There is no question that St. Louis is a city for the arts and, in the 45 years since its inception, the Saint Louis Ballet has come to make its own mark on the metro area’s arts community.
“[This is] the only professional performing ballet company in St. Louis,” says Laurie Lock, Saint Louis Ballet board member and chair for the upcoming spring gala. “We’re very fortunate to have the direction of Gen Horiuchi. He’s really grown it [in the past 20 years] to what it is today.”
Lock moved from New York City, and she explains that it was the vibrant culture around the arts that attracted her and her family to St. Louis. “St. Louis is always thinking about their community,” she says. “Having a well-funded ballet is so important to our city’s cultural life.”
Board president Tom Voss concurs: “We have 21 professional dancers [performing] 5 or 6 productions a year and an 18-member board. We’re on the board because we really believe that the ballet is a key thing [that] really rounds out whole arts experience in St. Louis.” Supporting the arts is a Voss family affair –his wife, Carol, serves on the board as well.
The Saint Louis Ballet is also committed to bringing the art form to everyone. The Pointe to Succeed program connects school-aged children with professional dancers and covers everything from elements of ballet storytelling and dance lessons to introducing the children to jobs in the performing arts.
Another way the company brings ballet into the community is by traveling outside the metro area. “I’m incredibly excited about our ballet touring to rural areas that may not have access,” Lock expresses, speaking of the recent trip to Franklyn County, Ind. “[The dancers] said it was incredibly moving for them. They were told by [audience members] that they had never seen a ballet before, but were now ready to see the next.”
On April 18, the Saint Louis Ballet will hold its spring gala at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis, honoring Mary Strauss. “Mary is so important to our city,” Tom Voss explains. “[Her] unwavering support through the years has been vital to the success of Saint Louis Ballet.”
The elegant evening will include a performance and a chance to interact with the company. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to become acquainted with the dancers,” Carol Voss says. “They’re wonderful people.”
Proceeds help enable the ballet to bring in live music, support dancers, and fund its educational programs. “The idea is that [through fundraising] we can continue to bring high quality performances to an ever-growing and diverse audience,” Tom Voss says. “We hope to grow this and make it special.”
“The [gala’s] name is An Enchanted Evening in the Garden,” Carol Voss adds. “It’s kind of a metaphor for the ballet; we’ve planted the seeds and now it’s become a beautiful garden.”
Saint Louis Ballet, 218 THF Blvd., Chesterfield, 636-537-1998, stlouisballet.org
Saint Louis Ballet Spring Gala Kickoff: Fashion in Bloom!
Wednesday, February 26
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Neiman Marcus, Frontenac
Join the Saint Louis Ballet for cocktails, fashion and fun as the company kicks off its 2020 spring gala. For more information, contact email@example.com.