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07.24.2017: Fall Registration and Placement Information

All students participating in the 2017 CCDC Summer Workshops will get their placement letters in class Monday or Tuesday. Students who are not participating in the summer workshops will get their placements in the mail shortly. Fall dance class schedule will be released by August first. Registration days for the fall trimester will be at the studio Thursday, Aug 3rd or Tuesday, August 8th from 5:30-8:00pm.

07.21.2017: Summer Survey, Part de Cinq!

((This space reserved for the CCDC dancer nicknamed "Marquez Ricardo"! Where ya at, boyo???))

07.20.2017: Summer Survey, Part de Quartre!

HE ALSO livez! The fourth (of, hopefully, many) returns of the 2017 CCDC Summer Survey this year!o)
  1. My name is Charlie D------ and I am in Denver, Colorado at the Colorado Ballet summer intensive
  2. I am in level 4 out of 4. Almost everyone here is really good. I'm not the best boy here, but I'm certainly not the worst.
  3. There are thirty of us in my level. 24 girls and 6 boys.
  4. I've been taking ballet, men's technique, men's conditioning, pas de deux, Batterie, pirouettes, modern, character, flamenco, variations, repertoire, contemporary choreography, Pilates, yoga, and lecture class like injury prevention, anatomy, and dance history. Flamenco is pretty similar to tap but contemporary choreography has been difficult to adjust to.
  5. We've had a variety of different teachers teaching a variety of styles, from Vaganova to Balanchine. One of the most thought provoking and challenging corrections I've gotten is to have more dynamics. I was told I'm being to careful and I need to add more dynamic variety and it will make me a much better dancer.
  6. We had Daniel Baudendistel the first two weeks. He was with ABT and Joffrey and now teaches at Ballet Arizona. These last three weeks we've had Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner. They were both with ABT and teach there now. They are also certified repertoirists with the Tudor Trust and are setting a Tudor piece on us for our performance.
  7. The transition has been pretty easy. This is my second intensive so I knew what to expect and I haven't had much difficulty adjusting to new teachers. I miss the small class sizes at CCDC and getting lots of personal corrections but I'm enjoying having lots of other guys.
  8. I wish I would have known that I'm stronger than I think. I just need to have confidence and I can do more than I expect
  9. One of the dancers who has impressed me the most is a boy in my level. He's recovering from a severe ankle injury and has had multiple surgeries but continues to work hard and push through it and he is still one of the strongest boys in our level.
  10. My roommate's name is Liam, he's from the Denver area. In our spare time we often squeeze into someone's room and watch movies.
  11. For our first performance after the first two weeks, we learned sections from Études, choreographed by Harald Lander. For our final performance, we are learning Antony Tudor's Continuo. It's set to Pachelbel's Canon in D and is an interesting challenge. I have a few pas sections throughout the piece and I am also in the men's section.
  12. My last day is Friday the 21st and I'll be driving back home on Saturday.
...Now, who haven't we heard from yet (RICHARD!o), hmmmmmm? LOL!o)

07.19.2017: Summer Survey, Part de Trois!

She ALSO livez! The THIRD (of, hopefully, many) returns of the 2017 CCDC Summer Survey this year!o)
1. Who are you and what city and country are you in this summer? Where are you taking dance classes?

I am Katelyn W------ and I am dancing in Houston, Texas this summer at Houston Ballet.

2. What level of how many levels in dance are you in this year? How are the other students?

I am in level 6 of 8 levels. There are some girls in my class who have really nice feet and legs and perfect ballet bodies but not the technique they need. All the girls in my level are good at different things and there are a few different levels within my class.

3. How many dancers in your classes? How many boys? How many girls?

My level is split into three sections. In my class there are 28 girls, but in total of level 6 there are a little less than 90 girls. When we split into our rep groups there are about 44 girls in the class. There are probably 15 boys in my level, but we rarely have class with the boys of my level.

4. What types of dance classes are you taking? What's the hardest to get used to? What's the most fun? Most unusual? What reminds you most of CCDC? What's most different?

Each day begins with technique and pointe class. After those classes we usually have lunch and our afternoon classes change everyday. Besides technique and pointe class we have pas class, modern, nutrition, variations, rep, character, coaching, and bollywood. The hardest and most unusual class I take is definitely bollywood. It is really fast and the hands alone are really hard to switch between. My favorite class is variations class because we do some really fun variations. So far we have done both the variations from Swan Lake Pas de Trois, Temperament Fairy from Sleeping Beauty, and Gold, Silver, Sapphire from Sleeping Beauty.

5. What type or style of ballet/pointe/variations/men's classes are you taking? What are the main differences in style or technique from CCDC? What are the most interesting, unexpected or thought provoking corrections you've gotten or heard so far?

For the most part the technique and style is the same as CCDC. The main differences are flexed foot in Frappe and instead of rolling up in port de bra forward we are asked to flat back up. I find it harder to flat back up because it is harder to not stick your seat out when you are coming up.

6. Who are your dance teachers? Their backgrounds? Who is your favorite? Least? Why?

Many of my teachers were previously professionals with Houston Ballet. One my favorite teachers is Melissa Bowman. She is in charge of the lower school and I have really enjoyed her class because of the way she gives her combinations and she tries to give everyone individual attention. Melissa Bowman started dancing with ABT at age 15 and danced there for 7 years following that she moved to Europe and danced there and came back to the United States and taught and directed with multiple companies. My rep teachers who have been setting Waltz of the Hours on my level are Susan Bryant and Cheryne Busch. Susan Bryant danced for 20 years in Houston Ballet and attained the position of soloist. Cheryne Busch trained in South Africa and owned and operated two dance schools in South Africa for 20 years. She began teaching for Houston Ballet Academy in 1998, where she is now the Upper School Principal. Another one of my favorite teachers is Sally Rojas. She danced at ABT and Houston Ballet. In 2004 she retired and began teaching in the upper school at Houston Ballet Academy. I really like her classes because she gives very hard combinations that she calls ouchies. Her classes are really fun and she has some really good analogies to explain why we do certain things in class and in ballet in general.

7. How hard has the adjustment to new teachers been? What's your best advice for any other CCDC dancers who might follow in your footsteps? What do you miss the most about CCDC? What are you working on technically right now? What was the last correction you were given?

The adjustment to new teaches wasn’t that hard. Their classes are different than the classes that are given at CCDC but it wasn’t very hard to adjust to. We often get through barre very quickly and do a lot of center work, which I really like because we spend a lot of time on jumps. My best advice for other CCDC dancers would be to be confident in yourself because you know you have the technique you just need to be able to show it off and not shy away from showing off when you have the opportunity. What I miss about CCDC the most is the small classes. I miss the small classes because since the classes are so big here that means there are a lot of girls on a barre and some people don’t know how to share a barre so it’s a lot harder when there are a lot of girls on the barre. The last correction I was given was about my turns and spotting, I wasn’t keeping my spot going so my teacher was really trying to work on that with me.

8. What do you know now that you wished you had known before you left?

I wish I would’ve known how big Houston’s program is and how competitive it is.

9. Who's the best dancer you've seen where you are this year? Why are they good? What did they do that impressed you?

The best dancer I have seen this year is Angelina, who is in level 8. She has really nice feet and legs and turnout, but she knows how to use them to her ability and make beautiful lines. She also has a beautiful upper body and makes hard steps look simple and effortless.

10. Tell us about your roomies! Tell us about your fellow dancers. What do you do in your spare time?

My roommate’s name is Emily Y---. She is from Nebraska. We are best friends!! We have been told many times that we must have known each other before we came here or that we are the perfect roommates. In our free time we hang out in our room, play cards with our group of friends, play ping pong or pool in the lobby, sew pointe shoes, or sleep.

11. Have you had a chance to see any performances or rehearsals? Have you had a chance to see much of the city yet? Tell us about your casting, if any. What pieces? What music? Whose choreography? How's that going?

I got to see Houston Ballet perform La Bayadere the Sunday before the intensive started. It was so cool to see the company perform! My level is doing Waltz of the Hours from Coppelia. Susan Bryant and Cheryne Busch are setting it and rehearsing us everyday. We also perform a social dance in the final performance and the this year it is a Bollywood dance. It is really hard and fast but it’s really fun!!

12. When do you come back to CCDC? (Sniff!) Do you miss us at all? (sob!)

The final performance is on Friday, July 28. I will be driving home that day and Saturday, and of course I miss everyone at CCDC!!

...Now, still some more we haven't heard from yetg, hmmmmmm? ROTFL!o)

07.18.2017: Second Summer Survey

SHE ALSO LIVES! A mind-boggling SECOND survey from a popular CCDC dancer gone for the summer!o)
1. Who are you and what city and country are you in this summer? Where are you taking dance classes?

Hi! My name is Jadzia and I am in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this summer. I am taking classes at Milwaukee Ballet.

2. What level of how many levels in dance are you in this year? How are the other students?

This year there are 5 levels and I am in level 5 which is the highest. All together there are around 120 students in the program that are residential and non residential.

3. How many dancers in your classes? How many boys? How many girls?

There are 24 dancers in my classes. 6 boys and 18 girls.

4. What types of dance classes are you taking? What's the hardest to get used to? What's the most fun? Most unusual? What reminds you most of CCDC? What's most different?

This summer I am taking African, hip hop, composition, modern, and Afro Cuban. The hardest to get use to would have to be composition because not only were we doing improvisation exercises but we were also being asked to come up with our own version of a combination while also adding other elements like staying connected to another person by the elbow while both people were supposed to be dancing two different combinations that were put together different from the original combo. The most fun class we've had so far would definitely be hip hop. It was challenging because there were more intricate hand movements but it was still fun because we could just let loose and be more free with our movement. The most unusual I'd have to say was African because the coordination was so different from the kind of coordination used for ballet. Everything was so into the floor but then at the same time you had to still be up enough to do the upper body, so it was pretty hard on the feet sometimes because of all the jumping/stomping. Modern reminded me the most of CCDC because it was Horton which I did with Karina for a couple of years. The most different class I've had is definitely African.

5. What type or style of ballet/pointe/variations/mens classes are you taking? What are the main differences in style or technique from CCDC? What are the most interesting, unexpected or thought provoking corrections you've gotten or heard so far?

The past couple of weeks I have had a more Russian based class, same with pointe and variations. There really aren't any huge differences in style or technique from CCDC, everything is pretty similar to back home. This correction wasn't that interesting or unexpected but one of the teachers I had wanted us to not go through second position at all when we turned. I know at CCDC we do exercises like that a lot so that we learn how to use our backs properly when we turn but I think I had just gotten into such a habit of going through second position that it was harder for me to not at the beginning, even though I do that technique all the time when partnering.

6. Who are your dance teachers? Their backgrounds? Who is your favorite? Least? Why?

For the first week I had Michael Pink, the director of the company teaching my technique class along with Roland Yanes who is the director of the second company. Then I had Denis and Tatiana Malinkine who are some of the main teachers of the second company. This week for the audition we have Mireille Favarel who is the associate director of MBll. Mireille Favarel studied under instructors from Bolshoi, Royal Ballet, and Paris Ballet to name some. Denis Malinkine has a definite Russian background while his wife Tatiana studied at the Kiev Ballet Academy before joining Hartford and Boston Ballet. Roland Yanes received his training at the Professional School of the Arts and the Vocational School of Ballet in Santa Clara. My least favorite teacher would be Micahel Pink just because of the pressure of having the company director teaching class. The class itself was challenging but nothing I am not used to and he was a pleasant and funny person to take class from, it was just the knowledge that he was the company director that added a couple more notches of pressure to the first week. My favorite teacher is Tatiana because she pushes people in class and gets hard on you sometimes but its when you need that extra push. She also likes to have fun in class which makes the class and experience more enjoyable. Her classes remind me of the ones back home. :)

7. How hard has the adjustment to new teachers been? What's your best advice for any other CCDC dancers who might follow in your footsteps? What do you miss the most about CCDC? What are you working on technically right now? What was the last correction you were given?

The adjustment to new teachers has not been that difficult for me because I have had so much practice with it over the last few years. My best advice to give to any other CCDC dancers that may follow in my footsteps is to never forget your training and where it comes from. It will save you in so many ways and it will help you stand out to the teachers. Now that isn't the only thing you need to remember, you need to remember soooo much more then that but it is the first thing that should always be on your mind. Another thing that is tied with this that I would give as advice is to never forget why you are dancing and the joy it brings you when you work so hard to achieve something and then it finally happens. What I miss most about CCDC is all of the girls and teachers. I miss my dance family. :) Right now I am working on trying to continually use my turn out from the inner thigh muscles and the lower seat muscles. From my experience it is really easy to start taking over with the wrong muscles or just forgetting to use them when I'm away so I'm trying to really focus on keeping them in use in the correct way. Some of the last corrections I was given were to have a higher passe, hold my arms when jumping, and to not think about dropping between the positions when doing Italian fouettes, but to think of it more as staying up and staying up with each position so there is no drop in between.

8. What do you know now that you wished you had known before you left?

I feel I have pretty much learned everything I could have learned when going away to a summer program in the last four years I've left. You really just need to be yourself and let the teachers see what you can do and see what your personality is.

9. Who's the best dancer you've seen where you are this year? Why are they good? What did they do that impressed you?

There are a couple of girls in my level that stand out in different ways. There are a couple of girls that are really consistent with turns and can pull out many on a daily basis. There is one girl Leigh, she has very nice control in everything she does. She has a nice calm quality about her.

10. Tell us about your roomies! Tell us about your fellow dancers. What do you do in your spare time?

I was supposed to have a roommate but she got injured so she was unable to come to the intensive but I have 4 great suitemates that I live with. The two I'm closest with are Shelby and Kendra. Shelby is from Arizona and Kendra is from Canada. In our spare time we usually sit around in their room and watch New Girl or on the weekends we will walk to the coffee shop on the corner and to dinner sometimes when the cafeteria is serving something gross. A couple weeks ago we went to Six Flags which was really fun. We got soaked because we went on the log ride and the river raft ride.

11. Have you had a chance to see any performances or rehearsals? Have you had a chance to see much of the city yet? Tell us about your casting, if any. What pieces? What music? Whose choreography? How's that going?

This week level 5 and the people auditioning for MBll have a chance to see the company rehearse some performance pieces for a show they are doing the night before the summer intensive performance. I've gotten to see a little bit of the city when we went to the mall but I haven't gone exploring that much. For my ballet piece we are doing a section to Michael Jackson that is instrumental, the second piece is an instrumental version of Aint No Sunshine When She Comes, and the last section is an instrumental version of Smooth Criminal. There are a bunch of different couples and little group sections that go one in each section but Richard and I have two short sections that we are partnering in when its just the two of us on stage. The choreography is by Timothy O'Donnell who is a resident choreographer with the company along with being a leading artist. We have finished his piece and are just cleaning and redoing some parts that don't look right to him.

12. When do you come back to CCDC? (Sniff!) Do you miss us at all? (sob!)

I my last day is July 28 so I'll be coming back home soon!! I miss everyone soooo much and can't wait to see to see you all and hear about what's been going on at CCDC while I've been gone!!!

...Now, how about the rest of you, hmmmmmm?

07.17.2017: 2017 CCDC Summer Survey

She livez! The first (of, hopefully, many) returns of the 2017 CCDC Summer Survey this year!o)
  1. My name is Leah H----- and I'm in Denver, Colorado at the Colorado Ballet Summer Intensive.
  2. I am in level three out of four levels. The other students are pretty good. Some better than others. The things most people need to work on is technique.
  3. There are 29 girls in my level and no boys.
  4. I'm taking ballet, pointe, modern, and flamenco along with choreography, variations, some yoga and pilates classes and a few seminar classes such as dance history and nutrition. None of them were too terrible to get used to, but if I had to pick I'd say flamenco because the counting is very different. Variations is the most fun because I just really love doing different variations. Nothing is too unusual, but if I had to pick I'd put flamenco in that category as well. Pointe reminds me most of CCDC because the teachers I usually have for pointe give combinations that are somewhat similar to combinations I get at CCDC.
  5. The variation that we are working on right now is the Ballerina Variation from Raymonda. The main difference is that the ballet teachers I have right now don't focus on technique as much (they still do some however)as they do on big movements and really using your upper body. They would rather have that (big movements and upper body) than clean technique. The first two weeks we had a teacher who was a very strange individual who gave us the correction: when, for instance, closing a tendu croise devant and then tenduing out efface devant he wanted us to turn just our upper body to efface and then, in a separate movement, change the rest of our body as we tendu.
  6. My the ballet teachers I've had for the past two weeks are John Gardner and Amanda McKerrow who were both with ABT. We also have Trinity Hamilton this week who was with Joffery and Cirque du Soleil. My favorite teacher is Amanda because her class is really fun and she is the kind of teacher who makes you want to dance. My least favorite is Robert ( I don't know his last name and all I know about him is that he is from Vienna and that he has a modern company called Lemon Sponge Cake). He doesn't say much or give many corrections and it's extremely hard to tell what he wants out of you.
  7. The adjustment to new teachers wasn't too terrible because you go in knowing you'll have new and different teachers than what you are used to. My advice is that if you want corrections stand in the front and also make sure you formulate your questions in your head prior to asking them because the teachers won't be able to read you mind. I miss getting a lot of corrections, clean mirrors, and barre space. Technically I'm working on the usual- using my turnout and little seat muscles to do everything, making sure I always get to a clean fifth, and staying square in arabesque, to name a few. The last correction I got was in my en dehors pirouette from fourth to the left to use the same amount of force as I do to the right and to start turing already in the plie (I guess I'm Leah deeper-through-second H----- everywhere I go).
  8. To not worry so much about making friends right away because you will make friends it's just a thing that happens naturally.
  9. Often times the RA's (who are in either the company or the studio company) take class with us. One of our RA's named Sean is very good! He has very clean technique, can jump REALLY well and high, and his beats are very clean and big.
  10. My roommate is named Sophie and she is 15 and from Brooklyn (she also has purple hair). She sprained her ankle before the start of the intensive so she wasn't there (and I had no roommate) for the first two weeks. A chunk of my good friends live in the Denver area and don't stay in the dorms so I only get to see them during the day :(, but there are still plenty in the dorms!! I don't have too much spare time but I usually just relax, hang out with friends, or work on summer homework for AP classes :(.
  11. I haven't gotten to see any performances or rehearsals. I have gotten to see a lot of the city, however. I really like Denver! It's very artsy and there is a large population of young people. For the show we're doing a piece choreographed by Robert (previously mentioned) and it's a bit stale. He changed the music from when he choreographed it and it's extremely difficult to count. However, we are also doing a flamenco piece to some music from Carmen and that's really fun and I like it!
  12. I'll be back at CCDC on July 24th. Of course I do! Is that even a question?!
...Now, what about the rest of you, hmmmmmm? LOL!o)

07.14.2017: Arts Funding

State Department of Culture handing out some big bucks:
Iowa Arts Council awards $1.3 million in grants
152 grants awarded to artists and organizations in 66 communities

(Capital City News Service) - Blazing an art trail through the countryside. Reviving old-fashioned printmaking in a historic post office. Tracing connections between the environment and people of color.

These are just three of the 152 innovative projects that will receive grants for fiscal year 2018 from the Iowa Arts Council.

Overall, the Iowa Arts Council awarded $1,301,546 to organizations, people and projects in 66 communities across 45 Iowa counties today. View a list of grantees, alphabetized by grant, then by city. The Iowa Arts Council received 260 eligible grant applications requesting $1,992,611 during this funding cycle.

"These investments support artists and organizations who are raising the quality of life in our communities and making them more culturally vibrant and attractive places to live," Iowa Arts Council Administrator Matthew Harris said. "We congratulate this year's grant recipients and encourage all Iowans to fully experience and enjoy the arts in Iowa."

The Southwest Iowa Arts Council received a $3,000 grant to present the Southwest Iowa Art Tour, which connects people from rural communities to artists through a self-guided tour in an eight-county region. The tour will take Iowans and others to more than 22 different locations where they can interact with 75 artists in galleries and studios.

Meanwhile, the Poste Print Festival in Perry received a $1,895 grant in support of its one-day festival on Oct. 17 in the newly renovated 1913 post office. The festival celebrates original prints ? and? the artists who created them. The festival will expose the general public to traditional printmaking and promote, grow and create new connections in the arts community in the state.

Over in Iowa City, Public Space One received a $6,100 grant to bring three different artists to Iowa City ?for? artist residencies called "Ecologies," which explores the relationships between ecology, environment and experiences of people of color who have been marginalized. Each artist will visit Iowa City a month at a time this summer to work on their art and share it through youth workshops and public programs.

The grant funding was awarded through a variety of categories, including the following:

  • 42 Art Project Grants: $320,794
  • 8 Cultural Heritage Project Grants: $66,360
  • 11 Capacity Building Grants: $27,500
  • 2 Partnership Grants: $20,000
  • 5 Artist Fellowships: $50,000
  • 3 Arts Build Communities Grants: $30,000
  • 26 School Arts Experience Grants: $21,892
  • 55 Cultural Leadership Partners: $765,000
The Iowa Arts Council is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. More information is available at or 515-281-5111.

07.13.2017: Catch Our Rising Starz!

Here's a chance to catch a CCDC alumni (and her li'l bro'!) in this local production AT A DISCOUNT! Offer good TODAY only!o)
Get $10 Tickets to the final dress rehearsal of "The Music Man"

7:30 PM Thursday, July 13, 2017
Tickets go on sale, online only, 10 AM, Thursday, July 13.

There's trouble in River City! Fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill (Brad Church) cons Iowa-stubborn citizens by convincing them to purchase instruments and uniforms for a boys' band. But his plans to skip town with the money are thwarted when he meets Marian (Katy Merriman), the librarian, and falls in love… first with her, and then with the town. The Music Man is Meredith Willson's tribute to his home state, and one of the Playhouse's most-requested musicals.

The Playhouse cast is directed and choreographed by Steven Flaa with music direction by Brenton Brown. The cast includes Luke Agey, Johathan Allemagne, Dr. Kevin Allemagne, Madeline Rose Allemagne, Alice Anderson, Kelsie Anderson, JJ Binion, Leah Black, Kyle Bochart, Brian Bopp, Susan Breen-Held, Allison Buechler, Caitlyn Dean, Brian Dowd, Jack Gabby, Jillian Michelle Gabby, Michael Garrison, Molly Hackman, Tyler Hackman, Melanie Hall, Charissa L. Hamel, Chad Hart, Will C. Johnson, Greg Kephart, Elysa Koss, Keaton Lane, Jonah Larsen, Rob Larsen, Hannah Martin, Joseph Maxwell, Tess Meggison, Dean Messerly, Taylor Millar, Preshia Paulding, Jennifer Phelps, Zechariah Pitcher, Taylor Rose, Maggie Schmitt, Najma Sharaff, and Connor Smalley.

Get tickets for a regular performance!
Meredith Willson's The Music Man runs July 14-Aug. 6.

07.12.2017: Support Our Rising Starz!

Catch a CCDC alumna (and her little bro'!) in this local production!o)
Des Moines Community Playhouse Presents “Meredith Willson’s The Music Man”

The Des Moines Community Playhouse presents Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man,” July 14-Aug. 6, 2017. Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at 515-277-6261, or at the Playhouse ticket office, 831 42nd St.

