephen Sanford | Arts & Culture

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Grand Rapids Ballet Honors Beloved Ballet Dancer in Final Curtain Call: Stephen Sanford
Grand Rapids Ballet Honors Beloved Ballet Dancer in Final Curtain Call: Stephen Sanford

News Release:

This May, after 14 years with Grand Rapids Ballet (GRB), company dancer Stephen Sanford will take his final bow. Stephen will dance his final performance as the leading role in the World Premiere of Beethoven, a riveting ballet by Mario Radacovsky (Black Swan/White Swan, Romeo & Juliet, Bolero). Join GRB for Final Curtain Call: Stephen Sanford on Sunday, May 17 from 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. following his final performance as a member of GRB. Tickets to this special event are $35. Do not miss his epic finale.

Originally from South Bend Indiana, Stephen started his training at Southhold School. He then went on to North Carolina School of the Arts where he trained under Melissa Hayden, Duncan Noble, and Warren Conover. He later went to Ballet Chicago Studio Company and was mentored by Dan Duell and Patricia Blair. Stephen has attended numerous summer courses including School of American Ballet, Houston Ballet and Hartford Ballet. Stephen has performed as a guest artist for New York Theater Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, St. Louis Ballet, Ballet Chicago, Geiger Ballet, and Southhold Dance Theater.

Since joining GRB in 2001, Stephen has danced leading roles in David Parsons’ The Envelope, Paul Taylor’s Company B, Lew Christensen’s Con Amore, Kirk Peterson’s Amazed in Burning Dreams, Gerald Arpino’s Light Rain, George Balanchine’s Serenade, The Four Temperaments, and Who Cares?, Preston Miller’s The Great Divorce; The Nutcracker, Cavalier & Wind King, and Jose Limon‘s The Moor’s Pavane. He also originated leading roles in Mario Radacovsky’s Romeo & Juliet, and Black Swan White Swan.

"The greatest pride, and the greatest responsibility, of an artistic director is working with dancers to fulfill their maximum potential,” said GRB Artistic Director Patricia Barker. “Stephen has matured into a marvelous dancer surpassing all of our dreams. He will be missed by his devoted public and everyone in the organization."

“From the beginning of my time here, I always believed GRB could achieve great things,” said Stephen Sanford. “I have accomplished everything I wanted in my dance career and look forward to new opportunities on the horizon.”

Final Curtain Call: Stephen Sanford will be held on May 17 at 4 p.m. at the Peter Martin Wege Theatre, 341 Ellsworth Ave SW. Tickets are $35 and includes beer, wine, hors' d'oeuvres, and a chance to wish Stephen farewell. To purchase, call Kyle at (616) 454-4771 ext. 11 (Mon.-Fri. 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.)