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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy Photo "Ballet is not palatable for everyone, until they have a taste of it," says NWA Ballet Theatre's artistic director, Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye. "It takes an education, it takes seeing an abundance of ballet to get a taste. I answered that by creating a program called Dance Beat, where the dancers go outside and meet the community where they're at."

The NWA Ballet Theatre will present a pop-up performance at Fayetteville's Botanical Garden of the Ozarks at 5 p.m. June 18 as part of the Dance Beat series. According to their website, the series "takes dance outside the theater and invites community to experience dance as public art."

"By taking dance to the streets with our pop-up performance series 'Dance Beat,' we are breaking down the barrier that dance is solely a theater art for theater goers," says the organization's artistic director, Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye. "Bringing dance outside of the proscenium and into the community creates an accessible way for diverse audiences to experience the art form. We provide palatable introductions to classically based steps by inserting a contemporary, vibrant feel to popular, well-loved songs."


NWA Ballet Theatre:

Pop-Up Performance

WHEN — 5 p.m. June 18

WHERE — Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, 4703 N. Crossover Road in Fayetteville

COST — Free

INFO — 553-7400

The company has already had six performances in the Dance Beat series at Northwest Arkansas venues as varied as Bentonville's Amazeum and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Fayetteville Public Library and Springdale's Arvest Ballpark.

"The response has really been fantastic," says Jolicoeur-Nye. "There are two recurring common themes I am hearing from audience goers: One is that they are surprised to see a ballet company doing such creative and contemporary work. Many people didn't realize how diverse classically trained dancers are, which I believe intrigued them to learn more about what having a professional dance company in the region really means. The other frequent response is that folks are thrilled that we are a local company. With a roster of dancers from eight different states and three countries we are right here, living and working, embedded in the fabric of Northwest Arkansas."

After the BGO performances, the company will have two more Dance Beat shows -- June 27 at the Gulley Park Summer Concert Series in Fayetteville and June 29 at the Rogers Farmers Market.

-- Lara Jo Hightower

NAN What's Up on 06/16/2019

Print Headline: Ballet Theatre takes dance to the garden

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