There’s trouble in River City! Fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill (Brad D. Church) cons Iowa-stubborn citizens by convincing them to purchase instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band. But his plans to skip town with the money are thwarted when he meets Marian (Katy Merriman), the librarian, and falls in love… first with her, and then with the town. “The Music Man” is Meredith Willson’s tribute to his home state, and one of the Playhouse’s most-requested musicals.

The Playhouse cast includes Luke Agey, Jonathan Allemagne, Dr. Kevin Allemagne, Madeline Rose Allemagne, Alice Anderson, Kelsie Anderson, JJ Binion, Leah Black, Kyle Bochart, Brian Bopp, Susan Breen-Held, Alison Buechler, Caitlyn Dean, Brian Dowd, Jack Gabby, Jillian Michelle Gabby, Michael Garrison, Molly Hackman, Tyler Hackman, Melanie Hall, Charissa L. Hamel, Will C. Johnson, Greg Kephart, Elysa Koss, Keaton Lane, Jonah Larsen, Rob Larsen, Hannah Martin, Joseph Maxwell, Tess Meggison, Dean Messerly, Taylor Miillar, Preshia Paulding, Jennifer Phelps, Zechariah Pitcher, Taylor Rose, Maggie Schmitt, Najma Sharaff, and Connor Smalley. “The Music Man” is directed and choreographed by Steven Flaa, with musical direction by Brenton Brown.

The Playhouse is one of the oldest and largest community theatres in the US. Located at the 42nd Street exit of I-235, the theatre has presented a full season of shows since 1919 and also offers a wide variety of educational experiences including classes for ages 4 to adult, theatre trips to New York, and volunteer opportunities onstage and backstage.

For more information about the Playhouse and “The Music Man,” contact the Playhouse ticket office at 515-277-6261.

Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man'” Performances: July 14-Aug. 6, 2017
7:30 PM Wednesdays-Saturdays
2:00 PM Sundays
2:00 PM, Sunday, July 23, 2017, performance has live audio description provided by IRIS

Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man'” Tickets
Ticket prices start at $29
To purchase tickets:
Des Moines Community Playhouse Ticket Office, 831 42nd St., Des Moines, IA 50312

07.11.2017: Audition Action

Info courtesy The Culture Buzz

1. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Ankeny Community Theatre will hold auditions Sunday, July 16 at 6:00 p.m. and Monday, July 17 at 6:00 p.m. Please prepare 16-32 bars of a song, preferably a character song, not from this show. An accompanist will be provided if you bring sheet music, or you'll be able to play recorded music. Dress prepared to learn a short movement routine. You will be asked to read from the script, and to demonstrate your spelling technique (an improvisation exercise to show creativity).

2. Iowa Stage Theatre Company Fall Season Auditions – for the musical Company, the play The Flick, and A Christmas Carol (select roles). See website link for complete information.

When: Sunday, July 16 1:00-5:00 pm & Monday, July 17 6:00 - 10:00 pm
Where: Iowa Stage Rehearsal Space: 111 11th Street (between Cherry and Mulberry; two blocks from the Des Moines Social Club). Selected Callbacks: to be held Tuesday, July 18 from 6:00 - 11:00 pm at the Iowa Stage rehearsal space. To Schedule: Please contact Lauren Dursky at to schedule an audition.

07.10.2017: Time 4 Annual CCDC Summer Survey!

It's that time again! With several Capital City Dance Center students training at national summer intensives, time to dust off the annual SUMMER SURVEY! Stay in touch! Let us know how you're doing! Fill this out and e-mail it to us! C'mon! Enquiring minds wanna know!o)
1. Who are you and what city and country are you in this summer? Where are you taking dance classes?
2. What level of how many levels in dance are you in this year? How are the other students?
3. How many dancers in your classes? How many boys? How many girls?
4. What types of dance classes are you taking? What's the hardest to get used to? What's the most fun? Most unusual? What reminds you most of CCDC? What's most different?
5. What type or style of ballet/pointe/variations/mens classes are you taking? What are the main differences in style or technique from CCDC? What are the most interesting, unexpected or thought provoking corrections you've gotten or heard so far?
6. Who are your dance teachers? Their backgrounds? Who is your favorite? Least? Why?
7. How hard has the adjustment to new teachers been? What's your best advice for any other CCDC dancers who might follow in your footsteps? What do you miss the most about CCDC? What are you working on technically right now? What was the last correction you were given?
8. What do you know now that you wished you had known before you left?
9. Who's the best dancer you've seen where you are this year? Why are they good? What did they do that impressed you?
10. Tell us about your roomies! Tell us about your fellow dancers. What do you do in your spare time?
11. Have you had a chance to see any performances or rehearsals? Have you had a chance to see much of the city yet? Tell us about your casting, if any. What pieces? What music? Whose choreography? How's that going?
12. When do you come back to CCDC? (Sniff!) Do you miss us at all? (sob!)
...C'mon! Do it BEFORE you get back!o)

07.07.2017: Exciting Exit Interview, Part Trois

Dancers! Listen in on the exit interview with CCDC Guest Ballet Instructor Maddee Campbell! (Recorded in a restaurant. Best with headphones or earbuds!o) Last of three parts:

Copyright Capital City Dance Center

...Pass the word!

07.06.2017: Voices of Angelz

Vienna Boys Choir has Dubuque Concert planned

(Courtesy Capital City News Service) -- The Vienna Boys Choir will perform in Dubuque this fall. The Dubuque Arts Council is sponsoring the program at the University of Dubuque Heritage Center on November 17th at 7:30 p.m. The choir includes four ensembles of about 25 boys between the ages of ten and 14. The program for the evening is called "Bella Italia" and will feature popular and classical compositions from Italy. Tickets for the Vienna Boys Choir go on sale on Wednesday at the University of Dubuque Heritage Center.

07.05.2017: Arts Hapz

Check this out at the DsM Arts Center!
New single-channel video at Des Moines Art Center features Kenyan multi-media artist Wangechi Mutu

(Capital City News Service) – On July 20 the Des Moines Art Center will open Wangechi Mutu’s The End of eating Everything, the third video in the Single-channel 7 series, Journeys into Peripheral Worlds. Wangechi Mutu will be on view in the Pamela Bass-Bookey and Harry Bookey Gallery, Richard Meier building, through October 15, 2017.

Mutu is perhaps best known for her fantastical collages that disrupt Western narratives about the black female body. The artist states, The End of eating Everything comes “out of the world of my collages . . . this film is a slice of my own type of magic realism, as a real and tragic space caught in time.” Starring musician Santigold as a creature with eyes of an Egyptian goddess and hair like Medusa, the video follows the protagonist’s quest for sustenance in the form of a flock of crows. As the journey continues, this sci-fi story takes a turn that ultimately condemns the environmental impact of excessive consumption.

07.04.2017: Ballet 'Binge'

Wanna binge watch some ballet vids this July Fourth? Light 'em up, boyz! (and girlz!o)

07.03.2017: Accruing A Curator

Welcome a new arts advocate to town:
Des Moines Art Center welcomes new assistant curator

(Capital City News Service) – The Des Moines Art Center is pleased to announce the appointment of Jared Ledesma as its new assistant curator. Ledesma’s first exhibition at the Art Center, I, too, am America, opens this fall, and will feature political and activist art from the 1930s to 2000.

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Ledesma worked in the painting and sculpture curatorial department at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) for more than six years; at the Richmond Art Center in Richmond, California; and at the former Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco. While at SFMOMA, Ledesma worked extensively with the museum’s permanent collection and on special exhibitions, including the award winning The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde (2011), Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California (2014-15), Portraits and Other Likenesses from SFMOMA (2015), Matisse/Diebenkorn (2016-17) and, most recently, Paul Klee and Rex Ray (2017). Ledesma’s art historical training is in 20th-century Modern art, and in Queer art history. His graduate work focused on the contemporary artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres, on whom Ledesma has lectured extensively. Ledesma holds both a BA and MA in art history from San Francisco State University.

Ledesma says of his move to Des Moines: “I’ve known about the Des Moines Art Center for quite some time due to its excellent reputation, and I’m excited to be here. I am in the process of exploring the permanent collection, which keeps surprising me with many amazing works of art. On a less formal note, after living in Des Moines for a little more than three months, I can say that it’s a fantastic cosmopolitan city that has plenty to offer. And the people I’ve met so far have been very warm and welcoming, which has made living far from home much easier. I look forward to working with the Art Center’s extraordinary staff, and to meeting members of my new community.”

06.30.2017: Arts Hapz

Notification from John Busbee of the Culture Buzz:

  1. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Ankeny Community Theatre will hold auditions Sunday, July 16 at 6:00 p.m. and Monday, July 17 at 6:00 p.m. Please prepare 16-32 bars of a song, preferably a character song, not from this show. An accompanist will be provided if you bring sheet music, or you'll be able to play recorded music. Dress prepared to learn a short movement routine. You will be asked to read from the script, and to demonstrate your spelling technique (an improvisation exercise to show creativity).

  2. Iowa Stage Theatre Company Fall Season Auditions – for the musical Company, the play The Flick, and A Christmas Carol (select roles). See website link for complete information.
    When: Sunday, July 16 1:00-5:00 pm & Monday, July 17 6:00 - 10:00 pm
    Where: Iowa Stage Rehearsal Space: 111 11th Street (between Cherry and Mulberry; two blocks from the Des Moines Social Club). Selected Callbacks: to be held Tuesday, July 18 from 6:00 - 11:00 pm at the Iowa Stage rehearsal space.
    To Schedule: Please contact Lauren Dursky at to schedule an audition.

06.28.2017: Summer Series

More free family entertainment this summer:
Zenith Chamber Music Festival set for Aug. 15-19

Zenith Chamber Music Festival returns this summer with free chamber performances by local and international artists in some of central Iowa’s most attractive venues.

The family-friendly festival runs August 15-19 in venues including the Salisbury House, Jasper Winery, Johnston Public Library, St. John’s Lutheran Church, and Drake University’s Sheslow Auditorium.

Now entering its third year, Zenith complements Des Moines’ many pop and rock music festivals, filling the summer air with a burst of fresh styles. Each evening’s performance is different from the one before, with repertoire that balances traditional classical music with klezmer, jazz, and other diverse musical styles.

“We’re delighted once again to invite the community to join us for the Zenith Chamber Music Festival, which brings classical music out of the traditional concert halls and into the community for an exceptionally accessible and memorable experience,” said Artistic Director Ashley Sidon, the Briggs Endowed Professor of Cello at Drake University.

Performance dates, times, and locations are as follows:

  • Tuesday, Aug. 15, 7:30 p.m.: Salisbury House, 4025 Tonawanda Dr.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 16, noon: Sheslow Auditorium, 2507 University Ave.
    -Young artist masterclass: Select Iowa students will perform, then be taught by Zenith’s featured artists.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 16, 6:30 p.m.: Johnston Public Library, 6700 Merle Hay Rd.
    -featuring the Damani Phillips Quartet
  • Thursday, Aug. 17, 6 p.m.: Jasper Winery, 2400 George Flagg Pkwy.
  • Friday, Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m.: St. John’s Lutheran Church, 600 6th Ave.
  • Saturday, Aug. 19, 7:30 p.m.: Sheslow Auditorium, Drake University, 2507 University Ave.
Featured national artists include Anna Reider, first violinist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; violinist Helen Hwaya Kim; Anthony Kitai, cellist with the Houston Symphony; pianist Kelly Kuo; Sheldon Person, violist with the Houston Symphony; and Ashley Sandor Sidon, cellist at Drake University.

06.27.2017: Exciting Exit Interview, Part Deux

Dancers! Listen in on the exit interview with CCDC Guest Ballet Instructor Maddee Campbell! (Recorded in a restaurant. Best with headphones or earbuds!o) Second of three parts:

Copyright Capital City Dance Center

...Final part of the three-part interview coming soon! Pass the word!

06.26.2017:Summer Series

Free family entertainment about to get underway in "the City of Speed Traps":
Music in the Park

The Windsor Heights Foundation is proud to announce its line-up for the 2017 Windsor Heights Music in the Park Concert Series. Ten free, family-oriented concerts are planned for Colby Park, 6900 School Street, beginning June 13, 2017. Bob Dorr of The Blue Band, opened the series. Food trucks and local vendors will add to the fun for all. All concerts are planned for Tuesday nights, starting at 7 p.m.

June 27 Hold On
July 11 Scott Davis
July 18 Jimmy the Weasel
July 25 Broken Keys
August 1 Des Moines Community Band
August 8 Renegade

06.23.2017: Arts Haps This Weekend!

The BIG Arts Festival underway this weekend!o) Here's a taste of what's in store:
  • Juried Art Fair featuring 178 visual artists representing 29 states and the countries of Argentina and Canada who have been selected from a competitive jury process sponsored by Nationwide Insurance
  • Emerging Iowa Artists Program and artist workshops presented by PrincipalSM
  • Des Moines Storytellers Project: The Secret Lives of Artists presented by The Des Moines Register
  • 48 film screenings at the Interrobang Film Festival
  • Prairie Meadows Community Outreach Program showcasing and supporting 22 Central Iowa non-profit organizations.
  • The live music of Saint Motel and Sires on Friday night and Big Head Todd and the Monsters on Saturday night, along with local favorites The Maytags, Halfloves and GoodCat on the Hy-Vee Main Stage
  • Acoustic Stage presented by Meredith Corporation featuring Joe Purdy and The Pines
  • eVenti Verticali’s WANTED presented by Athene
  • Secret Walls presented by Wells Fargo
  • BOOM ART! presented by MidAmerican Energy Company
  • The street theatre experience of Bill Robison and Fantastick Patrick as well as activities in the Creative Zone
  • Green Arts Zero-Waste Sustainability Program presented by Voya Financial®
  • Silent Rivers Design+Build VIP Club, Hospitality Suites, and #DMAFcurated exhibit
  • More than 1,200 volunteers sponsored by ARAG
  • Des Moines Art Center’s Student Art Exhibition and Visionary Artists Ceremony presented by Hubbell Homes Artist Demonstrations presented by John Deere
  • Media Zones with CenturyLink Wi-Fi, charging stations hosted by WHO-HD
  • More than 25 Interactive Arts Activities
  • Self-guided painting with Pinot’s Palette
  • WHO-HD celebrities Meet & Greet
  • DART bus unveiling and art tours presented by DART and the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation
  • Official merchandise and apparel available at two Arts Festival Shops
  • Wide variety of beverages from Budweiser, Gateway Market, Stella Artois and craft beer
  • Iowa Craft Beer Tent and Court Ave. Brewing Co. featuring the Festival’s specialty craft brews
  • More than 20 eclectic food booths and food trucks
  • Sculpture Garden
As you prepare to make your journey downtown to the 20th edition of the award-winning Des Moines Arts Festival, here are a few tips to make your life a little easier:

Getting there:

  • Street Closures. Streets in and around downtown will be closed this morning through Monday morning. Please plan accordingly knowing that when you get there, it will all be worth it!
  • Bike Valet. Bypass the traffic and ride your bike. We have a complimentary Bike Valet thanks to our friends at Friends of Central Iowa Trails. The Bike Valet is located at the corner of 15th and Locust streets.
  • DART. Ride the bus! There are plenty of routes leading you into and out of downtown. The D-Line will also be running.
  • Parking. Complimentary parking is available in the Nationwide garage after 3:30 p.m. on Friday through the weekend.
  • Valet Parking. Bypass finding a parking spot by valet parking your car at 13th and Walnut for $10/vehicle.
  • Handicap Parking. Designated handicap parking is located on Walnut St., south of the Festival grounds, outside the 12th and Walnut entrance. Parking is limited and on a first-come, first served basis.
For a full list of options how to reach and park at the Festival, including walking, riding your bike, taking DART, and more, visit

And here is the link to our pesky policies. Here you will find answers to things like "Can I bring my own beverages?" and "Are pets allowed?" Other great information:

  • Wi-fi. Thanks to our friends at Centurylink, the entire Festival site is outfitted with complimentary wi-fi.
  • Calendar. For a full list of events throughout the three-day Festival, and to create your own personalized events calendar, visit
  • Money, Money, Money. There are multiple ATM locations throughout the site. In addition, the Arts Festival Shops and all beverage stations accept credit cards. Most artists accept credit cards as well.
The Des Moines Storytellers Project is proud to present six amazing storytellers who will share tales about all the ways art and creativity are central to life as they live it during "The Secret Lives of Artists."

Taking the stage June 21 at Bash Events and Catering, these tellers' deeply personal stories will explore how they became artists, the stories behind their work and how creativity, imagination, and originality impact the place and time we live in.

Des Moines Arts Festival artists Ella Richards (2017 Best of Show); Marjolyn van der Hart (2017 Award of Excellence); and Brad and Sundie Ruppert will join community visionary Joany Yi; The Des Moines Register's consumer experience director Allen Vaughan; and Des Moines artist Van Holmgren for this inspiring evening hosted by Stephen King and The Des Moines Register reporter, Courtney Crowder.

06.22.2017:Summer Cinema

Weekly classics returning to the Fleur Cinema:
Summer Series starts Thursday!

Four campy cult classics. Four frightful flicks. Four marvelous musicals.

The Summer Series begins this Thursday at 7:30 pm with Tommy Wiseau's beloved disasterpiece, "the Citizen Kane of bad movies," THE ROOM. See it on the big screen!

Full Schedule

THE ROOM – Thursday, June 22
SCREAM – Thursday, June 29
WEST SIDE STORY – Thursday, July 6
MOMMIE DEAREST – Thursday, July 13
GREASE – Thursday, July 27
MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE – Thursday, August 10
ROSEMARY'S BABY – Thursday, August 24
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS – Thursday, August 31
MAC & ME – Thursday, September 7
HALLOWEEN – Thursday, September 14
THE SOUND OF MUSIC – Thursday, September 21
All start @ 7:30 pm.
Tickets $8. Pick Four pass $25. Full Series Pass $50.
...More information here.

06.21.2017: Summer Sojourn

Update from the Big Apple from CCDC Young Children's Division Director Jill Andrews:
Subject: Hello from the Big Apple

(my daughter)'s Joffrey NYC ballet studio is sandwiched in between studios where Miss Saigon and Dreamgirls Broadway singers and dancers are auditioning on either side in the theater district. Disney is auditioning 8 floors below.

(my daughter)'s ballet, pointe, variations and repertory teacher's bio is below:

Ms. Irene Hogarth-Cimino was born in South Africa, training in the Cecchetti Method with Joy Shearer, Patricia Mcintosh and Faith Devilliers, and graduated with a Performing Art’s Diploma from the University of Cape-Town. Ms. Hogarth-Cimino continued her training in New York at the School of American Ballet, the Joffrey School and the Martha Graham School, attending workshops with Twyla Tharp, coaching with Gelsey Kirkland and Charla Genn, and the Paris Opera Ballet Seminars. She danced soloist and principal roles with South Africa’s Cape Town Ballet and NAPAC Dance Company before joining the American Repertory Ballet, under directorship of Septime Webre. Ms. Hogarth-Cimino joined Ballet Hispanico in 2000 and performed with the company for eight years before transitioning into an artistic and administrative role as the Artistic Assistant to founder, Tina Ramirez; Ballet Mistress and teacher for the school and company; and more recently as Ballet Hispanico’s Deputy School Director. In 2008 she worked in collaboration with Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov to develop and implement the ballet curriculum for Ballet Hispanico’s pre-professional training program. Ms. Hogarth-Cimino began teaching in 1995 under the mentorship of one of South Africa’s leading teachers of children, Natalie Stern, and has taught master classes and been a guest teacher at numerous schools and companies, including American Repertory Ballet; Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, Israel; UC Santa Barbara; Marymount College, NY; The Julliard School; Alvin Ailey School; Princeton Ballet School; Steyvesant High School and La Guardia High School of the Performing Arts.
Her class appears very decent. (my daughter) seems at home. And her teacher has already demoted one student.

This afternoon she studies Jazz and Flamenco. The Miss Saigon chorus dancers just entered their studio.

Happy Summer of Dancing,

(And for busy (my daughter))

PS Thanks for preparing (my daughter) enough to go out into the relatively small world of dance. Thanks for helping her persevere through injury last audition season so she can continue to grow and prosper and work hard now in good health.

...and here's more after we told her to tell her daughter we're proud of her and to work hard:
I told her. Thank you.

So far, quote of the day from her ballet teacher:

"Once you get the proper placement and master every little detail you can do anything. The ages of 11-15 are the most important years for training a ballet dancer." Irene Hogarth-Cimino
Today her studio is sandwiched in between singing and dancing and rapping auditions for the Broadway play Hamilton.

(my daughter) is super excited. She gets to take Pas De Deux class at the end of her day. A concert Joffrey male dancer showed up to spend the day with them. She made the second highest level at this location.

She says her ballet classes are very challenging but doable. Yesterday in Variations class her teacher taught Gold, Silver and Sapphire variations from Sleeping Beauty.

Last night in her sleep (my daughter)'s elbows were flailing. I asked her why this morning. She told me she danced all night running those variations through her brain all night long.

Happy First Day of Summer!


06.20.2017: Exciting Exit Interview

Dancers! Listen in on the exit interview with CCDC Guest Ballet Instructor Maddee Campbell! (Recorded in a restaurant. Best with headphones or earbuds!o) First of three parts:

Copyright Capital City Dance Center

...Second part of the three-part interview coming soon! Pass the word! And, interviews with other guest dance instructors also coming!

06.19.2017: WDsM Arts Commission Meets

On January 24, 2011 the West Des Monies City Council approved the formation of a Public Arts Program which included the establishment of a seven member, four year term Public Arts Advisory Commission. This commission advises the City on the selection and installation of public art throughout the city.

The West Des Moines Public Arts Advisory Commission meets monthly the fourth Thursday at 5:30pm. For information on the Commission please contact WDM Parks and Recreation at 222-3444 or

06.09.2017: Sur Les Pointe

Men en pointe!

06.09.2017: Arts Fest Dance Event

Combining climbing with performing:
eVenti Verticali

Des Moines has never seen anything like it before! eVenti Verticali (Vertical Theatre) is an Italian vertical acrobatic dance team performing high above the crowd on a 90-degree animated projection floor where they step, run, jump, dance and tell a story.

Vertical Theatre is a language that brings together different art forms, starting from Theatre and circus, graphics, acrobatics, dance, and music, to visual comedy and new technologies. All of these different disciplines get reinvented and adapted to unusual and impressive vertical locations: towers, buildings façades, bell towers, walls, cliffs, trees and great outdoors.

Founded in 2006 from an idea of Andrea and Luca Piallini, eVenti Verticali has performed shows all around the world promoting the Vertical Theatre in twenty different countries. On June 22, they premiere their vertical show at the Des Moines Arts Festival thanks to our friends at Athene.

See them on Thursday, June 22 at dusk and Friday and Saturday night at 10 p.m. immediately following the headline performance on the Hy-Vee Main Stage.

eVenti Verticali is presented at the Des Moines Arts Festival by Athene.

06.07.2017: Arts Hapz

Courtesy of John Busbee and the Culture Buzz:
Cultural Considerations:

1. Noce – Theatre finishes its short run of The Last Five Years June 9-11. Starring Max Wellman & Katy Merriman, Directed by David A. VanCleave, Music Directed by Brenton Brown, Produced by Bob Filippone and Max Wellman. This production uses the full orchestration as originally presented, a majestic and flawless orchestra of piano, violin, two cellos, string bass, and guitar.
2. Ankeny Community Theatre, The Middle of Yesterday (Drama - Rated PG ) runs through June 18, 2017.
3. Des Moines Playhouse production of Steel Magnolias continues through Jun 18. This wonderful story boasts a strong, talented cast of regional stars.
4. The June engagement of THE NAKED MAGICIANS performance at the Temple Theater has been rescheduled for October 20-22, 2017 due to an unfortunate injury to one of the performers. THE NAKED MAGICIANS. Stay tuned for more details in the fall.

