Ballet Arkansas’ Visions Choreography Competition Enters Thrid Year

Ballet Arkansas gears up for their  third annual Visions Choreographic Competition on August 20 at 7:00pm at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Center for Performing Arts University Theater. Tickets are $40 for adults and $30 for students, seniors or military with a valid ID.

The annual competition features dozens of emerging choreographers from around the country and Europe who competed for four spots in this year’s Visions competition. Selected choreographers include: Caroline MacDonald from Portland, Oregon, and a current company artist and choreographer with Nevada Ballet Theatre; McCree O’Kelley, a dance educator and choreographer with performing credits with the Atlanta Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and the Broadway National Tour of Cats as Mr. Mistoffelees; Jimmy Orrante, a 2005 recipient of the Princess Grace Choreography Award, in his 19th season with BalletMet, Columbus, Ohio; and, Sanjay Saverimuttu from Boca Raton, Florida, in his fifth season as a company dancer with Louisville Ballet.

This year’s Visions winner will be selected in part by guest judge, Robert Hill, Artistic Director of the Orlando Ballet Mr. Hill has been a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, The Royal Ballet, and the New York City Ballet. He will also lead a Master Class in Ballet on Aug. 20, 2016 from 10:00am- 12:00pm – $25 class participation fee and $15 observation fee. Call 501-223-5150 to reserve a place in the Master Class. Mr. Hill will be joined by 2 judges from the local arts community along with members of the audience.

VISIONS began when Ballet Arkansas’ Artistic Director, Michael Bearden, wanted to create a program that would give emerging choreographers the opportunity to display their work, and to give Ballet Arkansas company dancers broader exposure to new works and choreographers from around the country. At the same time, he intended for Visions to be an inspirational and interactive experience for Arkansas’ audiences and dance community.

One week before the VISIONS Competition each of the four selected choreographers arrive in Little Rock will cast their work through a “draft” of selected dancers and have a total of only 13 rehearsal hours over 7 days to create their piece. The night of the competition, the resulting works of choreography will be performed before 3 judges from the local and national performing arts community, and the audience will join in as the 4th judge.

After the votes are tallied comes the finale of the VISIONS competition – the announcement of the VISIONS Winner! The winner receives a contract with Ballet Arkansas to expand their choreography to have it fully produced for performance in Ballet Arkansas’ spring mixed repertory show to be held April 28-30, 2017 at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.

Tickets to the performance may be purchased on the Ballet Arkansas website at or by calling (501) 223-5150.

Greg Henderson
Author: Greg Henderson

Owner/Publisher - Rock City Eats, Rock City Life, Rock City Times

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