Ballet Memphis

New Location brings light to Memphis dancers

Ballet Memphis has found a new location. From Cordova to Midtown, the company has long been waiting for its 14-mile move. The new building is located on the corner of Madison and Cooper within Overton Square. Though the building opened August 7th, a community celebration of the opening occurred on August 26th, in which all studios and spaces were visible to the public, performances were held, and teachers answered questions about the company. Driving down Madison, pedestrians are able to notice dancers rehearsing in the studios. Ballet Memphis
This interactive approach is key to Ballet Memphis’ success, as ballet is often considered a dying art. However, the company seems to be prevailing against this decline, relocating to a trendy Memphis neighborhood. The choice in location is certainly a calculated one, as exposure to dance is signifi cant among Memphis’ younger population. For Youth Ballet Memphis member Lily Scott, this move means more than a new location, but an opportunity to Memphis to grow in its appreciation of dance. For example, extracurricular options for teens often seem limited to sports, the arts, or STEM related activities. So often is dance left out as an option, leaving exposure to the art at a consistent minimum. The new location of Ballet Memphis seems ideal for this reason, but is also significant in that they plan to become more interactive within our community. The new 38,000 square foot building is complete with fi ve studios, offices, a costume shop, meeting space, and a Mama Gaia café. Classes in dance as well as pilates are open to the public, from beginners up. The space also contains a performance area able to sit 200, giving informal shows an ideal performance space. However, most of the performances will continue to take place at Playhouse, now just a quick walk down the block from the studio. Through this change, I hope to see a growth in Memphis’ appreciation for this art, for both teens and the community at large. To a company that has called Memphis home for the past 30 years, a better choice in location could not have been picked, and they will continue to shape Memphis through their art. Coming in November, Youth Ballet Memphis will be exerting their skills in “Match Girl,” and the adult company will be preforming “Take Shape” from October 14th to the 22nd at Playhouse on the Square. With luck and a little hard work, this switch will drive Memphis forward and open many doors for both dancers and the community alike.
By Mary Elizabeth Whitmire