06.06.2017: Dancer To The Rescue

Ballet training comes in handy:
Ballet dancer describes rescuing man shoved onto Manhattan subway tracks

(Capital City News Service) -- A ballet dancer is sharing the amazing story of how he saved a man who fell onto subway tracks on New York's upper west side. "American Ballet Theater" performer Gray Davis says his training came in handy, because he knew how to lift with his legs. The man had been pushed onto the tracks and police have arrested a woman in the attack. Davis made the save even while sidelined from performing in the ballet because of a herniated disk.

06.05.2017: Summer Intensive Alternative

So, merde to all the students starting the 2017 CCDC Summer Intensive today! But, suppose you're working all day or are on the summer intensive faculty and can't take all those wonderful classes? CCDC's @SirDanGuy is in the same leaky boat without a paddle! So, he's going to be offering classes from 6:30-to-whenever? Pass the word! It's Monday-Thursday and, possibly, Saturday and Sunday from 1:00pm. Everyone's welcome (Intermediate to professional ballet dancers or students!) Let's commiserate together and DANCE anyway, 'k? Charge negotiable! (Mow my lawn? Wash and wax my car? Paint my house?)

05.30.2017: Finally! The Finale!

Say goodbye to DWTS until this fall...possibly!
"Dancing With The Stars!"
Season 24
Week Ten: The Championships
"Finally, the Finale"

Opening Number: Last three standing! Who's missing? The Glee Girl! Heather! Love the Cub, but... David, Normani and Rashad! Freestyle coming up! And the 24-hour challenge next night!

Team David and Lindsey: Redemption dances! Viennese Waltz! Shocked to advance to the finals!"I'm definitely not the best dancer! But, I owe it all to the fans!" THey're going to the tape to study his weaknesses! His family is waiting! His family is supportive! He lumbers out on the floor to start! Len is not being transported to old Vienna, that's for sure! His Rear is under and he is stepping aggressively! He's much better and is one of the most improved of the season!. Still needs to work on the fame and the shoulders! Proud dad and daughter dancing well in the redemption dance! I give him a nine! Standing ovation from the audience and the judges! Congrats from the judges! Cinderella story! "I never dreamt you'd make it to the ball!" "Always a pleasure and a joy to watch you dance!" "You are full of hard work!" "You used the lemon this week!" "You are the fan favorite!" "You kept the glow and the flow of the dance! You are so love able out there!" "You are a hero! You've beaten long odds to be here! You make the best connection!" Real judges: 8, 8, 9, 8! Too little, too late? "I'm not disappointed! This is my last chance to dance and I'm enjoying it!"

Team Normani and Val: She's the one to beat! Coming off a string of perfect scores! She's so likable! Doing Quickstep! Ramping up the speed! She suffered an injury in rehearsal! Show must go on! She's a consummate performer! She's not going to show any effects but, it might've affected the rehearsal process! What charisma! What technique! The cat suit hides nothing. And there's nothing to hide! She might as well be naked out there! This quick step is living up to its name! here athleticism youth and energy on full parade! Val is stunned! I give her that ten! An athletic, aerobic and artistic outing! And, what a bod! "You have been one of the most consistent couples of the season!" "We have the highest expectations for you!" "I saw a loss of body contact!" "THAT WAS BRILLIANT!" "I'm with him, that was FANTASTIC!" "You are the BOMB!" "It's gotta be fast, but you don't hurry!" Right to the scores! Real judges: 10, 9, 9, 10! Sets the standard for the opening round of the finals!

Team Rashad and Emma: Has Emma ever been in the finals? Ever had a chance to choreograph a free style? "I've never won at anything! Nothing has ever been handed to me!" Viennese Waltz! "Since I'm here! Might as well WIN!" They look stunning in an deep emerald green! Strong hip lead! He's such a leading man! He has a performing career ahead of him on stage and in the movies if he wants! Strong connection also in this performance! You can tell the like and respect each other! I give him a ten! "Polished, majestic, smooth as silk!" "Your footwork has become unrecognizable!" "You are the MAGIC man!" "I saw improvement at every level of dance!" "This is not the end for you! Constant improvement!" Emma is over the moon! He says, "I'm fighting for Emma!" Real judges: 10, 10 from Len for the first time! 10, 10! There's the warning shot!

"Dirty Dancing" on ABC! Wednesday! NIght! Missed it! Looking for the download!

The Freestyle Dances!

Team Davidsey: She's a two time finalist! "Go big or go home, baby!" Selling the peanuts! They bump into each other. Lindsey out fit amazing! He fakes failing at hopping over the dugout fence! He looks natural with a bat in his hand! Infectious beat in this music! High energy dance! Fly the 'W'! Flag at the end! I give him a ten! "A grand slam home run!" "That was such fun!" "You just knocked it out of the park!" "Only thing that was missing was a beer and a hotdog and some Cracker Jacks!" "Tonight you hit your personal best! Thank you for giving us a memorable freestyle!" Real judges: 10, 10, 10, 10! Ending the season with a perfect score!

Team Normal: She's so genuinely likable! She's amazing! The freestyle defines your season!" They bring in the boy from SYTYCD Juniors! Her solo is breathtaking already! "What the world needs now is love sweet love! Glow sticks glitter in the crowd! She's the best of the best! The rest can just watch and wish! The kids join them and chainne off! Returning to the stars! This girls is a star and deserves to win from day one! Uh-maizing! Hand it to the kids! But, hand it most of all to Nomani! She gets another ten from me! "Your light is amazing!" "I'm a different person walking out than I was walking in!" "You are so inspirational, so achingly beautiful! It was like watching angels dancing!" "You're In a class all your own!" "So emotional! So beautiful!" Real judges: 10, 10, 10, 10! "What'd ya expect!"

Team Rashemma: Marching drums music! "It has to be perfect!" Rashad gives choreographic input! Emma cries during the video package! "The student has become the teacher!" "I've never won the big game and this is my chance!" NOW we're seeing the tru heart of Rashad! Some Funk women hip hop! This is the halftime show of my Super Bowl! Shows a slowdown for just a second! But, he catches the winning pass at the end and explodes in fun! His daughter is not impressed in the stands! He gets a ten and more, too! Judges, most of them, are standing! "YOU have been holding back on us! SO AMAZING!" "You have gone from strength to strength!" "That is such an ICONIC freestyle!" Real Judges: 10, 10, 10, 10!

The Second and Final Night of the Finals :

Opening Dance: Ferris Wheel start to the Grand Finale! An outdoor start! "First of about 20,000 confetti canyons tonight!" Rashad has the momentum heading into the presentation, but, Normani is SOO good!"

24 hour fusion dance Watching the professionals dance is so instructive, even in the bump backs to programming!. Check out DWTSTour.Com!o).

Team David/Lindsey: Foxtrot Salsa Fusion! "One more time!" Last dance for the underdogs this season! "Don't be sad because it's ending, be happy that it happened!" This dance shows just how far he's come! It's a little careful, but, it's cause he has to be careful! He's the people's champion! They should award him a consolation mirror-ball just for that! I give him a nine! "That was proper FUSION!" Kudos to the choreographer! "Watching you gives me joy!" "This entire season you have not disappointed me at all!" "You are the reason why I dance! You remind me of why I dance!" "You are the crowd-pleaser!" "I don't know anyone who has touched me more than you have when you dance!" "The voting audience got it right!" Real judges: 9, 9, 9, 9! Leaves the door open!

Team Normani/Val: Argentine Tango/Foxtrot fusion! "This has been a very special season for me!", says Val. "I don't cry," she says through tears! She's such a pleasure to watch! So sharp and smooth alternating lay! Her smile is dancing! Her eyes are dancing! Her bangs are flying and that smile is flashing! Wow! As Artem says this girl could dance alongside the pros on this show! The last dance is perfection! She gets a ten from me! WOW! "It was seamless!" "It was flawless!" "You are STUNNING!" "You are such a MAGNIFICENT creature! Such power. Such Beauty! Such versatility!" "You were born to win this competition!" "Clean and precise, but, with such flair! Such a consistent dancer this season!" Real judges: 10, 10, 10, 10! Was there every any question?

Team Rashad/Emma: Cha-cha/Tango fusion! Red lit stage! Rashad bare chested beneath a shred sequined jacket! He's strong and fearless. Stern faced at first...and then that great smile breaks out! He's not afraid! And, he's SPECTACULAR! Only he has a chance to beat Normani (Maybe Heather). SPECTACULAR! Give them a ten again! "What a great finish you two!" "Watching you was like watching a rising star going supernova!" "You are one of the most talented and charismatic contestants always!" "You have certainly earned to win the mirrorball!" "You're progression has been fantastic this entire season!" "This is a great way to finish the season!" "Your partnership from day one was amazing!" Rashad is joining the tour. Does that mean he hasn't signed on to another NFL team? Real judges: 10, 9, 10, 10! Leaves the door open for Normani to sneak by? Is it worth it? Did she earn it? Yes and yes!

Final Results: The couple in third place is...If it's not David, I'm...Third place is Normani and Val!!!! WHAAAT! She shoulda won! "I'm stunned!" What a gracious loser! That's impossible! Who's voting? If you don't vote, you can't complain? Ten weeks of competition comes down to this: NFL vs MLB! Final results! The winner and new champions of DWTS are...Rashad and Emma! FINALLY! America gets it right! The good guy finally gets the gold! Or the mirror ball! Mirror covered golf cart! He's a deserving winner, but, what happened in that runner up spot??? That was unexpected...AGAIN!

05.26.2017: Watch Him Whip/Nae Nae!

Here's more of Silento's schedule.
Viral Dance Sensation Silentó? to Visit West Des Moines and Clive Schools COME MEET RAPPER SILENTÓ AT DMACC URBAN CAMPUS

Rapper Has Hit Song “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)”

WHAT: The Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Urban Campus is hosting a free meet and greet with Rapper Silentó, whose hit song “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” reach number three on the Billboard Hot 100.
WHY: This is a free and family-friendly event. There will also be a contest where five winners will each receive two VIP tickets to see Silentó perform at HyVee Hall on May 28.
WHEN: 3:30 p.m., Friday, May 26, 2017
WHERE: Outside of Bldg. #1 on the DMACC Urban Campus at 1100 Seventh St. in Des Moines
WHO: Rapper Silentó

05.25.2017: School Daze

Chance to watch him whip and nae nae:
Viral Dance Sensation Silentó‏ to Visit West Des Moines and Clive Schools

(Capital City News Service) —On Friday, May 26, viral dance sensation Silentó‏‏ will show students at Valley High School, Indian Hills Junior High, and Western Hills Elementary how to do the “Whip & Nae Nae” dance as he congratulates them on improving school attendance.

Recording artist Silentó‏ is best known for his debut single "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)," which reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. He has more than one billion followers and subscribers on social media.

Silentó‏’s visit is part of the #KidsLivesMatter “Fun-raiser” Challenge organized by Hip-Hope Inc., which works to bridge the gap between kids and community by showcasing youth involvement in civic engagement and community collaborations. Part of that involvement is attending school.

The #KidsLivesMatter Challenge and Silentó are recognizing the three schools for their efforts to improve school attendance. Each school saw an increase in student attendance this spring, helping in the effort to reach the West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Board of Education’s goal to improve student attendance districtwide. The WDMCS is dedicated to school attendance because students are more likely to succeed in academics when they consistently attend school.

05.24.2017: Arts Hapz

Ever want to be in "A Chorus Line"? Here's the info courtesy of the Culture Buzz

1. Des Moines Playhouse. Monday, June 19, 2017 – A Chorus Line

2:00-5:00 PM, Saturday, June 3 & June 10: Free Dance Workshops: To help dancers prepare for auditions, director/choreographer Megan Helmers will will teach a short dance combination that will be used in the June 19 auditions as well as two other pieces from A Chorus Line. Actors will have an opportunity to ask questions about auditions. Participation in the workshops does not guarantee a role, but will acquaint actors with the show and the musical audition procedure used at the Playhouse

2. Tallgrass Theatre Company is now accepting script submissions from Iowa-connected playwrights for the 2017 Iowa Playwrights Workshop series. Deadline for submission is May 31, 2017. Writers may submit one-acts, full-length plays, and plays that are still I process and need additional modification. All Iowa writers, regardless of experience, are encouraged to submit work. Finalists will be announced in June, each of which will receive workshop sessions with local actors, director and writers, and a public reading at a Des Moines venue. (Readings will be held in June-August.) Detailed submission guidelines, workshop information and application form available at Contact: Katie Johnson, Iowa Playwrights Workshop Director,

Other Cultural Considerations:

1. Noce – Theatre begins a short run of The Last Five Years. Performances: June 2nd-11th. Starring Max Wellman & Katy Merriman, Directed by David A. VanCleave, Music Directed by Brenton Brown, Produced by Bob Filippone and Max Wellman
2. Ankeny Community Theatre, The Middle of Yesterday (Drama - Rated PG ) runs June 2-18, 2017. This play tries to give us an answer. Kilby Fleming, an aging ex-War hero, struggles between reality and the hauntings of his memories as he declines into the dark world of Alzheimer's. Locked in time, Kilby is forced to view his past as the people in the present fight to bring him back.
3. Des Moines Playhouse opens Steel Magnolias Jun 2, running through Jun 18. This wonderful story boasts a strong, talented cast of regional stars.
4. THE NAKED MAGICIANS RETURN TO THE TEMPLE THEATER FOR THE SECOND TIME THIS YEAR! Tickets on sale now. THE NAKED MAGICIANS, billed as the naughtiest and funniest magic show in the world, are coming back to The Temple Theater for the second time this year! The popular duo strips away the top hats and capes to promise full-frontal illusions when the show returns to The Temple Theater, June 10 and 11, 2017.

05.23.2017: School Events

Local school calendar:
May 25—Disney's "Elena of Avalor" Actress Talks Leader in Me Program at Jordan Creek

Actress Aimee Carrero, best known as the voice of Elena of Avalor on the Disney Channel, will visit Jordan Creek Elementary on Thursday, May 25, to talk about the Leader in Me program. Carrero’s husband, actor Tim Rock, will also visit Jordan Creek. Carrero and Rock will greet the entire school at a Leader in Me assembly at 10:15 a.m., then meet with each grade until 2:30 p.m.

May 26—Indian Hills Staff Greet Students with Music and High Fives

Staff members at Indian Hills Junior High have been greeting their student with high fives each Friday, accompanied by student musicians from the school’s musical groups. On May 26, staff members will provide the high fives and the music, with a faculty band playing the students into the school. Please join us for this fun and positive start to the day!

May 26—Crestview Celebrates Health, Wellness, and Culture

Crestview School of Inquiry will celebrate health, wellness, and different cultures on Friday, May 26. Students will travel to different stations that emphasize healthy living such as tug of war, water games, and art. They will also participate in stations coordinated by CultureAll, including Bollywood dance, the music of Mexico, capoeira, and yoga. Students will also get to learn about healthy eating from WDMCS Nutrition Services Director Willow Dye. Sixth-grade students helped to plan the event and will work at the stations.

May 26—Western Hills Field Day

Western Hills Elementary will hold a schoolwide Field Day on Friday, May 26. Planned by sixth-grade students, the stations include a dunk tank, parachute, tug of war, water activities, relays, and other active, outdoor games. Students in preschool through second grade will rotate through stations in the morning, and grades 3-5 will rotate in the afternoon. Sixth-graders will work at the stations.

05.22.2017: TGIDWTSMonday!

Final week of the season! Here's play-by-play recap of last week to get you ready for the two-night finale!o)
"Dancing With The Stars!"
Season 24
Week Nine: The Ninth Eliminations
"The Semifinals"

Opening Number: Starts with Tom and Erin. Four advance to the semis! Flames on the stage and the pros start to dance in black spangles sparkles and patent leather. David and Lindsey. Normani and Val! Rashad and Emma! Simone and Sasha! I think it's going to come down to Rashad and Normani at this pointe! Two more demanding rounds coming up tonight. Judge's challenge round!

Team Normal: Girl was born sexy! Len comes in to give his instructions! Wants more content! 12 bars of Viennese Waltz in beautiful hold! "Head to the left!" This is a very specific dance! "I want to be transported back to old Vienna!" "It's a lot tougher than it looks!" "What ever Len wants! Len GETS!" But, of course, first a commercial break! Starts in black and white. Classical. Old time movie feel! She in hot red backless nearly frontless gown! Now in hold. They go. Head strongly to the left. Not in hold, but, strong dancing! Back in strong hol! Faux rain falling. They run off stage into the light! I always give her a ten or more! "Coach looks happy!" "She did make me proud!" "Fleckle is in the quick step!' "You guys dance as one! Together you have such a magical team!" "We are nitpicking in the semifinals!" "You turned Vienna into SIn City!" "So, sexy and hot she can have anything she wants!" "So, strong and beautiful!" "I've never seen you go wrong in a while! Once you start, you don't stop!"Next Tuesday will be the finale! Real judges: 9, 9, 9, 9! The stumble costs her!

Team Davindsey: Julianne gives David a "cheeky" assignment! "Get your boogie under!" "We're making lemonade stand out of lemons!" She's trying to take him to the next level! "Now' sky time to shine!" He starts by tossing a lemon over his shoulder! David is dancing with his beautiful daughter! The tails are hiding his bum cheeks! But, he looks dapper in top hat and tails! He makes me smile! Lindsey has done an excellent job this season! Taking her star far beyond where he was supposed to go! He's so much better. He improves every time out! Give him a nine from me! Audience on their feet! "You squeezed your lemons!" "You are the epitome of what this show is about!" "We appreciate you and root for you!" "I'm so proud you got your boogie under!" "Watching you is a joy! I could watch you everyday!" "Your frame and posture is so much better!" "You're not just here because people like you! You're here because every week you improve!" "You're the boy that brings joy!" "My brain is telling me one thing, my heart is telling me another!" "Your smile is the best part!" "You have been an absolute joy to have join our family!" Real judges: 9, 8, 9, 8! His best scores of the season?

Team Simasha: (I think I may have to choreograph "Dancing On My Own!"). She's reaching an emotional crisis: I can only try so hard! She doesn't know that her vulnerability is what makes her strong! "I want a step beyond perfection. To CONNECTION!" Simone in spangled bra top and tight leather pants with stiletto heels! She's competing in the jibe! Once again. Sasha and his gymnastics challenges the Olympic gold medalist! Is she having fun? Or is she going through the motions? Her strength is her weakness! "A little arcade jive there!" She's no Lori Anne Hernandez! I'll give her a nine! "It warms my heart to see you tap into all your potential! It looked AMAZING!" Julianne has a challenge! "You just brought a sassy character to life!" Real judges: 10, 10, 10, 10! "Looking forward to Sophia!" Her first perfects scores of the season!

Team Rashemma: (Friday, May 26. Derek and Julianne Hough on tour!o). Rumba with Bruno's coachin! "Control those extremities!" "Rashad has charisma, but Rumba is the toughest challenge for a man!" Must control your hands! NO MONSTER hands! Use the inside muscles of your arms! He starts in dramatic white and gray! Emma's angelic in white and skirt slit up to the hip! Man! Rashad is in this to win it! Such a man! Not fraud to be a fabulous dancer! He's heating up all the women in the audience!' His line is endless! He's taking it up a notch and cashing in on his unlimited potential! Smooth, sensual! Sweet and sexy! Give him A TEN! Fabulous! "The refinement tonight! Just a little more elegant!" "You were painting a canvas with your movements!" "But, it wasn't overly sexual!" "I liked the light and shade of it!" "Few heel leads that I didn't want to see! You have tremendous dance talent!" "You were totally leading your female pro! There's nothing better as a female pro!" "Exceeding all expectations!" "I never thought you'd be able to do it!" "The fluidity of water, but, you still have the POWER!" "You were like watching Greek sculptures (come to life)!" Real judges: 9, 9, 10, 10!

Cheryl Burke: Love thru dance! The saga of an abusive, sick relationship! Cheryl not afraid to wear leotard bottom! Subliminal flashes of words on the dance floor! Trust, strength, relationship! She walks through a symbolic door and many, many Cheryl's precede her! An armistice effort if not triumph. "Love on the floor!" Journey of love told through dance!

Team Normali: From a family of strong women! "She was really a fun kid!" Her mommy's sick!" "She was afraid of her own mother! Hurricane Katrina smashed into her family's home! "There were bodies floating in the flood waters!" They moved to Houston! "I get all my strength from my friends, my family and my city!" Jazz routine! How can you dance after that package? Fortunately, she can collect herself during the commercial break! Normani! She's amazing! "What a wonderful world!" OMG! This girl could carry a Broadway show by herself center stage! Such a performer and entertainer! She's a star! Charisma with a capital C! I give her a ten! This should. Put her into the led again! Val puts the moves on Normani's grandmother! Standing Ovation from Len! "You are an absolute star! That dance was an act of triumph over adversity! That dance was outstanding!" "Tell me more!" "That was so fabulous! You're a DIVA! You're a STAR!" "What you do with your choreography is INSANE!" "Effortless, yet, I feel your power!" OMG! I'm such a big fan! Tears from gramma! Real judges; 10, 10, 10, 10! Perfect scores! Gramma was a big fan of DWTS!

Team Davindsey: Tango! Talks about his struggles in the major leagues! He had to learn to accept his role! "I wanted to be a baseball player my kids could be proud of!" "Baseball is like life...and a lot like this show!" Tears she before his dance! ANother how can he dance after that! But, to the dance! Lindsey in side less long blue cheongsam Sam! He's keeping his bum in. Now he has to keep his shoulders down! Frame needs work! I think he may not make the finals, but, he has exceeded his expectations! So, that's a success! Swirling lights and pictures of his playing ball in the background! They end by walking towards a photo of him and his family! Such symbolism! Family day in Chicago! I give him a nine! "You are such a good dancer! You have the charm and the heart! You're such a fan favorite! Thank you! I so enjoy watching you!" "You're a torpedo in a tuxedo!" "This was your best dance yet! I'm a lift police! You're such an amazing base!" "There's been better dancer, but, no one has worked harder or given me more enjoyment!" Real judges: 9, 9, 9, 9! Are those his best scores ever?

Team Simasha: An adopted child! Had trouble sitting still! "Five kids in the US get to go to the Olympics! "It's a lifetime of sacrifice!" "She is the best on the planet Earth period!" "Smiling doesn't win Gold Medals!" Starts off her walking in heels by a balance beam, but, she walks away fro it to dance1. No obvious balance beam choreography! Rumba! The dance of love will be a hard one for the robot! She's more like Nastia and not like Laurie Hernandez! Dramatic lighting. Her face is starting to dance? "Like a skyscraper! Big hug at the end to end the piece! I give her a nine! Okay, ten! Her adopted mom is in tears! "You let the dance flow out of you! Beautiful, real gorgeous! "You danced with your soul tonight!" "You are after that mirrorball tonight!" "That balance beam was a perfect metaphor about your life!" "I'm feeling like Sofia!" Real judges: 10, 10, 10, 10! My goal is not to match the other judges, but, to deliver a former dancer's opinion!

