Muscatine will be one of three stops on the “Dance into Spring” tour, bringing together Ballet Des Moines and Hancher Auditorium.

The free outdoor performance will take place on the Muscatine Riverfront at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 2, and will feature company dancers from Ballet Des Moines, performers from the University of Iowa’s Dance Company, and special guests from the acclaimed Miami City Ballet.

Musicians from the Roseman String Quartet, featuring members of the Des Moines Symphony, will perform live music for one segment. 

“This tour represents the first in-person performances for Ballet Des Moines since December 2019,” explains Blaire Massa, Executive Director, Ballet Des Moines. “We are thrilled to be sharing these beautiful works with the Muscatine community. Though we have not partnered before, Ballet Des Moines and Hancher recognize that creative partnerships like ours are exactly what our communities need as we reemerge from the past year, truly demonstrating the resilient and vibrant creative community in Iowa and bringing joy and inspiration directly to our communities this spring.”

While the partnership between Ballet Des Moines and Hancher is new, this performance marks a return of Hancher to the community. In 2018, Hancher and several local groups collaborated to present “Follow the Music: A day celebrating the legacy of Dick & Mary Jo Stanley” featuring a performance by Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

Over the years, Hancher has brought the Joffrey Ballet and Ballet West II to Muscatine. Chuck Swanson, executive director, Hancher Auditorium, states that he and his team are excited to bring dancers once again to “our friends in Muscatine”. He continues, “Artists always feel the warmth and excitement from your community, and we love the setting at Riverside Park. I cannot wait until May 2!”

Volunteers will be on hand to assist with efforts to maintain social distance. Audience members are invited to bring blankets or lawn chairs as well as picnics and other snacks.

In advance of the performance, there are opportunities for young dancers to meet the professional dancers and for young musicians and performers from the Muscatine Symphony Orchestra to connect with the Roseman String Quartet. Both groups of performers will be available for quastion-and-answer sessions at 12:30 p.m. that day. The dancers will meet near the temporary stage while the musicians will be available near the Red Brick Building on the riverfront.

Anyone wishing to participate in the sessions will be expected to wear a mask and observe social distancing.

The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine is one of the sponsors for the tour. Its sponsorship was made in memory of Mary Jo and Dick Stanley.