Gravity on Tour brings art and science to life across the state


MUSCATINE, Iowa–Ballet Des Moines will bring its entire company of professional dancers to six locations this summer, sharing world-class arts and educational programming directly with Iowans across the state.

Gravity on Tour includes clips from Ballet Des Moines’ groundbreaking GRAVITY season plus a host of interactive STEM experiences, from Iowa State University’s FLEx virtual reality lab and the Science Center of Iowa’s mobile planetarium to the sending postcards into space and back. These free performances build on the world premiere in April of the interdisciplinary ballet Of Gravity and Light, illustrating how music and movement can make abstract concepts more human and accessible to audiences of all ages.

Ballet Des Moines CEO Blaire Massa worked with community leaders across the state to determine tour locations, ensuring a strong sense of collaboration with tailored opportunities specific to each community’s interests and values. “We have worked diligently over the past few months to ensure that we deliver our community engagement, outreach and education initiatives – to expand access to the arts, while using creativity and expression as a tool to expand learning, build trust, and forge community bonds,” says Massa. “From educational workshops and in-person ballet classes to meet-and-greets, pop-up planetariums and cocktail parties for young professionals, the opportunities to collaborate and inspire curiosity, trust and creativity in our state not miss.”

STEM partners throughout the 21-22 season included the NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium (ISGC) and Iowa State University. “Working with Ballet Des Moines this year has allowed us to introduce students to activities that help support our goals at ISGC, to help inspire, educate and employ the next generation of explorers,” said Director, Dr Sara Nelson. “It was wonderful to see the students learn about the connections between science and art and how dance can be used to express those understandings.”

The current tour schedule includes six locations across the state, ending with a tour finale celebration in Des Moines.

● Wednesday July 27: RiverLoop Amphitheatre, Waterloo Center for the Arts, Waterloo

● Thursday July 28: Thursday on Main – Clear Lake Bandshell, Clear Lake

● Friday, July 29: Wilcox Performing Arts Center, Algona

● Sunday July 31: Muscatine Riverfront, Muscatine

● Tuesday August 2: Johnson Auditorium, Chariton

● Wednesday August 3: Lauridsen Amphitheater at Water Works Park, Des Moines

Each performance will include excerpts from BDM’s GRAVITY season, highlighting a wide range of programming, including this spring’s world premiere Of Gravity and Light, a Swan Lake pas de deux and Flight, a cheerful contemporary ballet from the Artistic Director of Ballet Des Moines, Tom Mattingly. Between evening performances, NASA Solar System Ambassadors will lead the audience through scientific discussions.

Gravity on Tour was made possible by the Principal Foundation and the Iowa Arts Council. Additional tour details can be found at


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