Team :Rashemma My brothers were 10 or 13 years older than me! He had a learning disorder! "I felt worthless!" One game woke him up! "My family made an investment in me!" "When I see kids overlooked, it reminds me of myself!" Quickstep! Rashad at the contract table! He's cutting the rug! Not sure about the concept but he sells it! "Yes, I can!" Emma stunning in blue backless dress! Dang! This should be out of his comfort zone! But, he's a chameleon! This boy can do anything! OMG! Whata great finish! He gets a ten from me! The running back is breathless! "Yes, yo can! And, yes you did!" "It was the match made in heaven!" "You kept losing your frame!" "It was good!" Judges arguing about "light on his feet"! "You had a great frame!" "Keep being you!" "Can we get Len a snack?" "The charisma is out of this world!" "Who's the leading man now?" Real judges: 10, 9, 10, 10!

Final Eliminations: First couple into the finals is...Normani and Val! Big hugs! Next couple going to the finals is...Rashad and Emma! Now, it comes down to David versus Simone! WIll the Cubs faithful or the Olympic gymnastics fans save their star? The couple leaving right now is...Simone and Sasha! The judges are stunned! The crowd is stunned! Len is shaking his head! "It's okay!" "I've learned a lot about myself and I'll be back next week for the finals!" I could see this coming!

05.18.2017: Tunes On The Terrace

East Village happenings:
Food, Art and Music on the Terrace

Feast on some of Iowa’s best food, music and art this summer at Café Baratta’s at the State Historical Museum. You can enjoy bistro fare while listening to Tunes on the Terrace on Fridays and seeing the new Art at the Café exhibit, “Permanent Divide,” by artist Christopher Chiavetta.

Click here for more info.

05.17.2017: Audition Action

Heads up courtesy of John Busbee of The Culture Buzz:
  1. Urbandale Community Theatre is seeking volunteers to help behind the scenes and in front of the house for their upcoming summer musical, Guys & Dolls. Show dates: July 21st-23rd, 28th-30th. If you’re interested or know someone who is, contact us through
  2. Tallgrass Theatre Company is now accepting script submissions from Iowa-connected playwrights for the Iowa Playwrights Workshop series. Deadline for submission is May 31, 2017. Writers may submit one-acts, full-length plays, and plays that are still I process and need additional modification. All Iowa writers, regardless of experience, are encouraged to submit work. Finalists will be announced in June, each of which will receive workshop sessions with local actors, director and writers, and a public reading at a Des Moines venue. (Readings will be held in June-August.) Detailed submission guidelines, workshop information and application form available at Contact: Katie Johnson, Iowa Playwrights Workshop Director,
Other Cultural Considerations:
  1. StageWest Theatre Company continues Hir through May 21. “Perhaps no play this year inspired a greater sense of awe than Taylor Mac’s audacious dive into the dysfunctional-family playpen of American theater.” – The New York Times
  2. Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre prepares for their next production, Fancy Nancy – The Musical, runs through May 21. The Kate Goldman prides itself on taking popular children’s literature off the page and making it come alive on the stage, and this musical romp is sure to be another winner.
  3. Noce – Theatre begins a short run of The Last Five Years. Performances: June 2nd-11th. Starring Max Wellman & Katy Merriman, Directed by David A. VanCleave, Music Directed by Brenton Brown, Produced by Bob Filippone and Max Wellman
  4. Ankeny Community Theatre, The Middle of Yesterday (Drama - Rated PG ) runs June 2-18, 2017. This play tries to give us an answer. Kilby Fleming, an aging ex-War hero, struggles between reality and the hauntings of his memories as he declines into the dark world of Alzheimer's. Locked in time, Kilby is forced to view his past as the people in the present fight to bring him back.
  5. Des Moines Performing Arts is pleased to announce that the 2017-2018 The Dance Series Three-Show Season Ticket Package are on sale now. Season Ticket Packages can be purchased at, the Civic Center Ticket Office, and by phone at 515-246- 2300. The shows included in the three-show package are: HUBBARD STREET DANCE CHICAGO, MOMIX: OPUS CACTUS, and BALLET HISPANICO.

05.16.2017: Performance Posting

Free chamber music performance:
University of Iowa Chamber Music

Tuesday, May 16, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM at Central Library

The University of Iowa String Quartet Residency Program marks their fifth year of the Summer Chamber Music Tour across Iowa, a collaborative effort between the University of Iowa String Chamber Music program and Arts Share. UISQRP is pleased to present two string ensembles: Con Fantasia String Quartet and Chi Fa String Trio. This program is free and open to the public. Join us in the Music Wing on the second floor of the Central Library for an hour of music.

05.15.2017: TGIDWTSMonday!

The end is near! Here's a recap of the last episode of DWTS!
"Dancing With The Stars!"
Season 24
Week Eight: The Seventh Eliminations
"The Road to the Finals/The Trio Rounds"

Opening Number: Pool boys in white. Girls in sparkles and fringe of pink as a skirt...or big belt! That's Pit Bull! Nothing like his music to samba to party to! Confetti cannon explodes on the raised walkway! All the pretty people are on stage! Preview of the DWTS tour! They intro the stars! Normani is barefoot! Simone ravishing in red! Down to the final five!

Team Rashademma: Jive! "Shake yo Tail Feather!" Aiming for the perfect score standard setter! "The ultimate teammate!" Black sequin coats and derby hats! Rashad deserves to be in the finals! This boy can dance and he can sell it! And, unlike some males, he leads his partner as the way it's supposed to be! High energy dance High energy performance! I give him a ten! Okay, maybe a nine! "You gotta work on your feet!" I'm sure he's heard that as a running back in the NFL! "You were slick and quick!" "You showcased the showman extraordinaire!" "Stay off your heels!" "You are FANTASTIC!" Real judges: 9, 9, 9, 9!

Team Normali: Riding high off last week's perfect scores and immunity! Contemporary dance! Val chooses symbolic song. She felt bullied on social media! "This is a piece about breaking through and finding your strength!" Dressed in terry cloth. In the center of a crowd of accusing neighbors. Okay! Good choreography! Excellently performed. This girl must have some dance training! She can't do those balances and that expression just naturally can she! Some raw emotion on parade there! I give her a ten!. Tears in the eyes of Normani and the audience members! "I was completely mesmerized!" "No one will ever break you, my dear!" "What I saw was healing!" "The audience was spell-bound and so was I!" Real judges: 10, 10, 10, 10! No let down for my pick to win the mirror-ball!

Team Bonnerna: Argentine Tango! "Believer!" Is the song from Imagine Dragons is the pick from Sharna!. He's struggling to revisit his injury! He's loathe to be so vulnerable! Don't hold back, Bonner! He needs to take a page from Normani's playbook! Opening yourself up on stage can be a catharsis and healing! He's good, but, he's not taking it to the level we just saw! I give him an eight! "You have to push to the next level!" "You lacked a bit of connection!" "You've gone a week too far!" "You have to use your frustration and intensity!" Real judges: 8, 7, 8, 7! More points up for grabs!

Team Simasha: Fox Trot! She doesn't know she's beautiful! National reveal of a crush on the cameraman? Okay, she's performing a little bit more! To advance she needs to stop dancing by the numbers! Repetition is the key to consistency! But, you have to learn to create it new for every performance! She was my pick to win sight unseen at the beginning of the season, but, not anymore! I give her a nine! "It comes to authenticity!" "It mirrored your age and personality!" "Nothing that wowed me and nothing that disappointed me! I want you to be challenged more!" She's being teased unmercifully about her admitted crush! "You need to surprise me! Be unique and unforgettable!" She's led a sheltered life despite her international exposure! Real judges: 9, 9, 9, 9! And...more points coming!

Team Davidsey: This is the guy who outlived his shelf life for at least two weeks! "Humble and Kind!" He's a major leaguer as a dad and a parent! He tears up with a well of emotion during his personal interview! This guy may have just won the popular vote again! She's dancing on his shoes like a little girl with her father. Waltz. The technique can be criticized, but the emotional content is off the charts. The last two dancers could take a lesson from David! Big hug at the end turns into an honest embrace. He's crying again. My eyes are a little damp myself! I give him a nine! "Little bit unsteady, but, you attempted to get the correct footwork. Quiet, understated, poignant, one hundred percent your best dance!" "You are the HEART of this competition!" When people look at you they see love, truth and honesty!" "Lady and the Gramps? Lady and the CHAMP!" Real judges: 9, 9, 9, 9! His best scores, I think! he just made a case to advance!

Trio Dances:

Team Rashad/Emma/Witney: Argentine Tango! "So good!" He's great his personality amplifies his performance! His strength is unquestioned in those sky high lifts. Witney in Black. Emma in white! No problem lifting both girls at once! Professional male dancers could take a lesson from this guys playbook! I give him a nine! Footwork still his Achilles heel! "You got dancing in your blood, it just hasn't reached your feet yet!" "By far, this is your best dance!" Real judges: 10, 9, 10, 10! His best scores ever! Kudos for ménage a shad!

Team Normani/Val/Alan: Jive! Country jive! Normani in Daisy Dukes! Dang! This girl can keep up with two professionals on stage with her! Val sheds his shirt! Alan's is totally unbuttoned and finally gets thrown off! But Bonner's in the background! And, that's where she ends up! She gets a ten from me! "Youthful, sexy, awesome!" "Glorious all-American jive!" "You're not just a good dancer! You're an excellent actress!" Real judges: 10, 9, 10, 10!

Team Bonner/Sharna/Britt: The billionaire oil man's two sexy secretaries! JAzz number. he's lacking a little sharpness! Bonner needs to show his enjoyment. Very sexy number! Needed a little something, something from the Bonner man! I give him an eight! "Little bit too raunchy for the old guy!" Real judges: 7, 7, 7, 7! Low man on the totem pole!

Team Simone/Sasha/Brittney: Wanna be like Brittney! Paso Doble! Risky having a female star next to a female pro! But, she's holding her own! Flailing the skirt like a matador's cape! She's strong enough and powerful enough to hold up her end of the bargain! I give her a nine! "Play with the phrasing of the music and not just a metronome!" "You took skirt walking to a new level!" "You get a hit a new level!" "You hit everything with a ruthless efficiency! But, sometimes we lost the artistry!" Real judges: 9, 9, 9, 9!

Team David/Lindsey/Hayley: Paso Doble! Instrumental of Gangsta's Paradise! Back in gladiator times! Smoke shrouded amphitheater! Roman guard hangs up his hat. He strides onto the arena floor. The girls have scarves tied around their waists that go up to the ceiling! David is a little flat-footed. Any emotional extra credit he got from his last number is being lost to flatfooted lack of technique in this Game of Thrones knock off! I give him an eight! He may edge out Bonner! "I didn't like it at all! It was rough!" "Sometimes you were like Godzilla fighting off jet fighters!" "This was a bit plodding and a bit clumsy!" Real judges: 7, 7, 8, 7! Okay, maybe, he won't edge out Bonner!

Final Elimination: Five becomes four! First to advance to the semis: Normani and Val! Also, in...Simone and Sasha! David is going to the semis? OMG! Leaving Bonner and Rashad! That means Bonner should be going home...and he is! David is congratulating everyone left on the stage. Bonner a good sport during his elimination! I think David will fall short of the finals next show!

05.12.2017: History Buffs

Don't be condemned to repeat it!o)
66 students take top honors at National History Day in Iowa contest
Winners from record 21 Iowa schools - and two home school students - advance to national finals at University of Maryland

(Capital City News Service) – More than 60 students from across the state took top honors at the National History Day in Iowa contest this week, earning a trip to the NHD National Finals at the University of Maryland to compete for scholarships and prizes.

National History Day is a year-long academic enrichment program that challenges students to research, develop and present papers, exhibits, documentaries, websites and performances about historical issues, ideas, people and events related to an annual theme. This year’s theme is “Taking a Stand in History.”

"National History Day is a powerful program that helps teachers and students engage in learning opportunities beyond the classroom," State Historical Society of Iowa Administrator Susan Kloewer said. "Through this program, students explore history and learn how to conduct high-level research as they develop their projects. These are skills they'll use during academic years and beyond as they become lifelong learners with successful careers. We congratulate our National History Day students and national qualifiers, and we thank their teachers and parents for their support."

This year's 66 national qualifiers included students from 21 different schools - a new record - plus two home-school students from Spencer. The list of Iowa's national qualifiers and downloadable images of each winner are available at while the list of the schools they represent is below:

Akron-Westfield School
Ballard Middle School
Ballard High School
Clarinda Community School
Council Bluffs Lincoln High School
Decorah St. Benedict School
Cedar Rapids Franklin Middle School
Cedar Rapids Harding Middle School
Johnston Middle School
Johnston High School
Le Mars Community Middle School
Manson Northwest Webster Junior/Senior High School
Marshalltown High School
Nashua-Plainfield Schools
North Scott Junior High School
North Scott High School
Marion Oak Ridge Middle School
Spencer home school students
Storm Lake Middle School
Orange City Unity Christian High School
Waukee Prairieview School
Williamsburg Junior/Senior High School
Iowa’s state winners now move on to the 2017 National History Day Contest June 11-15 at the University of Maryland, where they will compete against nearly 3,000 students from the United States, Guam, American Samoa, Department of Defense Schools in Europe, and international schools in China, Korea and South Asia.

More than half a million middle and high school students around the world participate in the program annually. In Iowa, nearly 8,000 students participated at the school level and about 2,500 advanced to compete in 12 different district contests. The 66 winners announced today emerged from a field of about 600 students who competed in the state contest Monday at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

The National History Day program includes a Junior Division (grades 6-8), Senior Division (grades 9-12), and a non-competitive Youth Division for students in grades 4-5. Students learn important literacy skills and how to conduct research using primary, secondary, community and statewide resources. Working individually or collaboratively in groups of two to five, they develop the following attributes that are critical for future success:

critical thinking and problem-solving skills
research and reading skills
oral and written communication and presentation skills
self-esteem and confidence
a sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process
The National History Day in Iowa program has been coordinated by the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, since 1994 and is sponsored by the State Historical Society, Inc., and the History Channel.

05.12.2017: Spinning Yarn

Support your local storytellers tonight! But, the event is SOLD OUT!
Stories of Parenthood

Doors open at 6 p.m. and show begins at 6:30 p.m.

Drinks will be available for purchase during the show.

The Flynn Barn, built in 1871, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Please dress for the weather as the historical barn does NOT have central heat or cooling. Modern restrooms are located just a short walk away. Golf carts will be available to transport guests in need of assistance to and from the parking lot (located in front of the Visitor's Center) and the restrooms. This is a private event — your ticket includes admission to the storytelling event at Flynn Barn and does not include access to the rest of Living History Farms before or after the event. The event will be held rain or shine.

Ticket options

  • General admission tickets, which include entry and first-come, first serve seating, are $10.
  • VIP tickets, which include entry to the event, access to a premium seating section and one free drink, are $25.
  • Prices for all tickets, subject to availability, will increase by $5 at the door
Click here to learn more and view the complete 2017 Des Moines Storytellers Project schedule.

About the Des Moines Storytellers Project

The Storytellers Project is a series of live storytelling nights. USA TODAY NETWORK newsrooms, including The Des Moines Register, curate and host nights of true, first-person stories from neighbors and notables. The Register's award-winning journalists help community members to draw out authentic, personal experiences and hone them into engaging dialogue. Since its founding in 2016, more than 50 community members have taken the stage to share their stories with over 2,000 audience members.

05.10.2017: Academic Arts Update

Support your local schools:
May 12—Western Hills Fine Arts Day

Western Hills Elementary will hold its annual Fine Arts Day on Friday, May 12. Students will participate in hands-on activities and fine arts experiences led by artists—from cartooning, juggling and yoga to henna, music, puppeteering, and more. Students will also attend a performance by “Sheltered Reality” in the gym at 2:40 p.m.

May 12—Valley High School Design Studio Fashion Show

The Valley High School Design Studio class is hosting its annual end-of-year fashion show at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 12, 2017, in the Staplin Performing Arts Center. Valley High School and Valley Southwoods Freshman High School students will model looks from clothing collections designed by their peers at this year’s show, Papyrus. More information is available at

May 13—Valley High School Improv. Show

Valley High School students will perform comedic improvisation games in this year’s Valley Improv. Show. The free show is similar in style to “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and a hit with both students and community members.

May 13—Valley High School Car Show

Valley High School students have organized an all-makes, all-models car show to raise money for the school’s Technical Engineering Program. The family-friendly event will feature cars of all types, door prizes and raffle drawings, and live music.

05.09.2017: Performance Posting

Support your local symphony:
(Capital City News Service) – The Des Moines Symphony concludes its 2016-2017 79th Season with American Gothic and Bolero 7:30PM Saturday, May 13 & 2:30PM Sunday, May 14, 2017 at the Des Moines Civic Center (221 Walnut Street, Des Moines).

Virtuoso cellist Matt Haimovitz makes his Des Moines Symphony debut in a program that stretches from Spain to France and all the way back to Iowa. Hear the music of Hindemith, composed to showcase the virtuosity of American orchestras, and Saint-Saëns’s beautiful First Cello Concerto. Iowa native Michael Daugherty’s American Gothic is accompanied by our world-premiere film celebrating Grant Wood’s Iowa. Finally, our season reaches its zenith with Ravel’s beloved, driving, hypnotic Bolero.

When: 7:30 p.m. Sat, May 13 / 2:30 p.m. Sun, May 14
Where: Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut Street, Des Moines
Tickets: $15-$65 through and at the Civic Center Ticket Office Click here for more info.

05.08.2017: TGIDWTSMonday!

Rainy daze and Mon daze always bring me DWTS, Karen!o)
"Dancing With The Stars!"
Season 24
Week Seven: The Sixth Eliminations
"Let's Go To The Movies!"

Opening Number: Girls with golden reels in silver fringe. Boyz in Tuxes! The stars are also in tails! Shades of the classic MGM musicals! Girls now in fur trimmed gowns...and here come the girl stars! Lyrics refer to Fred and Ginger! Hollywood classic role dazzle! Now the Bachelor and the Running back...strut onto the ballroom floor! Retro glam with a twist and an edge! A DOUBLE elimination tonight? Immunity is up for grabs! Special guest judge is Mandy Moore!

Team Bonnerna: The Texas boy gets to represent the Westerns! Paso Doble! "It's made for you!" "Sounds terrifying!" Western them is totally his expertise! Recreating a classic movie scene! Kicks in the saloon doors for the poker scene. He's accused of cheating. The extra dancers get a workout boys and girls. His movements when alone tend to be a little weak! I think Len's not going to like the lack of in hold action! Well done Western! I give him an eight! The bull rider becomes the bull fighter! Need to be more matador and not just On my way! boy! "You've been working so hard!" "You did get a little bit lost in all the action! You have an innate elegance!" He lived out his boyhood fantasies of being in the Western movies! Real judges: 7, 7 ,8, 7! This cowboy is living on borrowed time!

Team Kerrigartem: Tango to the Rom Com! Scary being on the threatened list! "Oh, Pretty Woman"! Technically demanding learning four dances! Starts outside of "Fancy Nancy's". Pretty Woman in the classic red gown...and there's Artem in white tie and tails! She's such a competitor! Audience is clapping along to the Roy Orbison classic! She's having FUN! SO important!" I give her a nine! "You look stunning!" "What a grand entrance from a grand lady!" "Glossy, elegant, sophisticated!" "Fantastic shapes!" "You have blossomed the most!" "It's week seven and you're IN THE GAME!" "Quantity and quality was there!" Real judges: 9, 9, 9, 9! Putting in her bid for immunity! But, the heavy hitters are yet to come!

Team Simasha: Charleston to the silent movies! Play funny and goofy! "Lotta tricks that could go wrong! Classic Charleston! Wow! The gymnastics in the middle of the dance! I tend to forget she is a world-class gymnast! Youth and energy are on her side! Risky single leg toss to layout! Good thing that Sasha can keep us his end of the gymnastics bargain! Good Kip up! Fun, fun number! Very aerobic number! I give her a nine! "Very appropriate from the time!" "That was a very difficult routine. You make very thing look effortless and easy!" "Lotta fun, What a joy to watch!" Real judges: 10, 9, 9, 9! New score to beat!

Whoa! Remake of Dirty Dancing LIVE! On ABC? When is that? May 24th? Set the DVR!

Team Niketa: Action movie characters! Have work to do to get out of the bottom especially for a double elimination! Argentine Tango! "Clench your butt, bro!" Good spy vs bad spy! Needs more weight into the floor! Looks the he has to dance the part! Trying to channel his inner Macks! Lasers fire and explosions in the background! Meanwhile, serious lack of fireworks in the foreground1. He gets the goods from the girl and ...Or does he? He gets an eight from me! "Moments of extreme brilliance! But, some moments when you were off balance! Lotta missteps! Work on the connection!" "I like the way you've improved from Week One! Plenty of attack and aggression! Little too big for Argentine Tango!" "Finally for the first time in this competition, I stopped watching the Bachelor and started watching a DANCER!" "The most believable performance since Day One!" He says "My favorite dance by far!" Real Judges: 8, 8, 9, 9! Still not good enough to earn immunity! He thinks the calve cramps cut into his scores!

Team Rashemma: Horror film Paso Doble! He wrote out a script for the delay movie! THe lightning strikes as the serial killer rises from the tomb! He's wearing special contact lenses! He's glaring and appropriately strong! Good frame. Bruno is on his feet watching! Good frame for non dancer! Emma fetching in shiny up taupe! He needs to keep his bum in! But, at the end it is Emma who slay the slayer! What a twist! He's such a good dancer. But, I think the technical demands are so high for Tango! I give him nine! "Overall another solid performance!" "I will say, my friend! You have figured it out!" "Don't throw your hands away!" "I'm a huge fan! You can win this!" "WATCH your posture!" He's got a notebook full of movie ideas! Real judges: 9, 9 , 10, 9! Tied for immunity! What happens now?

Team Davindsey: Sci Fi salsa! Double elimination may put him at risk! "We're going to week 7!" His goal is to have as much as possible! He's surpassed his expectations! Start off with the robot1. Lindsey in platinum blonde wig Dutch boy cut! David giving it the old college try! He's hauling Lindsey around like nobody's business! Music is banging ! Dancing, not so much! He may be able to spend more time with his kids after tonight! End up back to back! I give him an eight! Mandy is using athletic metaphor to get coaching tips in! "You're good at hip hop!" "You come out and you entertain!" Real judges: 8, 8, 8, 8! Qualifies for the dance off!

Team Normal: Argentine Tango! Finished at the top for the second week in a row! "If content is what Len wants, content is what Len gets!" Takings toll on her twenty year old body! MRI recommends medication and modified performance! Back is killing her! But, the show must go on! Subtitles in this foreign film! She's an actress and a dancer! Not hint of any injuries! Kick to the back of the head. Strong supported grand jete en tournant! Val must be doing as much as he can to cushion her body from the pact of the landings! Oh, and the dancing is spectacular! She gets a ten from me! My sure fire bet to win this now that the pathway has been cleared! "Best dance on movie night goes to Normani and Val!" "You DESERVE immunity for that dance!" "It's an HONOR to watch you dance!" "For me, technically! You have grown a lot!" 37 is the score to beat! Real judges: 10, 10, 10, 10! Kiss for Len!

Team Dance-offs!: Cha-cha, rumba, jive! Glittery gauntlets have been thrown down! Team Normal is watching from the mezzanine and safe! Picking Nancy and Artem versus Simone and her partner! Rashad versus Dave! Bonner and Nick face off in Rumba!

