Louisville Ballet Creates Intimate Experiences

Unique in-studio performances bring patrons up-close-and-personal


LOUISVILLE, KY – Louisville Ballet today announced changes to two of their performances during the 2023-24 season to allow for a unique patron experience.

“This season is dedicated to celebrating the Commonwealth with productions infused with the spirit of the Bluegrass,” explained Ballet CEO Leslie Smart. “How better to include the tradition of Kentucky hospitality than to invite patrons into our home?”

The Ballet will now perform Distilled, a collection of three ballets, in the Louisville Ballet studio at 315 E. Main Street October 13-15 rather than in the Brown Theatre as originally envisioned. Performances will include a pre-performance bourbon experience reception for current subscribers sponsored by Heaven Hill Brands with their master artisans. The three ballets include:

○ Copland’s Appalachian Spring, choreographed by Andrea Schermoly. This work was commissioned by the Louisville Orchestra and Music Director, Teddy Abrams and given its world premiere performances in April 2019 by the Louisville Orchestra and Louisville Ballet at Whitney Hall.

Cold Virtues, choreographed by Adam Hougland, was commissioned by Bruce Simpson as a world premier in 2003 and a Louisville audience favorite. Hougland creates a deeply atmospheric and dramatically intense work set to Philip Glass’ intoxicating Violin Concerto No 1.

○ The evening culminates with Raymonda, another Louisville Ballet favorite and one of the most beautiful of classical diversement choreographed by Marius Petipa.

“The intimate setting of the studio invites patrons into the inner sanctum of the dancers’ art while providing a view of ballet that few get to experience,” Smart shared.

To accommodate the in-studio patron experience, the production of Giselle will shift to November 10-12 in the Brown Theatre. The rest of the Ballet season, including The Brown-Forman Nutcracker, Choreographer’s Showcase, and Romeo & Juliet, will be presented as originally planned.

The 2023-24 season is under the artistic direction of Bruce Simpson and Helen Starr, who are serving as artistic advisors during the Ballet’s global search for its next artistic director.

“Louisville Ballet has experienced financial difficulties in the aftermath of the pandemic compounded by last year’s cancellation of several sold-out performances of The Brown-Forman Nutcracker due to Arctic Storm Elliot,” Smart continued. “Consequently we will be unable to invite the Louisville Orchestra to play for Nutcracker this season. Continuing to create ballet experiences that the community is eager to support with their presence and gifts is critical to our recovery, and the genesis of our programmatic modifications.”

“A thriving arts community that continues to include the fifth oldest ballet in the country is part of what makes Louisville such a great place to live, work, and play. We look forward to hosting our current patrons and a new generation of ballet fans this season.”

Updated show and ticket information for the 2023-24 season can be found at louisvilleballet.org.