Simone Versus Nancy: Side by side! The Olympians! But youth may be on the side of the stronger competitor tonight! Lotta energy! Now comes Nancy's turn in the spotlight! She's seems tentative and under rehearsed. Sasha is counting the break for both of them! Nancy too bouncy for this cha-cha! Give this nod to Simone!" Both of you girls are terrific dancers!" "Both of you were very good!" "Really tough decision!" Semi finals next week! Real judges: Simone and Sasha have the scores! And America agrees with the judges!

Rashad versus David: Here comes the jive! Lindsey still in her duty boy platinum wig! Rashad is blowing away the field not just his one on one competition! Dave starts off my losing his count and his movement! Extra points for Lindsey's gams! This one should be unanimous! Youth will be served! Again! I'm sure! "You gave me plenty of joy!" "Spirit of joyful competition!" "I really admire both of you!" Two full dances next week! Real judges: Rashad and Emma sweep? Yes! America agrees with the judges! Say goodbye to Davey!

Bonner versus Bachelor: Rumba! Classic Whitney Houston! Bonner may win just by his hip action! His macho manliness is could. Nick is doing his best! What happened to Peta's Knee? It's all wrapped up? Bonner has a manliness. Almost spins out of control in the promenade spins! This is getting harder the longer it goes on! Nick made a valiant effort at the end. This could be a tied score! "You both peaked at the right time in this dance! Very adorable!" "You were both so in the zone!" "Both danced terrific!" "You guys were terrific!" Hmmm...not sure what the real judges will say? They go for Bonner and Sharna, except for Bruno! 62% of America agrees with the majority!

Final Results: First to advance: Simone and Sasha along with Team Normal! Next couple safe is! Rashad and Emma! Also safe to dance next week is Bonner and Sharna! She's amazed! Of the final three only one couple will advance! Should be Nick or Nancy! OMG? David advances???? Who's voting out there? First Heather is eliminated and then two stronger dancers go in favor of a weaker athlete? No justice? No Peace! NO JUSTICE! NO PEACE! Dancers' Lives MATTER!

05.05.2017: Free Musical Performance

My treat!
Heart of Iowa Classical Guitar Society

Friday, May 5, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM at Central Library

The “Duo Tangazo” of David Crabbs (guitarist) and Norman Sue (bandoneónist) will perform a concert of Argentinian tango pieces at the Central Library. Come and join us for an hour of music and fun. The performance is free and open to the public and will be held in the Music Wing on the second floor of the Central Library.

05.04.2017: White Privilege Examined

This heads up courtesy of community activist and former state lawmaker Ed Fallon:
“I’m Not Racist … Am I?” Screening and Forum

(Capital City News Service) From 6:00-9:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 11, at Roosevelt High School Auditorium, 4419 Center St. “I’m Not Racist … Am I?” is a documentary featuring 12 White, Black, Asian and Latino high school youths in Brooklyn, NY who take a year to delve into subject of racism. By documenting their experiences, we hope the film will inspire others to recognize and interpret the racism in their own lives. At the end of the movie viewing, Catherine Wigginton Greene, director of the film, will facilitate a conversation with the audience to engage in their thoughts, feelings, and emotions brought about by the film. A trailer for the movie can be seen at We invite and welcome the general public and all middle and high school students to attend. Seating is FREE but reserved through Eventbrite .

05.03.2017: Brew City Ballet

New take on an old tale:
(Capital City News Service) From the creator of ballet blockbusters like Dracula and Peter Pan comes a deliciously dark take on Snow White.

Master storyteller Michael Pink combines alluring costumes and sets, a cinematic score, and contemporary choreography to tell this beloved tale.

Mirror Mirror re-imagines the story of Snow White, revealing the birth of the mysterious mirror and the true depths of the evil stepmother's vanity. Good and evil are performed on stage as you've never seen before.

The dream team behind this spectacle include composer Philip Feeney (Dracula, Peter Pan), Emmy Award winning lighting designer David Grill (Dracula, Peter Pan), and scenic and costume designer Todd Edward Ivins.

Mirror Mirror
On stage June 1-4
Marcus Center
Tickets available online and Milwaukee Ballet box office at 414-902-2103.

05.02.2017: Dance Series Tix On Sale!

Purchase soon for best seats:

On-Sale Now!

(Capital City News Service) – Des Moines Performing Arts is pleased to announce that the 2017-2018 The Dance Series Three-Show Season Ticket Package will go on sale Monday, May 1, 2017 starting at 9 a.m. Season Ticket Packages can be purchased at, the Civic Center Ticket Office, and by phone at 515-246-2300. The shows included in the three-show package are: HUBBARD STREET DANCE CHICAGO, MOMIX: OPUS CACTUS, and BALLET HISPANICO. All performances will be held at the Des Moines Civic Center.

Three-Show Season Ticket Package includes:

January 24, 2018

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is among the most original forces in contemporary dance. As one of the only professional dance companies to perform year-round, Hubbard Street is continually touring nationwide and internationally. Now in its 39th year, the main company has appeared in celebrated dance venues in 44 states and 19 countries.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s core purpose is to bring artists, art and audiences together to enrich, engage, educate, transform and change lives through the experience of dance.

March 3, 2018

Opus Cactus has a new look, fresh energy, and fun surprises! Moses Pendleton brings the landscape of the American Southwest to life with his signature illusionistic style creating dynamic images of cactuses, slithering lizards and fire dancers. Originally created as a 20-minute piece in 2001 for the Ballet Arizona, Opus Cactus was then brought back into the MOMIX retort and a full-evening work was created.

May 5, 2018

Ballet Hispánico brings communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through innovative productions, transformative dance training, and community engagement.

Led by award-winning Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro, the Ballet Hispánico Company has performed for audiences totaling over 3 million, throughout 11 countries, and on three continents. The Company’s commitment to contemporary repertory has produced world-class, multifaceted performances that have featured master works by Nacho Duato, cutting-edge premieres by Cayetano Soto and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and live music collaborations with renowned artists such as Paquito D’Rivera and Ruben Blades—to name a notable few.

Through the work of its professional company, school of dance, and community arts education programs, Ballet Hispánico celebrates the dynamic aesthetics of the Hispanic diaspora, building new avenues of cultural dialogue and sharing the joy of dance with all communities.

For additional information regarding The Dance Series, please visit

05.01.2017: TGIDWTSMonday!o)

Rainy daze and Mondays always bring me...DWTS, Karen!
"Dancing With The Stars!"
Season 24
Week Six: The Fifth Eliminations
"Boy Bandz vs Girl Groups Night"

Opening Number: In memory of Erin Moran! Macks is back. Team Boy Band and Girl Groups! Guest Judge: Nick Carter! Men versus women! New competition! avail are of girl stars! Normani is part of a real girl group! Here comes the boys! Eye candy for all the ladies! What's David doing out there! Sitting in for Julianne is season 21 runner up: Nick Carter! First Team dances!

Team Simasha: Samba to Destiny's child! Is she even old enough to remember Destiny's Child? "Is the samba sexy?" Hard for young girls to "Be sexy!" "Now, Rashad is sexy!" Please, NEVER tell girls to be sexy! Sexy is in the eye of the beholder! She's strong and a good dancer! We don't need anything else! She's successful and strong! That's all she needs to be! There was a little bit of miss timing in their number! I give her an eight! "Lots of recognizable samba in there! Timing was a little bit suspect!" "Your future is set in gold! You're beautiful and you're sassy, madam!" "That was so sexy because you own everything you are!" "You area powerful and poignant performer!" Sasha is so giggly! She doesn't own her sexiness!" Real judges: 9, 8, 9, 9! Good scores!

Team Bonnerarna: Rhumba! Styling as an honorary Backstreet Boy! They call each other divided by a wall. They come together! Bonner! Don't sing! Not a lot of dancing at first, then he starts and he's decent! Bonner! DON'T SING! I give him an eight! Ladies in the audience love his look! "Rumba is very, very hard for men!" "Little jagged!" "There were dynamics I'd never seen from you before!" "Solid, solid rhumba!" "You have to let go!" "Lines were good, but, needed more emotion!" "Not your best dance, but, not your worst!" He's very likable! Real judges: 8, 8, 7, 7!

Team Kerrigartem: Paso Doble! To En Vogue! "You always manage to pull it off!" She remembers Mel B's rendition! She wants a ten! Wow! He's earning his money as a coach! Twirling cage choreography! She's strong and determined! Just as the dance demands! She's fierce! Channeling her inner Mel B! Nancy and four boys and she's more than holding her own! I give her a nine! She was FIERCE! "Let the caged bird fly!" "You finally owned the power!" "Wow, wow and WOW!" "My mind is blown you have freed my mind!" "Nancy, don't doubt yourself!" "You're a terrific dancer and just dance!" "Don't let all this stuff get into your head!" "I thought you were a lady and you unleashed the BEAST tonight!" "Never ever, ever lose your shape!" Real judges: 9, 8, 8, 8! More points coming up!

Team Bacheloreta: Performing to the Beach Boys Jive! "It's really, REALLY hard!" "I'm the underdog!" Dancing like a non-dancer! He's surrounded by dancers and is trying to hold his own! He's needs to own the movements more! Classic Beach Boys! Kicks and flicks, not too bad! It's the retraction! Wardrobe malfunctioning tonight! Earrings and arm bands! I give him an eight! "You got the girls, you got the look! You just have to work on the moves!" "What was lacking was Polish and finesse!" "Work on polishing it up!" "Jive is about precision and timing!" "I love the effort!" Movie genre next week! "Jive is no joke!" Real judges: 7, 7, 7, 7! Wow! LOW scores! Needs more points in the team dances!

Team Normal: Salsa Pussycat Dolls! Amazing scores last week! "Careful what you wish for because you might just get it!" Normani in a construction zone! Fans t footwork. Val as a construction worker We all wanna be famous! Wow! She's good! This is her finals to lose! This girl can DANCE! Easy flip to splits! Wow! She owned the stage there! The rest of the field just got served! I give her a ten! Audience is going crazy! "That dance showcased just how good a dancer you are, but not what a good salsa dancer you are!" "Dancing is purely about taste!" "You melted all my wiring in all my boxes! You're in it to win it!" "Loved it!" "When I grow up I wanna be just like you!" You stick every move!" "You have what it takes to take this all the way!" "Stay the course and don't look back!" Real judges: 10, 10, 8, 10! Wow! Len hard to please!

Team Davidsey: Mandatory extra point for Lindsey's gams! Argentine Tango to N Sync!' He's at the bottom of the leader board! "Getting better, but, it may not be fast enough!' "Did I ever say it was going to be easy!" "The frustration comes from wanting so much!" He's better. Needs to work on that upper body frame! So important in good tango! Ooh! An iffy lift! It goes but, it was SPOOKY! End in silhouette! Good for him! I give him an eight! "You're a man on a mission!" "Couple of links are a little bit shaky!" Proper Argentine Tango!" "She's like my daughter! Hard to be sexy with her!" "Just A little rough on the edges!" "I can tell you are a fighter!" "That was your best work!" "Marvelous job despite the pressure!" Wow! Look how red the back of his head is!" Real judges: 7, 8, 7, 7! May be time to say goodbye to the Cubbie!

Team Rashemma: Four tops! She's kicking his butt in rehearsal everyday! Tango! He starts off with the four tops! He's good Asa boy bander! Dang! He's so good! He's so. Good! The music and the movement is giving me goose bumps! Sharp and smooth! Watch his upper. Body! Take a note all you other men! OH, SOO GOOD! Audience is clapping along! Motown never looked so good! I give him a ten! "You were dancing with style and technique!" "You have elevated yourself to an elite level!" "Proper Ballroom tango!" "I love that combination! Classic Motown and the classic tango!" "I might've gotten a little ahead of myself! She was kicking my tail this week!" Real judges: 9, 10, 9, 9! "We'll take it!"

Team Heatheracks!: Reunited and it feels so good! Rumba to TLC! Super sexy! "Rumba is very adult!" "Very sexy dance!" Alan comes on with Heather and Macks takes her back! Man! She's a tall cool drink of red water! She's showing her body control and extension and control! She's not afraid to turn! DANG! She's punching her ticket to the finals! This is her mirrorball to lose! What a story! I give her a ten! "My favorite dance of the night!" "You told a story!" "Elegant! Beautiful!" "It was a knockout dance! I really loved it!" "No man can resist you wearing that!" "Played like a star! Danced like a champion!" "It was stunning!" Real judges: 10, 10, 10, 10! First perfect scores of the season1. Her first tens!

Team Dances:

Team Boy Band: First some results: Total team that is safe is...Boy Band? What! All the Boyz are safe! That means one of the girls is going home! Wow! That means one of the girls is going home! Chair dances! Take them out! Channeling their inner boy band! Hey! These guys can dance! Classic Jackson five! Blue sequined coats and dresses! Looks like they're having a ball! Coats come off! Here come the boys! Carrie Anne is loving the boy section! Keep the camera off of David! The other boys are more than holding their own! Rashad and Emma Put Lindsey at the front properly for the line up section! Those game! Wow! Good energy! And so much fun! I give them a nine! Young girls in the audience loving it! Bring out the Boyz! "That's what you need to do to beat the girls!" "I was crying!" "Well done!" "Ladies and gentlemen! There is a new boy band in town!" Real judges: 8, 9, 8, 8!

Team Girl Group: Girls in a slumber party! Bathrobes come out and it's a Ladies Night! Boys are the male strippers in the ladies night out! No scrubs! Wow! Heather is fabulous! Normani is spectacular! They are sending a message tonight! But, it may be Nancy or Simone's time to go? Girls up on the judges' stand! Bad lighting! Lighting is lost! "Let there be light!" "Lighting board went down!' "Girl power kicks butt!" I give them an eight! Real judges; 8, 9, 8, 9! All over the board?

Final Elimination: First couple safe is...Simone and Sasha! Does that mean Nancy's going home? Also safe to dance next week is...Normani and Val! Heather and Nancy are left! Better not be Heather! Heather looks like she's about to cry! Heather is eliminated??? There is no justice! Audience is in shock! She deserves to win! "Such a strange season!" Perfect scores! "Unmatchable results in all my past seasons!" That's it! Can't understand that at all! One of the most shocking results in my book in all 27 seasons! I was looking forward to seeing her in the finals against Normani! NO JUSTICE! NO PEACE! NO JUSTICE! NO PEACE!!!

04.28.2017: Fancy Nancy

Support the DsM Playhouse:
Meet Nancy (Maddie Ripperger), who believes that more is ALWAYS better when it comes to being fancy. She loves her frilly bedroom, her lace-trimmed socks, and will take any chance she gets to show-off her fancy French!

But when Nancy finds out that someone else was picked to be the star mermaid of their first dance recital and Nancy is forced to play a tree, she must learn kindness and find the “fancy flair” in her new role.

Nancy is reminded of the importance of making the most of every part we are called on to play in life and she learns just how incredibly fabulous being a tree can be. Adapted from the bestselling book series by Jane O’Connor, Fancy Nancy will warm your heart with SPARKLE!

The playhouse cast includes Alexis Ananda Cole, Paige Fahrenkrug, Andrew Overton, Julia Polson, and Sarah Hinzman. Fancy Nancy is directed and choreographed by Anne Arthur Frett, with music direction by Brianne Magel.

04.27.2017: NOT 50 Shades!

Support your local high school thespians:
Valley High School Presents "Anatomy of Gray"

(Capital City News Service)—Valley High School’s Drama Department presents its spring play, “Anatomy of Gray” by playwright Jim Leonard Jr., award-winning author of “The Diviners” and “Crow and Weasel.”

Described by Leonard as “(a) children’s story for adults,” the play tells the story of teenager June Muldoon and her hometown, Gray, Indiana, in the 1800s. After her father dies, June prays for a healer to come to her town. Her prayers are answered when Dr. Galen P. Gray crashes his hot-air balloon near the town during a tornado. He gains the town’s favor by healing many of their ailments but is then blamed for a strange plague spreading through the town.

The play features senior Heather Stout as June Muldoon, senior Kamden Lee as Galen P. Gray and senior Jack Standefer as Homer, a farm boy in love with June. Senior Courtney Graham plays June’s mother, Rebekah, and senior Jared Fisher is the skeptical Pastor Phineas Wingfield. More than 140 Valley High School students make up the rest of the cast and crew, with senior Cheyenne Raney as head stage manager, senior Nora Raine as head production manager, senior Ben Burright as master carpenter, and senior Catie Judge as master electrician. A full cast and crew list can be found online at

Performances are at 7 p.m. on April 28 and 29, and at 2 p.m. on April 30, in the Staplin Performing Arts Center, Valley High School, 3650 Woodland Ave., West Des Moines. Tickets are $7 and $10, and can be purchased through MIDWESTIX at or by calling 515-244-2771.

This play is presented through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

04.26.2017: Help Wanted!

Volunteers needed for the latest DsM Playhouse production:
Fancy Nancy Front of House Volunteers Needed

We have many open front-of-house volunteer needs for Fancy Nancy. For some positions, you can leave after the show starts or after intermission.

All shifts listed are current as of 4/19/2017.

Note: The times listed are curtain times, you will need to be here one hour prior.

Saturday, 4/29 @ 1:00: Ushers
Saturday, 4/29 @ 4:00: Concessions, Ushers
Sunday, 4/30 @ 1:00: House Manager, Concessions
Sunday, 4/30 @ 4:00: House Manager, Concessions, Ushers

Friday, 5/5 @ 7:00: House Manager, Concessions, Ushers
Saturday, 5/6 @ 1:00: House Manager, Ushers, Ticket Taker
Saturday, 5/6 @ 4:00:House Manager, Concessions, Ushers, Ticket Taker
Sunday, 5/7 @ 1:00: House Manager, Concessions, Ushers
Sunday, 5/7 @ 4:00: House Manager, Concessions, Ushers

Friday, 5/12 @ 7:00: House Manager, Concessions, Ushers
Saturday, 5/13 @ 1:00: House Manager, Concessions, Ushers
Saturday, 5/13 @ 4:00: House Manager, Concessions
Sunday, 5/14 @ 1:00: House Manager, Concessions, Ushers
Sunday, 5/14 @ 4:00: House Manager, Concessions, Ushers

Friday, 5/19 @ 7:00: Ticket Taker
Saturday, 5/20 @ 1:00: House Manager, Concessions, Ushers, Ticket Taker, Ushers
Saturday, 5/20 @ 4:00: House Manager, Concessions, Ticket Taker, Ushers
Sunday, 5/21@ 1:00: House Manager, Concessions, Ushers

To sign up for Fancy Nancy shifts click here.

Behind the scenes at Fancy Nancy

Meet Nancy (Maddie Ripperger), who believes that more is ALWAYS better when it comes to being fancy. But when someone else gets picked to be the star mermaid of her first dance recital and she is forced to play a tree, Nancy must learn kindness and find the “fancy flair” in her new role. Adapted from the bestselling book series by Jane O’Connor, Fancy Nancy will warm your hearts with SPARKLE!

Every kid can relate to Nancy and her tangled up feelings and grown-ups will even be dazzled by the heart-warming lessons that we never outgrow. C'est la vie! "Fancy Nancy The Musical" is fun for the whole family!

The Playhouse cast is directed and choreographed by Anne Arthur Frett with musical direction by Brianne Magel. The cast includes Alexis Ananda Cole, Paige Fahrenkrug, Sarah Hinzman, Andrew Overton, and Julia Polson.

04.25.2017: Comedy Series

Laughter is the best medicine:

(Capital City News Service) – Des Moines Performing Arts is pleased to announce that the 2017-2018 Season Ticket Package for the PRAIRIE MEADOWS TEMPLE COMEDY SERIES and LIVE AT THE TEMPLE CONCERT SERIES will go on sale Monday, April 24, 2017 starting at 9 a.m. Season Ticket Packages can be purchased at, the Civic Center Ticket Office, and by phone at 515-246-2300. All shows will be held at The Temple Theater. 2017-2018 TEMPLE COMEDY SERIES 3-SHOW PACKAGE:

Nov. 28, 2017–Jan. 7, 2018

Dixie Longate, the fast-talking Tupperware Lady, packed up her catalogues, left her children in an Alabama trailer park and took Off-Broadway, the UK & Australia by storm! Now, join Dixie as she travels the country throwing good ol'fashioned Tupperware Parties filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, FREE giveaways, audience participation and the most fabulous assortment of Tupperware ever sold on a theater stage. Loaded with the most up-to-date products available for purchase, see for yourself how Ms. Longate became a member of the illustrious "#1 Tupperware Seller in the World" Club, as she educates her guests on the many alternative uses she has discovered for her plastic products!

“Not your grandmother’s Tupperware Party!”---NBC Today Show.

Feb. 13–March 4, 2018

Defending the Caveman holds the record as the longest running solo play in Broadway history. Caveman is also now a worldwide rock-solid tour de force that has won the hearts of millions and it’s sure to win yours. Caveman has been seen in 45 countries and translated into 18 different languages (and counting!).

A hilariously insightful play about the ways men and women relate, Caveman has both sexes roaring with laughter and recognition. Affectionate nudging between audience members occurs during the performance as they recognize themselves in the stories being told on stage.

Defending the Caveman makes us laugh at ourselves about all the ways men and women fight, laugh and love. That’s why couples all across America and around the world are in love with Defending the Caveman.

April 10–29, 2018

Edgy, thought-provoking and always spectacularly funny, The Second City is celebrating nearly six decades of producing cutting-edge satirical revues and launching the careers of generation after generation of comedy’s best and brightest.


Jan. 30–Feb. 4, 2018

One Funny Mother stars comedian, former Miss New Jersey, and married mother of three, Dena Blizzard, in her hilarious solo comedy show about the trials and tribulations of motherhood and marriage. An outrageous and side splitting 80 minutes of sass that follows Dena on her hilarious journey through a day of cleaning as she prepares for her big “Girls Night Out.” Along the way she laments how her life and marriage have changed since becoming a mother of three, wrestling with the eternal question, “Have I gone crazy since having these kids?” The answer is a hysterical, “laugh ’til your face hurts” comedy that you won’t want to miss!


October 12, 2017

This unorthodox, high-energy, acoustic-based quintet of guitar, violin, standup bass, percussion and keyboards (including accordion) has, over the past few years, emerged as one of the shining lights of Savannah’s burgeoning music scene. In that time, the band has grown from a somewhat informal instrumental combo which routinely drew enthusiastic and loyal followers at raucous restaurant and bar gigs to a respected and admired touring act that’s as comfortable in an attentive listening room or large concert hall as they are in a crowded nightclub.

Velvet Caravan’s unique ability to subtly shift musical gears without sacrificing their integrity as composers and performers is rare indeed. This has resulted in an envelope-pushing group that’s just as successful at dazzling jaded cocktail drinkers as they are at commanding the rapt attention of serious music aficionados in whisper-quiet recital environments. Of late, the band has even taken things a step further, by mesmerizing and inspiring even the most finicky of schoolchildren through fun and engaging music educational programming.

Nov. 3, 2017

Ruth Moody is an Australian-born, two-time Juno Award winning singer-songwriter from Winnipeg, Canada. Founding and current member of the internationally renowned, Billboard-charting trio The Wailin’ Jennys, she has performed in sold-out venues around the world, made numerous critically-acclaimed albums, and has appeared more than a dozen times on the popular American radio show A Prairie Home Companion.

Although best known for her work with The Wailin’ Jennys, Ruth is an artist of exceptional depth and grace in her own right. Critics have lauded her ethereal vocals, impressive multi-instrumentalism, and insightful songwriting. Written with a maturity and wisdom that belies her age, her songs are timeless, universal, and exquisitely crafted, all sung with an intimacy and honesty that is unmistakably hers.

In 2010, Ruth released her first solo album, The Garden. Produced by David Travers-Smith, it was nominated for two Juno Awards, a Western Canadian Music Award and three Canadian Folk Music Awards. Its title track was the fourth most played song of 2010 on North American Folk Radio.

The Ruth Moody Band is Adrian Dolan on fiddle, mandolin, viola, mandola and vocals; Adam Dobres on guitars, ukulele and vocals; and Sam Howard on upright bass and vocals.

Jan. 16, 2018

The vocal sextet Ordinarius offers a varied repertoire, with the voice as its primary instrument. The group’s original and exclusive arrangements are the work of Augusto Ordine, musical director and founder. The repertoire includes both acapella pieces and songs with guitar, ukulele and percussive instrumental accompaniment. Works are drawn from Brazilian and international sources, from American pop music by Stevie Wonder to the rock music of the Beatles, from Brazilian bossa nova by Johnny Alf to traditional “choro” by Ernesto Nazareth to samba by Gilberto Gil.

With the repertoire of their first CD, considered to be one of the best CDs of Brazilian music in 2012 by the music site “O embrulhador,” they have toured in Brazil and Europe. The group’s music clips have more than 300 thousand visualizations on YouTube and are drawing in fans from all over the world. The Ordinarius version of “As Long as You Love Me,” originally performed by the Backstreet Boys, was recommended by the American group itself on Twitter and Facebook, drawing additional attention to the group’s rendition of the song, which ended up being included in the soundtrack of the popular TV drama Salve Gorge, on Brazil’s Rede Globo.

Over the last few years, besides showcasing their first CD in live performances, Ordinarius has expanded its presence on social networks through music clips that have proven very popular. Besides a number of clips of live performances and the extremely successful “As Long as You Love Me,” they have produced clips of Gilberto Gil’s “Ladeira da Preguiça”, “Baião de Quatro Toques,” a song by José Miguel Wisnik e Luiz Tatit that accompanies images of the group’s trip to Germany, and the classic “Carinhoso” by Pixinguinha and João de Barro, which incorporates voices and images of the group’s fans.

Feb. 11, 2018

The Queen’s Cartoonists are a jazz band specializing in music from cartoons. The music runs the gamut from lightning fast swing arrangements to sync’d video projections, vocal numbers, and comedy. Be prepared for music from classic Warner Bros. cartoons, early Disney films, cult cartoon classics, and modern animation. Featured composers include Raymond Scott, Carl Stalling, Danny Elfman, Alf Clausen, John Williams and countless adaptations of classical favorites!

Tying this diverse and challenging repertoire together are stories and anecdotes involving the cartoons and their composers. The band is on a musical mission of equal parts music preservation, education, and performance. The Queen’s Cartoonists tap into the rich tradition of cartoon music to bring a fun, cross-generational concert experience to any and all who will listen!

TQC has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, and on NPR. They have been bringing their unique (yet nostalgic) sound to performing arts centers and schools all over the US.

March 8, 2018

Nashville recording artist and songwriter, Danika Portz, is creating a buzz in Music City. Originally from Remsen, Iowa, Danika has been performing since the age of 6. Her mother recognized her talent at an early age and put together her first "tour" to all the local nursing homes at the age of 8 and started competing in competitions at the age of 9. From collegiate choirs to professional theatre companies, corporate events to state and county fairs, Danika is a seasoned veteran to the stage.

Since moving to Nashville, Danika has caught the attention of several record labels and publishers around town. Her distinctive sound and style is what sets her apart from the typical country act as her music has been described as a mixture of Mumford and Sons, Kacey Musgraves, and Katy Perry—with a voice on par with Norah Jones. Lyrically grounded in country music, yet unafraid to think outside the box melodically, Danika phrases things in such a way that grabs the listener and makes them want more.

In 2013, Danika signed a publishing and artist deal with Grin Like A Dog Songs in partnership with Green Hills Music Group, which is headed by former Sony VP, Woody Bomar, who during his tenure at Sony signed Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Rascal Flatts and many more.

May 17, 2018

“Gullah” comes from West African language and means “a people blessed by God.” “Ranky Tanky” translates loosely as “Work It,” or “Get Funky!” In this spirit this Charleston, SC based quintet performs timeless music of Gullah culture born in the southeastern Sea Island region of the United States. From playful game songs to ecstatic shouts, from heartbreaking spirituals to delicate lullabies, the musical roots of Charleston, SC are “rank” and fertile ground from which these contemporary artists are grateful to have grown.

South Carolina natives Quentin Baxter, Kevin Hamilton, Charlton Singleton and Clay Ross first came together in 1998, fresh out of University, to form a seminal Charleston jazz quartet. Now, united by years apart and a deeper understanding of home, these accomplished artists have come together again, joined by one of the low-country’s most celebrated vocalists Quiana Parler, to revive a “Heartland of American Music” born in their own backyards.

For additional information, please visit

04.24.2017: TGIDWTSMonday!

Rainy (or sunny) daze and Mondays always bring me DWTS, Karen Carpenter!
"Dancing With The Stars!"
Season 24
Week Five: The Fourth Eliminations
"Disney Night!"

Opening Number: Live! Right NOW! Starts with the Classic Disney Movie opening! Mirror ball! "Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and Fantasy!" Alfonso sings and invites some of the contestants of SYTYCD The Next Generation into the Magic Kingdom! Up the incline and down the other side! Disney characters are rife and ready! There's Moana! Fairies all around! Cartoon anime CGI and real costume characters dance and big production number to open the show! Nice to see Alfonso back and singing and dancing so well! There's Goofy and Donald and Daisy! Dancing to Disney hits performed by special guests!

Team Rashemma: "Ever More" from new Beauty and the Beast! Stunning sores from last week! "The highest scores of the season!" Emma's first tens ever! She deserves a chance to show what she can do with a real contender! "You have to dance this like you don't want to let me go!" He's a crybaby! Shot of the iconic chandelier from the ballroom scene. He's on the mezzanine and longing for his Beauty! She in the classic yellow gown! LOVE his smile! VERY smooth and elegant! Foxtrot! Poor lighting. Under lighting is a bad choice! CGI fireworks. His upper body needs work! Disappointing after his star turn last week! Is that a lift? I don't think she could do that on her own! I give him an eight! "Beauty and the Beast " in the theaters now!" "The music was difficult to keep time with! I haven't seen you dance a bad dance yet!" "That was timeless for me!" "You NAILED it!" "You captured the classic, sumptuous Disney story!" "Very tricky musical phrasing!" "You're so intoxicating to watch!" Emma striking blonde in yellow!" He says "If it's awkward to me, then it's right!" Real judges: 7, 8, 9, 8! Scores "all over the map"! Was that a dedication for a lift? This couple is SAFE! Advances to next week!

Next team result is safety for Heather and Alan. First couple in jeopardy is Erica and Gleb. Next safe is Bonner and Sharna! Nick and Peta are in trouble! More results in just a bit and they're up next!

Team Nicketa: Off his best scores so far! Nervous Nick is gone! Trying to get better before he's eliminated! He wanted to be a cartoonist when he was a kid! Dancing to Pinocchio! "Kinda ridiculous!" Trying to show some range! Everybody's noses are growing! Strings attached in the beginning! "I got no Strings!" Classic Disney! Starts off with great character dancing. Dancing with a classic cane work! Now, he gets a skirt on and forms a kick line? Questionable choreography...but, the song choice determines the movements! I give him an A for effort! But, an eight for the actual score! "You look about 12!" "That was SOO much fun! LOVED the choreography! Each week you're getting better and better! It was AWESOME!" "You're alive!" "Spontaneous fun of child play!" Praises the cross-dressing!" "You CAN-CAN!" "This is a breakthrough!" "You let that inner child come out!" "Fun, entertaining and full of the feel-good factor! Just like a trip to Disneyland itself!" Boy Bands versus Girl Groups next week! Minnie gives Bachelor a rose! He says, "I'm just gonna own it!" Real judges: 9, 8, 9,8! Breakthrough scores for him! But, he's still on the chopping block!

Team Erikelb: Viennese Waltz to Pixar's Dory! They are on the bottom from last week! She's tearing up and she's very emotional! Gleb gives her some hug therapy! Unforgettable is the music! She's hoping the emotional connection to the music will amplify her performance! But, it's hard to break the habits of a lifetime! She is a little better! But, because she's depended on her looks for so's better, but, she takes herself too seriously to let go and reveal her real vulnerabilities and that's what's an audience really relates to! Despite her tears, it may be her time to go! Her breakthrough may not be enough for the voting public or the judges. She gets a seven from me! "I met you for the first time tonight!" "Because you opened your heart, you opened up your lines! Forget princesses, you were a queen!" "I loved the routine, beautiful flow and arms!" "You gave everything you had tonight!" She proves you can't be defensive and dance well! She says, "I had no choice but to deliver and be brave!" "Very scary!" Real judges: 8, 8, 8, 8! I must be the mean judge tonight!

Team Heatherlan: From "Frozen". Still no Macks! Jazz is her forte! Olaf the snowman from "Frozen" shows up to coach the dancers! She's ready for Broadway! THis is SOO in her wheelhouse! The chainne turns are a little iffy! But, she could do this on Broadway! I give her a ten every time out! "You brought out the fun!" "A little underwhelming for me!" "That was amazing!" "You completely embodied the character! That was perfect!" She was portraying the actress part of her talents! Real judges: 8, 8, 9, 9! It's still between her and Team Normal! Macks is coming back next week!

Team Bonnerarna: Tango from Wreck it Ralph! They're playing video game character! Kids start playing the character...and there's Bonner on the screen! Not a lot of dancing to start with...and then they get into hold and he delivers! Still tough to hold that ballroom frame! He has to learn when to look at the girl and when not to! He seems to be in his own world and not connecting enough! Is that because he's portraying a video game character! Okay! Now underwhelming! "You didn't take the easy way! Lot of dancing in hold!" "You did a great job!" "You pulled this off! You came to life! And, you NAILED the tango!" "You did NOT wreck the tango!" "Appreciate the effort!" "In hold, you were INCREDIBLE! But, work on higher highs and lower lows! More DYNAMIC!" I give him an eight or seven. He says, "I had a blast!" Real judges: 7, 8, 8, 7! "Great score, but, a really tough week!"

First some results! Next couple safe is Simone and Sasha! Also safe this week is David and Lindsey! Next couple in jeopardy is...Normani and Val! WHAT? Nancy and Artem are SAFE!

Team Normal: Sung by Donny Osmond! Val vows more content! Milan is one of her favorite films! Paso Doble combat choreography! "I am Mulan!" Starts off with Mulan joining the line of soldiers! Wow! She's good! Coming back with a vengeance! As a former martial artist turned performing racist! She can work out in my dojo any day! Strong and powerful! Swirling camera work! She's Not a lot of dancing in hold until the last part! And, then it's probably over too soon for Len's taste! I give her a ten! That was an amazing performance! "That was gorgeous! That was everything a Paso is supposed to be!" "What a Paso Princess!" "Your line was gorgeous!" "That was EPIC!" "It was PERFECTION!" "There was a lot of Paso references in the dance, I really enjoyed watching it!" Donny says "That was AMAZING!" Real judges; 10, 9, 10, 10! Tens have mouse ears! Tied for the highest scores of the season!

Team Davindsey: Lindsey spectacular in red patent leather body suit! His mindset is to work his tail off! Ring ceremony! Jive! He's the oldest guy left in the competition! Lindsey is pressure pointing ! Oh, look he has a body bar just like me! "You're old and you're an idiot!" Cars Three! He's showing his age and lack of flexibility! I'd be worried for him, until he breaks hold. He's not so bad after that! This guy has found the fountain of youth and I think it's the three girls he's dancing with! Plays Lindsey like an air guitar! He's getting a lot of energy from the driving music behind him! I give him an eight! ZZ Ward provides the rocking song! "You always bring it on! Difficult to maintain the sharp footwork!" "You kept up with your pit crew!" "Those costumes made up for a lot!" Real judges: 7, 7, 8, 7! Good thing he's safe! "This is one of my funniest dances! I'm happy!"

Team Kerrigartem: Jazz to a song from Enchanted! She's intimidated by the younger female dancers in the show! Artem is trying to shore up his star. Lip synching the song to start! She's the princess in this show! Even though there's pros all over the stage! She's not being out shone! She's got the presence and just needs to believe in herself a little bit more! Confidence begets confidence! I give her an eight! "Fantastic jazz performance! Effortlessly light and graceful!" "You captured the spirit of Disney!" "It was so amazing and beautiful!" "Focus on where you want to go!" "SOO vivacious and full of goodness! You held your own!" I give her an eight! Maybe, a nine! She says, "It was so much fun! The experience is so amazing! So, much fun!" Real judges: 9, 9, 9, 9! I think those are her best scores of the season!

Team Simasha: Contemporary! From Moana! Song performed by Ali'i Cravalho! "It actually felt better to get it out!" She's been so young and sheltered for so long! "How far I'll go!" Big air in jumps and lifts from the Olympic gold medalist! She's enjoying this performance more! Fast spin and lift from Sasha! They jump back on the outrigger canoe to finish! I give her an eight or nine! "What a great routine!" "Your dancing was fantastic!" "Well done!" "My lovely little goddess!" "Gravity doesn't apply to you! That was really magic!" "Powerful and poetic dance!" Real judges: 9, 9, 10, 10! Good scores!

Final eliminations: Another couple safe is...Normani and Val! That would have been a real shocker if she went! She's still one of my finalists! Couple leaving right now is (ominous drumbeat)...Erika and Gleb! As predicted by my fellow judge! Last week she said it was time for her to go! She's being glib with Gleb, she's covering up! Tht's why she's leaving! She can't be real even at the end! Bachelor and the Chicago Cub better watch out unless they can step it up! Big hugs in the center of the stage as Tinkerbelle waves her wand and sprinkles some fairy dust over the proceedings!

04.20.2017: Brew City Ballet

WIll you be visiting or dancing in Milwaukee this summer? Here's the latest from the ballet company that's hosted many CCDC dancers over the years:
From the creator of ballet blockbusters like Dracula and Peter Pan comes a deliciously dark take on Snow White.

Master storyteller Michael Pink combines alluring costumes and sets, a cinematic score, and contemporary choreography to tell this beloved tale.

Mirror Mirror re-imagines the story of Snow White, revealing the birth of the mysterious mirror and the true depths of the evil stepmother's vanity. Good and evil are performed on stage as you've never seen before.

The dream team behind this spectacle include composer Philip Feeney (Dracula, Peter Pan), Emmy Award winning lighting designer David Grill (Dracula, Peter Pan), and scenic and costume designer Todd Edward Ivins.

Mirror Mirror
On stage June 1-4
Marcus Center
Tickets available online and Milwaukee Ballet box office at 414-902-2103.
...Find out more here.

04.19.2017: Tickets For BHB

Coughing up for the Big Hair Ball:
Purchase Des Moines Art Center Big Hair Ball Tickets Early For VIP Access and Discounted Rate on General Admission

(Capital City News Service) It’s not too late to purchase tickets to Des Moines’ hottest Big Hair event! VIP tickets won’t last long, and neither will the discounted ticket prices. The Des Moines Art Center Big Hair Ball takes place on Saturday, May 13, 7:30 pm – midnight at the Art Center, 4700 Grand, Des Moines. Sponsored by the Art Center’s member group Art Noir, “Alchemy” is inspired by the exhibition Alchemy: Transformations in Gold, on view at the Art Center through May 5. This gilded night of luxury promises to be an extravagant evening of fashion and entertainment, featuring a live runway show with some of Des Moines’ finest big hair creations from local salons, barbers, and stylists. This year’s event will be held in the I. M. Pei building, the Art Center’s first addition, built in 1968 by the world-renowned architect who also designed the pyramid at the Louvre, Paris. Holding the event in this building will transform the space, and be only the second time in Art Center history (and perhaps the last) a party has been held in the Pei building.

This is an event for ages 21+. Participants include: Aveda Institute Des Moines, Bella Salon & Spa, Blondie’s by T. Harris, Corey Winegardner, Dapper DSM, G Spot Hair Design, Platinum Kutz, and Trixies.

04.18.2017: Hand It To Hanawalt

Celebrating the Arts is elementary:
You are invited to Hanawalt’s Day in the Arts!

The Day in the Arts has been a tradition for nearly two decades. This unique event is adored by our faculty, students and families, and we want to share it with you. The focus of the day is learning in and through the fine arts, while providing our students the opportunity to work with community artists.

Throughout the Day in the Arts, Hanawalt students will learn and create with over 20 local artist. In the afternoon, the students will experience a workshop with Opera Iowa.

Join us at Hanawalt Elementary School, 225 56th Street, Des Moines, Iowa

When: April 21st, 2017

  • Morning workshops with community artists run from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Opera Iowa student workshop begins at 1:45 p.m.
  • See the latest DART/Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation public art bus wrap. The bus features Iowa Artist Brent Holland (Hanawalt parent)
We hope that you can make it! Please let us know if you are able to attend by contacting our Media Co-chair Christopher Stalvey at

04.17.2017: TGIDWTSMonday!

Disney night tonight! Here's a recap of last week's 'happy place'!
"Dancing With The Stars!"
Season 24
Week Four: The Third Eliminations
"My Most Memorable Year!"

Opening Number: My Most Memorable Year! Montage of memories! Burnt into the wood casket to start! "One of our most popular and memorable shows of the season!" Cavalcade of stars! Macks is NOT back! Ten remaining contestants!

Team Normal: 2012 is when she joined Fifth Harmony! "My mom literally quite her job so I could audition!" "My parents believed in me more than I believed in myself!" "Going beyond dance and into that memorable year!" X-factor winner in dusty rose slit up to there on one side! Her fifth Harmony band-mates walk on in support! Rumba! Vocals sound flat? Only thing flat on stage? Oh, there's a lift? Allowed in rumba! Wow! She's good passionate. Sudden stillness! Big hugs from her Fifth Harmony band mates! I give her a nine! "You are a terrific dancer! Great charismatic presence!" Len wants more content, wants more Rumba! I know you're a good dancer...Show me the dancing!" "Oh, my goodness! You are a powerhouse!" "You were like a rumba dominatrix!" "So strong, so powerful, it was a joy to watch!" Lift police threatens a point! Real judges: 8, 7, 8, 9! Would have been two nines except for the dedication!

Team Bacheloreta: creates his trials and tribulations on Bachelorette. Oh! He's strong and assertive. Rumba. Very macho! Very strong and assertive!. Maybe a little more hip action. Shirt gets stripped off! Quick peck for PETA than make out session with his fiancé! "This was your best dance!" "Keep it up!" "We all felt it! You definitely connected tonight!" "Don't stall your hip action!" "You were so grounded, so connected!" "No deduction!" "Still a way to go, but, your best dance so far!" I give him an eight! Maybe, a nine! Real judges: 8, 7, 8, 7! His highest score of the season. My boy's been working out! Washboard much?

Team Kerrigartem: Six miscarriages in eight years? She was ashamed. Tears flow freely! Had to resort to in vitro fertilization. Message for her kids "Never give up!" She's getting better every week! Such emotion and grace1. Another lift? Emotional tour de force! Just watch those shoulders, Kerrigan! I give her an eight! "Everybody is bringing their A-game tonight!" "Don't use your top line in under arm turns!" "Your vulnerability is so inspiring!" "You've moved from the pack to one of the front-runners to me!" "Each week for me you're the one taking the biggest strides!" Real judges: 8, 9, 8, 8! Nine from LEN?

Team Tym: Mister T fights 'the big C'. Waltz. Depended on his faith to fight cancer! Cancer metastisized! "Easy to say you love God when things are going good!" 22 year cancer survivor! Tears in rehearsal! "I want to honor God, I'm here through the Grace of God!" AmazingGrace. Powerful man, just a little too careful in his routine. He's not doing much dancing. Kym is gyrating all around him! But, he is her rock! I give him six or seven. Twelve for emotional content! "Your faith radiated out of you in your dance! It was balanced it was genteel, full of Grace!" "You two are the A-team!" "I admire you more than any other celebrity! I truly admire you!" "It was breath taking!" "Your story was so evident on this stage tonight!" "You are really a good man! You are truly a man of faith with an inspiring performance!" Real judges: 7, 7, 7, 7!

Team Heatherlan: Recalling her wedding! "This song is very important to me!" Starts off with her husband, but, Alan takes over...because it takes a professional to keep up with a professional! Her wedding dress! She's so good! She knows hot to sell the performance! What a pro! Star with star turn on the dance floor! OMG! Give her a ten! "Sharp, crisp, great hip action! I thought it was lovely!" "So much cha cha content!" "So much life and energy!" "We worked on the technique!" "Full of delicious details!" "So in tune and so happy to see you dance together so well!" "Your light gets brighter and brighter with each dance!" Macks again relegated to the mezzanine! Real judges: 8, 9, 9, 9! Leader in the clubhouse! Highest scores of the season!

Team Davidsey: Viennese Waltz celebrating the Cubs win! "The most epic year I could ever imagined! The fairy tale ending! Never in my wildest dreams!" He starts by looking up at the stars. Lindsey comes and gets him! He's starting to be, dare I say, graceful". Finally a smile! He needs to show the enjoyment of the performance! He's been working hard and it's showing. They walk off together into the starry universe and give each other a giant hug! I give him an eight! Maybe a. Seven! "Everybody is on their game today! Little squat and skip pity, but, I love this team!" "You still have the energy of a spring chicken! You cannot jump on the Viennese Waltz you have to float!" "You make everyone feel like they could dance as well as you!" As usual, extra points from me for Lindsey's gams! Real judges: 7, 8, 8, 8! The Dad dance! "Chicago! That's how you do a rain delay!"

Team Rashemma: Felt abandoned by his father emotionally! Father had a stroke and had his leg amputated! "My family is bigger than football!" "My dad got lost at one point, but, I've never held a grudge against him!" Dancing for unconditional love! Emotional content is mesmerizing! Contemporary dance. Emma is barefoot! Lifts allowed and they're taking advantage of the stylistic freedom! He's strength coming in handy!. The piece ends Ina big hug for his father. Tears all around! What an emotional tour de force! Ten! For concept and delivery! "I was mesmerized!" "You missed your calling! You are a born dancer!" "I thought it was fantastic!" "Emotion equals emotional! It was SO BEAUTIFUL!" "Your vulnerability is so empowering!" Real judges: 10, 9, 10, 10! The highest score of the season so far!

Team Erikleb: The year she moved to NYC! Aspiring performer! She moved to LA! Clawing her way to the top! Cha cha to Madonna "Express Yourself!" Dancing for anyone chasing their dreams! Channeling her best Madonna. Except Madonna was a trained dancer on scholarship at Ailey's. One of my teacher's roommate! I've seen Madonna Ciccone and she's no Madonna! Hmm, her confidence exceeds her delivery! I give her a seven! "You are bold and fearless, but, I appreciate the choreography pushing you!" "Erika, you're on a bit of a plateau! Too much same-oh-same-oh! "Need more hip action!" "I love you go for it with no apologies!" "But...REFINE the technique!" Real judges: 8, 7, 7, 8!

Team Simasha: Viennese Waltz. She was adopted at 2000. Biological mom was a druggie! "I remember always being hungry and afraid!" "My parents saved me!" OMG! Who knew this about Simone? She's lovely in lace! Well coached frame. There's something she's holding back, though, She's more Nastia Liukin and less Laurie Hernandez! At the end she's sobbing as she runs and gives her parents big hugs! Tom Bergeron pulls Simone's Parents up to get the scores! She credits muscle memory for getting her through the emotional maelstrom! "It was your best dance so far! Well done!" "THIS is what I've been wanting, this is what I've been waiting for!" "Sometimes being perfect is not the story we're trying to tell!" "You made yourself vulnerable, but you still danced wonderfully!" "That was so beautiful! Thank you!" Real judges: 9, 9, 9, 9!

Team Bonnerarna: From a family of cowboys! Devastating injury! "There was a moment I thought I was a goner!" "You're never going back to bull riding!" "He was paralyzed 12 months ago and now he's learning a foxtrot!" Foxtrot! The old Bonner meets the new Bonner! Is that metal in his spine giving him such good posture and frame? Mad respect for the good looking Cowboy! MAD RESPECT! I give him a nine! But, less the emotion, probably somewhere south of that! "Huge difference from last week to this!" "What have we got here? A new leading man in town!" "There is an honest integrity to all your moves, an effortless dignity!" "Footwork is a little bit suspect! But, I gotta say 'Welcome to the competition!'" Real judges: 8, 8, 8, 8! She's happy must be highest scores of the season!

Final Eliminations: First couple in jeopardy is...Mister T and Kym! And, joining them are...Erika and Gleb! Crowd not happy! The rest of you are safe! Who has a bigger fan base? Turns out to be Mister T leaving! But, watch out Erika! Mister T says "It was a great experience!" Kym says she has a new friend for life! Disney Night is next!

04.14.2017: Student Poets

They're all poets and they know itz (C what I did there?):
WDMCS Students Sweep Poetry Contest

(Capital City News Service)—West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) students in grades K-12 earned all ten student awards in the West Des Moines Library’s 2017 West Des Moines Writes Poetry Contest.

Each person could submit one original poem to the contest, which celebrates Poetry Month and National Library Week. Two poets were awarded in each judging bracket: Grades K-3, Grades 4-6, Grades 7-8, Grade 9, Grades 10-12, and Adult. The WDMCS student winners were:

  • Addie Porter, third grade, Fairmeadows Elementary
  • Ella Dahlen, kindergarten, Western Hills Elementary
  • Jacob Forney, fifth grade, Jordan Creek Elementary
  • Tabitha Phares, fourth grade, WMDCS Home School Program
  • Abby Bishop, eighth grade, Stilwell Junior High
  • Ethan Bernard, eighth grade, Indian Hills Junior High
  • Sydney Pearl, ninth grade, Valley Southwoods Freshman High School
  • Alana Scherer, ninth grade, Valley Southwoods Freshman High School
  • Brynne Lassiter, 12th grade, Valley High School
  • Piper Wood, 12th grade, Valley High School
All 10 students have been invited to present their winning poems at the West Des Moines Writes Poetry Night event from 6:30-7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 13, at the West Des Moines Library.

04.13.2017: And, All That Jazz

Jazz music is alive and well in the post-millenial generation:
WDMCS Jazz Ensembles, Soloists Earn State Awards

(Capital City News Service)—Four West Des Moines Community Schools ensembles and several students earned awards at state jazz competitions this April.

The Valley High School Jazz Orchestra earned its fifth consecutive first place victory in the 4A division at the Iowa Jazz Championships on Tuesday, April 4, at Iowa State University. Six students also earned solo awards: senior Braeden Trinder (alto saxophone) and junior Jakhari Durham (percussion) were named two of the four top soloists of the day. Seniors Cole Peterson (alto saxophone), Noah Welch (tenor saxophone), Jacob Bedia (trombone) and Matt Lowe (trumpet) earned 4A Outstanding Soloist Awards in recognition of their performances. Peterson, Welch, Durham and sophomore Mason O'Brien (split lead trumpet) also earned places in the Iowa All-State Jazz Band.

The three Valley jazz choirs hosted the Best of Iowa Vocal Jazz Championships at Valley High School on Tuesday, March 28. Junior Emily Maller was named the Top Outstanding Performer in the 4A category. Seven other students also earned outstanding musicianship awards: ninth-grade student Avi Gedler; sophomores Austin Ellingson (piano), Haley Losh, Camille Mireault and Claire Sattler; junior Grace Howard; and senior Piper Wood.

Howard, Gedler, sophomores Riley Bartlett, David Bone and Erik Skoog; juniors Ellen Erickson, Matt Lowe and Maddy Swaim; and senior Noah Welch also earned placements in the Iowa All-State Jazz Choir. Losh, Wood and sophomores Gunner Hawthorne and Cole Strelecki were named All-State Jazz Choir alternates. The Vocalese Jazz Choir earned second place in the group competition. Vox earned fourth place, and Vocal Point earned sixth place.

Students in the West Des Moines Community Schools can participate in choir and band starting in elementary school. The Valley High School band program has distinguished itself at numerous local, regional and national events. Students may participate in any number of individual and small group music opportunities, including the IHSMA All-State Band, SCIBA Honor Band, Drake Honor Band, Perry Band Olympics and the IHSMA Solo and Ensemble Festival. The Valley High School bands are directed by Josh Waymire, Greg Simmons and Dave Kobberdahl.

The Valley High School choirs are directed by Haley Gibbons and Connor Koppin, and the Valley Southwoods Freshman High School choirs are directed by Heather Nail. The vocal music department offers a wide range of local, regional and national experiences for students interested in vocal music. The Valley High School and Valley Southwoods choirs have successfully competed at many local, regional and national events. Students may perform in show choir and at IHSMA All-State Choir, the Harmony Barbershop Festival, solo/ensemble and large group contests, and a variety of other community and honors performances.

04.12.2017: The Film Lounge

Calling all film-makers:
(Capital City News Serice) The Film Lounge is a new television series that showcases short, independent films by Iowa artists and celebrates the economic and cultural vitality that filmmaking brings to the state. The show is produced by Iowa Public Television in partnership with the Iowa Arts Council and Produce Iowa- State Office of Media Production, divisions of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

The first season featured two, one-hour episodes that premiered on IPTV February 2017. Those who missed the television premieres can find an online version at


Iowa filmmakers may submit films for the next season by 11:59pm on Thursday, June 1, 2017. Submitted films must be two to 20 minutes in length, including credits, and will be accepted in the following genres:

  • Animation
  • Art
  • Documentary
  • Experimental
  • Music video
  • Narrative
Applicants will be notified by Aug. 1 and selections will be announced Sept. 1. The next season will air in February 2018. Selected films will receive a stipend of $500.

The online application portal is available at Only one application may be submitted per individual. Films produced as part of a production competition, including the 48- Hour Film Project, are not eligible.

More information can be found at or by contacting Iowa Arts Council specialist Veronica O’Hern at 515-281-3293 or

04.11.2017: Junior High School Music

Support your local students:
April 11—Junior High Vocal Variety Show

Please join us for this showcase of our creative junior high students! The students will host the show, introduce each act, and perform music they have selected and practiced independently. Performers include the Indian Hills Show Choir and 16 soloists and small groups. They will perform classics like “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” modern hits from artists including Justin Bieber, and one original song by an Indian Hills student.

LOCATION: Indian Hills Auditorium, 9401 Indian Hills Drive, Clive

04.10.2017: TGIDWTSMonday

Recap of the last episode:
"Dancing With The Stars!"
Season 24
Week Three: The Second Eliminations
Vegas Night!

Opening Number: Show girls wake up with an early morning alarm. Hip shaking showgirls! AND! Some of the stars! Dancing the boss a novaElvisstyle. Stars as Elvis. Bridal party and some casino gaming! Wandering camera angles. Go, Mandy Moore! Here comes The rest of the stars. Trick to get the slots moving...Tourists appearing magic girls! Hold that ending pose, dancers1. Go Mandy Moore! Rolling the dice on the first ever Vegas Competition!

Team Bacheloreta: Poker themed Tango! Straight into the competition! "There was madness on the floor!" Nick Viall is the bachelor! He's asking to be pushed! "I'm just an average schmuck who's been looking for love the last few years and not dancing!" "The only person standing in the way is YOU!" Distinctive notes of Lady Gaga's Poker Face! He's vare chested beneath that poker blazer! Much better! Such an improvement! Good frame! Better, but, needs to be more consistent! So much better! She throws him to the floor at the end! I give him an eight! "I saw an improvement!" "Trouble with your left arm!" "I saw the strength and the power!" "I appreciate the effort you put in to it! Be careful not to stomp it, you must STALK through it! Work on your foot placement and articulation!" "This week, you looked like you enjoyed it! Calmness and regal!" "I felt regal! The first time I really enjoyed myself out there!" Real judges: 7, 6, 7, 6! Judges tougher than I am on the foot articulation and placement!

Team Tym: Stuck in the bottom! Foxtrot! Need to show the smooth dancer! He remembers the Rat pack! Wow! He's just so likable! Shades of old Vegas1. He's dapper in white coat and tables! Side dancers kick the top hat out of the dane's way! Unfortunately, He's plodding and eight is back on his heels. Better as it goes on! Kick line with mister T! Let's give him a 6! Give credit to the cancer survivor! "This foxtrot fits you to a T!" "You clean up very well!" You got the style and the glamor of old Vegas!" "Keep working on using the audience!" "You are a gentle giant!" Next week "My most memorable year!" Look at him he's tearing up and getting emotional! He's dancing for Kym! "I'm humbled!" Real judges: 6, 6, 6, 6! Wonder if that's his son in the audience?

Team Bonnerarna: His grandmother was in the audience last week! Doing the old Cowboy try! He was recovering from a paralyzing accident a few months ago! Choreographer has to adapt to his injury's limitations! He's getting frustrating! Sharna in bejeweled and sparkly Charleston outfit! She tosses the Rose upstage! His movements are too small for a big bull rider! Lotta other dancers to distract from what he does and to amplify his movements! He's too tentative and small with his movements! I give him a six! I've been consistently unimpressed as the judges are! "Needs to be much more high octane!" "You missed the timing and the precision!" "This is about learning and growing!" "Needed a little bit more freedom in the movement! You tried to sell it! Well done!" "Not every dance is going to be your best dance!" "You have to have character! Fake it until you BECOME it!" He says, "I had a great time. I respect these dancers so much more nowadays!" Real judges: 6, 6, 6, 6! Audience disappointed after tying for the lead last week!

Team Heatherlan: Tango to Britney Spears! I STILL think this is hers to lose! Trained dancers such an advantage to picking up the ballroom style! Flexibility and work ethic is all there already! She's so good! They're so good together! THrows him to the floor! I think they LIKE dancing together!" I give her a nine!' "You brought the ballroom to Britney!" "You're a terrific dancer, Heather!" "You had subtleties and it was off the charts! SO GOOD!" "Access and variations on the music!" Maybe Macks back Monday? Real judges: 9, 8, 8, 8! First nine of the season!

Team Chareo: Foxtrot to Chapel of Love! She's a little dramatic! "Don't apologize for who you are!" In baby blue. She has a an irrepressible attraction, I have to admit! Keep those shoulders under control, girl! She was more controlled than before personality-wise! "What a lovely routine! Fun and entertaining! Just LOVELY!" "I love the sweet side of you! Sweet, innocence and beautiful!" "Surprisingly refreshing, demure!" Lotta respect to Keo for putting up to be the yin to her yang! Real judges: 6, 6, 6, 6! I might've given her the same or more!

Team Simasha: Quickstep! It's all you! Viva Las Vegas! She doesn't know who Elvis is! Nice footwork! Keeping up with Sasha! Showing off her flexibility! In a split leap a drop to the floor! I give her an eight! "That lip was great, those costumes were even better! Frame and footwork were great!" "You were breaking all the speed limits on the strip!" "I thought it was fantastic!" "Speed with control, fast but not hurried!" "It was great! I liked it!" Real judges: 7, 8, 9, 8! Second nine of the season!

Team Kerrigartem: Dancing to Ricky Martin!" Samba is a challenge to her ability to be sassy! Coaching from Ricky Martin himself in Vegas! She's giving it her all! The music is so so sensual, hard not to give it your all! Feel the music, Nancy! Bad form when the Male dancer has better hip movement Didn't help that Artem out shook her lady parts! "Look at you! I like IT!" I give her an eight! "You were having so much fun! You had the bounce! You had the proper samba movements!" "Your bun was bouncing about like a ball on a roulette wheel!" "Best dance I've seen this season!" "Best samba I've seen on the show in a really long time!" She says, "It's a ton of work, but, it's SO MUCH FUN!" Real judges: 8, 9, 8, 8! Permission given to give nines apparently!

Team Davidsey: He's a competitor! "It's so dirty!" He's got to be the bravest 40 year old in the world! Rips off HIS pants! Boxers with sparkles! FAKE ABS! That's hilarious! He gets an 8 for the dancing and a 12 for the guts! "Move over Magic Mike! You have got GAME! You hit those moves with lots of flava!" "You totally embrace this show! Good on you!" "It was funny, but it was really GOOD!" "It was so entertaining, but really, REALLY good!" Real judges: 8, 7, 8, 8! His best scores!

Team Erikleb: Inspired with the show Absinthe! Jive! The boys partnered her well putting her down from that lifted split! She's not attacking the moves enough! Great smile, but, too worried about looking pretty! Hit those moves, girl! I give her an eight! She's not bad! "Lotsa tricks, needed more jive!" "Loved it." "Wonderful legs, but flicks need to retract quickly! You have to hit the beat at the correct time! Do better next time!" Real judges: 6, 7, 7, 6! "Timing, sorry!"

Team Rashemma: Watch out for this guy! "I don't drink, but, I definitely know how to have a good time!" Wow! She's being tough on him! This guy is a contender! Knows how to use his hips and put the party into the samba! My boy can shimmy! Samba rolls! Emma looks like a pin up! I give him a nine! "You feel the music! You feel the groove!" "You have a feel for the dance, but, you went on the wrong foot and it wasn't as clean and precise as it usually is!" "A little bit flat-footed so you didn't get that bounce!" Real judges: 7, 7, 7, 7! Hmm, And I gave him a nine?

Team Normal: Back from China! Rehearsing in Hong Kong! Last week was tough, but this week is tougher!" Foxtrot! From Cabaret! Oh! She's so GOOD! Sharp and smooth! Iconic song! Iconic moves! She's embodying the spirit of the song! THis is like the best of Broadway! Give her a ten! What a show! "You broke the bank!" "You danced yourself into a whole new realm!" "You HAMMERED that number into the ground, girlfriend!" "Little bit more in hold!" Real judges: 8, 8, 9, 9! Would've been the new leader in the clubhouse!

Final Eliminations: First couple in jeopardy: Charo and Keo! And, joining them are...Nick and PETA! The rest are safe! Bachelor may not have the fan base to keep him on the show, but, is Charo? No, Charo is done! Next week: Maks being out may actually be helping Heather by not being such a lightning rod! Watch out Mister T! This season is shaping up to be a showdown between Heather and Normani! Can't wait!

04.07.2016: Performance Posting

Keep the kids entertained at a discount! My treat!o)
Free Friday Flicks at Franklin

Friday, April 7, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM at Franklin Avenue Library

Helen Mirren stars as the owner of a Michelin-starred restaurant in a small French village that suddenly faces surprising competition from a restaurant operated by an immigrant Indian family. Om Puri also stars as the patriarch of the Indian family in this 2014 film by noted Swedish director Lasse Hallström.

04.07.2017: Young Frankenstein

Support local theater:
The New Mel Brooks Musical: Young Frankenstein
Now through April 9

From the creators of The Producers comes this wickedly inspired re-imagining of the classic Frankenstein story!

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein) finally succeeds in creating a monster to rival his grandfather’s, but not without some hilarious complications. With the help of his mysterious side-kick Igor (“It’s pronounced Eye-gore”), a leggy lab assistant, Inga, and fiancée Elizabeth, Frederick sets to work back in Transylvania to finish what his family started long ago.

Soon the whole audience will be “puttin’ on the ritz!”

04.06.2017: Intersection Of Politics and Art

Impacting the threat to arts funding:
Iowa and the NEA: What you should know

(Capital City News Service) On March 16, President Trump submitted a budget request to Congress that calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts in federal fiscal year 2018. In response, NEA Chairman Jane Chu released a statement expressing disappointment while acknowledging the reality that this is only the first step in what is traditionally a long budget process with Congress.

The Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, is equally disappointed by this proposal since we see the positive impact this crucial federal investment has on Iowa communities every day.

For the current fiscal year 2017, the Iowa Arts Council was awarded $626,500 as part of our annual state partnership agreement with the NEA. By law, the NEA must allocate 40 percent of its grant funding to states and regions to address local needs and expand the reach of federal funding, a state-and-federal partnership that has enjoyed bipartisan support from Congress.

In Iowa, NEA funding makes up more than 40 percent of the Arts Council’s $1.5 million annual grant-making budget, which also includes an annual appropriation from the Iowa Legislature. Combined, these funds supported arts activities at some 600 locations in more than 70 counties throughout the state in 2016. Add to this the $256,030 in direct grants the NEA made to Iowa recipients last year, and it’s clear: the NEA’s investment is significant.

So what comes next? The federal government is currently operating under a temporary funding bill, or continuing resolution, through April 2017, which means Congress must act before then to avoid a shutdown and fund the government through the rest of the current federal fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, 2017. This budget action will determine NEA funding for the Iowa Arts Council’s 2018 state fiscal year (July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018) and will not be affected by the president’s proposal to eliminate the NEA. That proposal, and any action Congress might take on it, wouldn’t impact the Arts Council until the 2019 fiscal year (July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019).

Our national partners are working hard to remind Congress and the Trump administration how much the NEA matters. You can help spread the word about the NEA’s impact in Iowa by using any of the tools and resources listed below.

Watch for additional updates and resources from the Arts Council as the federal budget process moves forward. As always, feel free to reach out to staff with additional questions.

04.05.2017: Big Hair Ball, Cinderella!

Support your local hairdresser:
Tickets to Des Moines Art Center Big Hair Ball 2017: Alchemy now on sale

(Capital City News Service) – Tickets to a gilded night of luxury celebrating hair as a form of contemporary self-expression are now on sale. The Des Moines Art Center’s 8th Big Hair Ball will showcase the art of hair, makeup, and fashion on Saturday, May 13 from 7:30 pm – midnight. The event takes place at 4700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, in the I. M. Pei building, the Art Center’s first addition built in 1968 by the world-renowned architect who also designed the pyramid at the Louvre, Paris. The event will transform the space, and be only the second time in Art Center history (and perhaps the last) a party has been held in the Pei building.

Sponsored by the Art Center’s member group Art Noir, “Alchemy,” celebrates all things gold and promises to be an extravagant night of fashion and entertainment, featuring a live runway show with some of Des Moines’ finest big hair creations from local salons, barbers, and stylists. The 2017 theme is inspired by the Art Center’s exhibition Alchemy: Transformations in Gold, on view through Friday, May 5.

This is an event for ages 21+.

04.04.2017: World Dance!

The Bollywood dance style is such an athletic extravaganza!

04.03.2017: TGIDWTSMonday!

Happy place Monday! Here's a play-by-play recap of last episode:
"Dancing With The Stars!"
Season 24
Week Two: The First Eliminations

Opening Number: Starts with host stand-up and a jitterbug intro and cavalcade of stars! Wow! Extra points for Lindsey's gams! Whoops! No Maks? Chris Kattan looks immobile from that neck injury! There's that million dollar smile with Rashad! All dressed up and ready to dance! Streamers and glitter and spray tan spill down! We learn who subs for Maks for Heather!

Team Kerrigartem: Artem gets excited about Olympic potential! "You look amazing!" She can't take compliments! So used to negativity! That's sad! Kerrigan! Starts off smooth and sexy! Just needs like so many to work on those shoulders. She is confident in her movement! Sexy mama! Not afraid to music. Just needs to concentrate on finding the accents in the movement and reflection it with the steps! OH! Artem saves Nancy despite the microphone cords getting wrapped up! "You looked incredible out there!" I give her an eight! Judges' comments: "You set the bar high!" "You didn't disappoint this week!" "A vision in pink! You're not bad either, Nancy!" "Very well done!" "This show is about finding yourself in dance! And, you found yourself the longer the routine went on!" She admits she was nervous every, but, she wants to dance more! Outside of her comfort zone! Real judges: 7, 7, 7, 7! Sets the standard for the rest of the evening!

Team Erikleb: Foxtrot! "I will not apologize for my dancing!" Starts off in Lamborghini and Gleb is the arresting officer. Starts to do a body search. Nice frame and upper body strength for a non-trained dancer. She rips Gleb's shirt open to expose his abs! He ends up handcuffed to the sports car as Erika struts her stuff off! I give her a 7. Judges' comments: "You are so confident in your own skin!" "Some of the lines you produced were very beautiful!" "So impressed with your dancing instead of your posing!" "You are SO beautiful to watch!" "It was a Beverly Hills foxtrot!" Real judges scores: 7, 7, 7, 7! Still waiting for the powerhouse pairs to beef up the scoring!

Team CharrKeo: Paso Doble! "Paso Doble is my life!" She knows Flamenco! Stomps heels enthusiastically! She's in red! Flamenco guitar and horns sound! She's lifted down by men without shirts! Her enthusiasm is infectious! But, she's counting the music! She wants to do well so badly, she's tentative! I give her a five or six! Judges' comments: "You were like a tornado in red taffeta!" She's fighting for the microphone, wrestling with Tom Bergeron! "You are so WONDERFUL!" "It had fire and had flair! You got a little overexcited and hectic! You gave me great joy!" "You have more energy! Age is just a number!" Keo drags her back to dressing room as she exhorts the crowd to yell "Olé"! Real scores: 6, 6, 7, 6! Charo goes running out to give the judges a piece of her mind and has to be manhandled back in place!

Team Bacheloreta: Foxtrot. He looks good in a bow tie and suit accented with aqua marine. He switches between great lines and clumsy flat footedness. I give him a six! Judges comments: "there was improvement from last week!" "Breathe!" "It was far too hectic, madness on the dance floor!" "Keep in mind less is more!" "RELAX! Let it go! Foxtrot is effortless ease!" "Interpret the dance correctly: the man is in charge, the woman at his beck and call!" Judges scores: 7, 5, 7, 6! Scores all over the place!" She's the best!

Team Heatheracks: Jive! Maks injures his calf in rehearsal. Subbing for Maks is Alan! Heather's training shows up in this routine! Sharp flicks! She's a performer, too! Dancing with her eyes and smile!. She is so good! This is hers to lose! OMG Watch out, Simone! You just been served! I give her a nine or ten! Enthusiastic standing ovation! Maks contrite in mezzanine! Judges comments: "I don't want to see the hiphop during the Jive! Jive the jive!" "Loved your breakdown, but, it just reinforces what I said last week: trained dancers just can't do ballroom!" "Second half of the dance was brilliant!" "Gauntlet thrown DOWN!" Maks reveals he's going to get surgery! Judges scores: 8, 6, 8, 8! Len sticks to his guns and his low scores!

Team BonnerSharna: This week is not about being sexy, it's about being a pretty dancer! He says Texas two step is in his wheelhouse! There's some chemistry there! Good sense of lines! AN Almost kiss! Just a little plodding on the Waltz steps. Promenade is fast, then, still. Chemistry is off the charts, but, the steps...little underwhelming! I give him a seven! Judges comments: "Simple choreography, but, done very well! Calm, collected and cool! Watching something unfolding right in front of my eyes!" "Don't go woody! You're over thinking it!" "Connection is out of this world amazing! You were refined and elegant! It was poetry in motion!" "Frame was very good! However, it was a little too timid for such a big butch bull rider!" Dedicated to his uncle in a wheel chair because of riding accident! Real scores: 8, 6, 8, 7! "There is my grandma in the stands!"

Team Simasha: Cha cha is out of her comfort zone! Get sexy! "You have to commit! Don't just do steps!" Man she's ripped! For a dancer, she's a good gymnast! I think Sasha did a miscalculation by stressing the sexy part of the dance! Thought she did well, but, that was uncomfortable to watch! Judges comments: "You set all the fire alarms in the studio off!" "Full of vim vigor and vitality! It's not about being sexy, it's about doing the steps!" "Don't worry about being sexy! You just be you!" Real scores: 7, 7, 7, 8! Relegated to the middle of the pack! She's got some work to do!

Team Chritney: OMG! Shows x-Ray of spine with bolts and pins all up and down! He's brave to even try! God bless him for trying! Witney as Marilyn Monroe. Then Chris as MM! OMG! I understand why he's up for the Kenny Mane award! He's a winner for just trying! I give him a 4 for dancing,but, 12 for personal story! He's emotional and choking up! Real scores: 6, 5, 6, 5! Some benefit of the doubt by the judges?

Team Normal: Cha cha! Back from Japan! Can you say jet lag! Okay! This girl can dance! She can perform! She's the total package! She can flirt and flaunt when she dances! What jet lag! Hypnotic hip action! AMAZING! I give her a nine or ten! Even this early in the season! Take a lesson, Simone and the rest of the young dancers! Judge comments: "Full routine! It was terrific!" "Well! We should all fly back from Japan to compete in this show! When you dance, I want to get up and dance, too!" "That was no jet lag! That was Jet SET!" "That was Dancing with a STAR! Strong, powerful and sexy! Everything everybody else was trying to do, you DID!" Real scores: 8, 8, 8, 8! This must be the ceiling for the second week of competition! "Bring me back some of that Venom drink next week!"

Team Rashemma: Can the NFL star follow up on last week's high scores? Viennese Waltz? Recalls a sudden break-up from his long-time love! "I can be vulnerable!" This could be powerful! Athletic, powerful, yet artistic and dramatic! This guy is a revelation! Very musical! Tosses her around like she was weightless! I give him a nine or ten as well! He's separating himself from the field! "You commit to the steps so well and you LEAD with authority!" "Keep being you!" "That was fifty shades of Viennese Waltz!" "Wonderful performance!" "Your connection! You hold Emma like all women want to be held!" "Bit flat-footed at time, but, bottom line, I LIKED it!" Emma might FINALLY have a winner this time! "I'm surprising myself every week!" Real scores: 8, 8, 8, 8! Tied for the leadership of the night!

Team Tym: He's a cancer survivor! Determined to do better this week! "I'm gonna own that floor!" Love his spirit! But, something wrong when Kym looks more powerful than Mr T! T stands for Too Tentative, Too Timid in my book! Love his spirit, don't care much for the dancing! Give him a five! Maybe a four! "Paso requires much more drive through the body! The intention was there, but, not the delivery!" "You are expanding and you are growing! Way to go!" "You are the spirit of this show: doing your best!" "I could see the intensity and the intention of every step!" Real scores: 6, 5, 6, 5! T could send for Temporary!

Team Davidsey: Taking him back to his nineties roots! Cha cha! Lot of enthusiasm! Bust a move, big guy! Busting out the old guy moves ending with the butt spin! Lotta fun! I give him a five or six! Judges comments: "Kinda on the fence about it! Great energy, but, you didn't get the style!" "Work on your footwork! You're past second base heading for third!" "Special song to me! Thoroughly enjoyed it! You have such a charisma! We're going to be rooting for you!" "Work on the footwork! Foot placement is key!" Judges scores: 7, 6, 7, 7!

First elimination: Combined scores from last two weeks! First couple in jeopardy is Chris and Witney! Joining them in jeopardy are...Charo and Keo! The rest are all safe! First couple to eliminated this season is...Chris and Witney! But, God bless him for even trying to do this competition! Next elimination is Charo too much for her own good?

03.31.2017: Symphony Signals

Support your local musicians:
(Capital City News Service) – The Des Moines Symphony is pleased to announce its 80th Anniversary Season: Music in Motion.

From Slavonic folk dance to Russian ballet and Spanish flamenco, the Symphony’s 2017-2018 Season takes its inspiration from music written for the dance. The Symphony’s seven-concert Masterworks series highlights Tchaikovsky’s masterful 19th-century ballet music, Johann Strauss, Jr.’s whirling waltzes, Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, his “Apotheosis of the Dance” – and so much more. In November, the Des Moines Symphony presents the Iowa premiere of Siudy Flamenco Dance Theater’s electrifying one-act ballet, El amor brujo (‘Love, the Magician’), in a Spanish-influenced concert bursting with Andalusian rhythms and folk melodies. Finally, the Symphony’s exhilarating 80th Season closes in May with George Gershwin’s iconic Rhapsody in Blue.

The Symphony’s three-concert Pops series is back for its third year of exciting performances. This season’s unforgettable experiences include the iconic music of Queen, the classic sounds of Motown, and Tony Award-winning star of the original Broadway cast of Hamilton, Leslie Odom, Jr.

"From the opening notes of Weber’s Invitation to the Dance to the closing strains of Ravel’s La Valse, our 80th Season features some of classical music’s most beloved orchestral pieces,” said Music Director and Conductor Joseph Giunta. “We are very excited to perform this exhilarating season, and we look forward to celebrating ‘Music in Motion’ with you."

03.30.2017: Arts Committee

Your chance to affect the local arts:
Urbandale Public Art Committee Holds Public Input Sessions

After 11 years of facilitating public art in Urbandale, the Public Art Committee is developing a long-range plan that sets the future agenda for public art for the city. With that goal in mind, the Committee is seeking ideas and input from residents through several Public Input Sessions. During these sessions, the Committee will be gathering feedback on the existing art in the community, as well as possible future public art projects. Community members are invited to three input sessions held throughout the month of April.

  • Thursday, April 6, 6:30 pm
    Webster Elementary School Public Art Community Input Sessions
  • Thursday, April 20, 6:00 pm
    Public Library, ICN Room
  • Saturday, April 22, 10:00 am
    Public Library Conference Room
For more information please contact Jan Herke, Director of Parks and Recreation at 515-331-6793 or

03.29.2017: Performance Posting

"Brew City" ballet:
La Sylphide
Sans Pleurer - Without Crying
April 6-9 • Marcus Center
Tickets start at $42
Call 414-902-2103 or buy online.
Join us for these Pre-show Activities

Thursday: Pre-show talk with Dinna Bjørn, La Sylphide expert
Friday: Pre-show talk with Timothy O'Donnell, Sans Pleurer choreographer
Saturday: Ceilidh with Milwaukee Scottish Pipe Band and Milwaukee Scottish Country Dancers. Kilts are welcome!
Sunday: Learn a jig and a reel with Milwaukee Scottish Country Dancers.

All activities begin one hour prior to the performance in the Marcus Center Atrium

Click here to find out more!

03.28.2017: Travel To The Great White Way

Chance to check out the best of the Big Apple!
May 4-7, 2017
May 18-21, 2017

Travel with Playhouse executive director John Viars to New York

$2149 full trip
$1750 land only (no airfare included)

Trip includes:
Hello, Dolly! starring the Divine Miss M, Bette Midler, and David Hyde Pierce
A second group show, Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812
Read The New York Times Review
A third show of the traveler's choosing
Roundtrip, non-stop flights on Delta
3 nights stay at our favorite location, the Renaissance Times Square

$400 per person deposit due at registration

03.27.2017: TGIDWTSMonday!o)

Here's a recap of the latest DWTS
Dancing With The Stars!
Season Eleven
Week One
The Premiere!

Starts off with a traffic report from LA! Bumper to bumper! Blamed on DWTS! Just like the start of La La Land! Max, Bruno! Bonner Bolton...Keo and Charo! Mister T and Kym! Erika Jayne! Chris Kattan? Nancy Kerrigan! Whom Kristi Yamaguchi famously told to "break a leg" later in the week! David Ross...Max and Heather Morris...Hmm, looks like she can move! Rashad Jennings! and the hard luck girl! Simone Biles! My favorite sight unseen! Blue sparkles. Normani? and Val! Here we go! White sequined leotards for the younger girls! Blue blazers satins and silks to start off the show! And, here's Tom and Erin to start the 400th show of the series! Two Olympians, stars of TV and movie, first ball player! An Icon! and An initial!

Team Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy: member of Fifth Harmony. She's young enough and good-looking enough to stick around for awhile. Paired with reigning champion Val Chermokovskiy! Comes on stage to surprise her new partner! Dancing for her grandmother. "That's so fun!" Separating from her girl group! Here we go. Girl, can move by herself. In order to get in her group she has to be able to dance...and she can. showing some fast moves in this quickstep! Val's coat comes off and they begin the fast stepping portion of the quickstep! Hmm, needs to keep that bum in! She's got some energy and a ton of swag! Good sudden jete! Nice! What's not to like! As usual. She'll get a seven from the judges! But, I'm going to give her an eight! Len is applauding! "Once you got down..." You got DOWN! "First out was first class!" Asks for more body contact! Len is already grumpy! "Great way to come out and set the tone! It was quick, tight and precise!" "Give it to me I'm worth it!" "crackling with energy!" "Little more precision, but, first time, very well-done!" "It was a nice preamble! It was great fantastic and light!" They head to the skybox! Real judges: (Expect sevens!) "It was pretty nerve wracking!" 7, 6, 7, 7! Well, except for the grumpy score, just as I predicted! Her grandmother's in the audience!

TeamNancy Kerrigan and Artem Chingvenska?: Once a competitor always a competitor! A shirtless Artem carefully comes out on a zamboni! "I've never had an athlete before!" "It was easier watching it from my couch! Reality check! I'm, of course, going to look like a beginner!" Dancing to Billy Joel's "always a Woman!" Viennese Waltz! She's beautiful in blue! The years have been gentle on the former Olympic level skater! Artem is just as gentle as flower petals fall from the ceiling in a beautiful swift promenade! She didn't look like a beginner to me! "Nicely done!" I echo the praise! I would give her an eight as well. "You are so inviting when you dance! Real judges probably will reward her with a seven! "Skaters don't spot, but, dancers do! Be real careful when turning in dance!" "Like being wrapped in a cashmere shawl!" "Dream yourself somewhere beautiful because it was beautiful!" "You are the pairing with great promise!" Real judges! Erin is gushing with praise! "That was amazing! I'm sad that it's done!" Real judges: 7, 7, 7, 7! These are the leaders in the clubhouse as we are wont to say!

Team Chris Kattan and Witney Carson: She's never seen SNL! Such a generational gap! "Strong like an ant!" Cha- cha to "What is Love?" Still recovering from neck injury! Wow! Needs to work on his shoulders...A LOT! Starts off in the mirror-ball with the iconic neck bobs! He's so committed to the movement. Unfortunately, a little flat-footed! Has very little feeling for the music! The comedian may be in the running for the Kenny Mane first out award! He gets a five or six from me! Cha cha leaves a lot to be desired! "Goofy, bad dancing!" Almost bopped his head on the mirror ball during the man on men lift! "Best thing about that cha-cha is that I don't have to watch it again!" The best thing about the first week is nobody gets eliminated! "Every body has their own thing in this competition, but, don't lose you! We're all rooting for you!" "Don't get all Baryshnikov on us!" "You was great!" He promises not to lose his personality! Real judges: 5, 4, 4, 4! WOW! The lowest scores I've ever seen for a first dance!o(

Team Bonner (Don't forget the 'N') Bolton and Sharna Burgess: Recovering from nearly a paralyzing neck injury! Almost a quadraplegic! "Country cha-cha!" You gotta use your hips to ride a bull...things could get spicy! He's got the macho look. Dancing about as well as a cowboy, little better during the Texas two step! Hip thrusts and eyes only for each other. He's giving it the old pro style attempt! Near kiss to end the dance! The girls are standing on their feet! The favorite of the ladies early! "Bonner, Bonner, please don't be a goner!" "You ooze sexuality like a young Brad Pitt!" "You got the LOOK and the moves!" Len says great potential! "Trust your instincts! DO IT!" Sharna is blushing again!" Good advice after some lechery from Bruno! I give him a six for dancing! 20 for lady sex appeal! "She's been cracking that whip!" Judges are fanning themselves: 6, 5, 5, 6! Mixed reviews and scores! "Keep drilling him hard this week, Sharna!"

Team Charo and Keo: Commercial for Hough production coming Friday May 26th at Stevens Auditorium! Judges have maracas in preparation for Charro! Charro and Motsepe! The original goochy goochy girl! "Excited to work with Charro! She's a legend!" She should be good at the latin dances! Dancing to Cuban Pete! Shoulders need a little work. Her hips are fine. Keo is tossing her around! Her age may be her weakness however! Keo is out goochying the goochy goochy girl! High energy, but can she keep it up? I give her a seven! "Work on the technique! You GOT the performance!" "You are hot, girl!" "Picante, caliente!" "You are high voltage! Your turns are spectacular! You're so CUTE!" She's hilarious! Real judges: 6, 5, 5, 5! Good energy, but... Technique needs work!

Team Bachelor Nick and Peta: Back to defend my title! "Nick is hysterical!" "Watch out for me, Mister T!" Best Bachelor? Take that, Chris Soules!" Bachelor gives Bruno a rose! Smoke shrouded beginning! OKAY! He has a sense of line, musicality and performance potential! This guy is going to stick around. Just needs to connect steps together and not just do them because he was told! I give him an eight! He'll probably get no better than sevens from the real judges! "Work on the feet! They're like pancakes!" I n=know that you don't quit! Julianne sounds like a fan! "Your hands look like vulture claws!" "You have a lot of potential! Just a little disjointed! Calm down and relax! The movement will come!" "Your feet control your legs! Your hands control your arms! Once you get that, you'll be fine!" Welcome back to Sharna after having Maks' baby! Real judges: 6, 6, 6, 6! Real judges a little harsher on him than I was, I'm grading on expectations well exceeded!

Team Heather Morris and Maks: Britney from Glee? She's a trained dancer!!!! Let's be perfect! "My brain doesn't work that fast!" "I grew up dancing, but, NO ballroom!" I LOVe her already! She's beautiful in yellow! She's teaching him in grey to dance1 Oh, she's lovely! This is her mirror ball to lose...if she can survive Maks' tendency to make everything about himself! Her layback promenade is lovely! She's got the look and she's got the training! She should do very, VERY well! I give her a nine! Bruno calls it the "beauty and the beast! I loved it!" "You were hiding behind the choreography!" "You are a match made in heaven!" "Grace and elegance!" Nice to have Maks back! He's always churning for votes! "We both have kids! We have similar backgrounds!" Real Judges: 7, 7, 7, ! "Great job, babe!"

Team David Ross and Lindsey Arnold: Quickstep! Not sure how his athletic talent will translate to the studio! He's dancing for his kids! "Go, Cubs, go! Starts off in the diamond! He slides Dancing to the Go cubs go! song! He's a little stiff, but, better than you expect for a sexy grandpa! Not TOO bad! Tapping into that Cubs fervor! I give him that 7! Judges' comments: "That was so MUCH fun! One of the most favorite dances of the night!" "Good content, good hold, kept your head to the left! Not a home run, but a base hit!" "That was anything but gramps to me! I predict you're going far this season!" "You were like a teenager on spring break out there!" "that was impressive!" says his teammates by skype from spring training! Real judges: 7, 7, 7, 7! Seven appears to be the ceiling on the first week!

Team Erika Jayne and Gleb Shevchenko: Lamborghini up for grabs! Salsa! She's 45 and wants to show she can win! Put these people on notice right away! Hi, I'm here to win! Little stiff by herself!. Needs to use her hips more and . Okay there we go! But, not just some of the time! Oh, an unexpected split! Little loose in the middle! But, I'll give her an eight with expectations of seven from the judges! Not bad for a 45 year old Housewife of Beverly Hills! "Little bit too raunchy!" "You are a real life unicorn!" "Okay for women to embrace their sensuality! More salsa content!" "A normal night at Emperor Caligula's palace! Need to watch transfer of weight when you're dancing in heels!" You are fabulous! You exude confidence! But, you need to get out of your comfort zone!" "I had a great time, it was a little raunchy, but that's me!" Real judges: 6, 6, 6, 6! I think I would've given her the seven!

Team Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater: Cha-cha from the free agent running back! Was a chubby asthmatic kids! He lights up the room! "C'mon let's dance!" It's raining gold as he does the hip hop glide to start off. He's in Gold and they are in his comfort zone! His personality is plus size! His athletic talents and innate musicality and outsize personality make this guy a contestant to watch out for! He's doing one of the best dances of the night! Good Golly! Give the man and eight or NINE! "The best dance of the night so far!" You nailed the technical aspects and you were sitting in your own groove!" "That was a revelation of the night! Star quality all the way through! I can't believe what I just saw!" "Bring on the SWAGGER! You NOW have all of our attention! That was KILLER!" "You got a little ahead of the music on occasion! Watch all parts of the dance!" "You have to watch all parts of the dance!" "We are here to judge the dance! TERRIFIC! Well done!' Way to bury the lead, Len! Emma FINALLY gets a dancer that'll take her far! Real judges: 8, 7, 8, 8! This guy was sitting in the groove! "It's a start!" Watch out, NFL!

Team T and Kym Herjavec: How old is he now? Seventy or sixty something? His age may be a liability! "I pity the fool!" "All my life I'm trying to inspire kids! I can't dance, but, I can learn!" "You can't WIN if YOU don't TRY!" Bursts out of a van. But, a little flat footed to start off! Kym has choreographed him just standing around a lot. She's dancing all around him. Using iconic Mr T swagger and moves> Just a little of the music! I give him a four or five! "Still the king of bling!" Not too much cha cha cha! "You're like a boss on the dance floor, but, you were on the wrong foot and count!" "The T doesn't stand for technique, but, for tenacity!" "I love your heart! I'm fan-girling out now!" Real judges: 5, 5, 5, 5! In the bottom half, for sure! Lucky no eliminations this first week!

Team Simone Biles and Val Chermokovskiy: Tara Jole and Laurie Hernandez in the audience! Simone is the most decorated US Olympic gymnast of all time! "If she can do it! I can do it!" "Simone Biles just walked into my own living room!" "Tango is a little intimate!" "This is a very difficult game!" She starts off a little gymnast flat-footed, little stiff in he upper body, but, not in a good way! Maybe it's how she takes the hold coaching! Music steps up and so does she! Turns a little labored! But, her footwork is solid and. They are up in each other's grill and does a very good job despite expectations! "You guys are the POWER couple! Exquisite exhibition of power and technique!" "Crisp and clean! THAT was the dance of the night!" "So hard to wait for the very end to go! You are the whole package! You are like the dynamic duo!" "You are so DELICIOUSLY lovely! You're placement surprises me! WELL DONE!" She's channeling her inner Laurie! Real judges: 8, 8, 8, 8! She's the NEW LEADER in the clubhouse!

Final Thoughts: Watch out Chris and Witney! Up for the Kenny Mane award!o)

03.24.2017: The War To End All Wars

Support your local museum!
State Historical Museum of Iowa marks 100th anniversary of World War I with new exhibit Consuls general from France and Germany to attend opening

(Capital City News Service) - When the United States entered the First World War on April 6, 1917, thousands of Iowans stepped up to support the cause, both in the trenches and at home.

Beginning next month, the State Historical Museum of Iowa will honor their legacy by opening a new exhibition called "Iowa and the Great War," hosting a University of Iowa traveling display and lecture about German immigrants, and offering educational programs for students.

"The State Historical Museum engages Iowans of all ages with unique stories about the history of our state," State Historical Society of Iowa Administrator Susan Kloewer said. "With the 100th anniversary of the United States' entry into World War I, this is a perfect opportunity to honor those who sacrificed so much at home and abroad. We are pleased to partner with the University of Iowa, and we encourage Iowans to visit the museum to learn more about our state's role in this remarkable chapter of history."

A list of upcoming programs follows:

Iowa and the Great War
Opens April 6, 9 a.m.

Exactly 100 years after the United States entered the First World War, the State Historical Museum will open a new exhibition called "Iowa and the Great War" to share stories of Iowans who supported the cause. More than 114,000 men from across Iowa served in the military, including more than 100,000 soldiers, 10,000 sailors and 600 Marines. On the homefront, residents supported the war financially and through their work, while women served at home and overseas as nurses. Learn how their courage and innovation changed the course of history far beyond the battlefields and long after the fighting finished.

See the bullet damage to the jacket of an Iowa pilot who lived to tell the tale.
Learn about the African-American officers who trained at Fort Des Moines.
Understand how propaganda shifted public opinions about the war, prohibition and women's suffrage.
Discover how the war sparked anti-immigrant sentiments in Iowa cities and towns.

German Iowa and the Global Midwest
April 6 through May 1

On loan from the University of Iowa, the traveling exhibition “German Iowa and the Global Midwest” uses photos and artifacts to explain how German immigrants influenced everything from politics to beer. Drawing on extensive research, this exhibit explores both pro- and anti-immigration attitudes at a time of national emergency -- and how those attitudes linger today, when a third of Iowans still claim German heritage.

History Alive: World War I (for students only)
April 6-7, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. both days

Two History Alive educational programs will be presented for students in grades 3-5 and 6-12.

On April 6, students in grades 3-5 will explore the new World War I exhibits, and the Iowa Architectural Foundation will present an interactive look at homes in Iowa and Germany from the period. An Iowa History Detectives workshop will help students investigate the time period with photographs, illustrations, documents and artifacts from the war.

On April 7, students in grades 6-12 will learn about President Hoover's role in Belgian relief efforts, and black officer training at Fort Des Moines. Students will also tour the new exhibits and investigate the time period with photographs, illustrations, documents and artifacts.

Iowa and the Great War Opening Reception
April 7, 5-7 p.m.

Honor the legacy of Iowans who served at home and abroad during World War I during a special reception to open the State Historical Museum's "Iowa and the Great War" and the "German Iowa and the Global Midwest" traveling exhibition from the University of Iowa. The reception will include several distinguished guests, including:
Vincent Floreani, Consul General of France in Chicago
Herbert Quelle, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chicago
Mark Schlenker, Honorary Consul of France and the Federal Republic of Germany in Iowa
A quartet from the Iowa Military Veterans Band, who will play a selection of patriotic and jazz tunes from the war era The opening reception is free and open to the public. RSVPs are recommended at by March 27.

German Iowans in World War I
April 8 - 1:30 p.m.

In conjunction with the "German Iowa and the Global Midwest" exhibition, University of Iowa Professor Glenn Ehrstine will discuss what life was like for the state's largest ethnic group. During World War I, their high visibility became a liability as other Iowans hounded, denounced and forced them to stop speaking German in public. They held fast to their traditions, however, and even flourished after the war through the strength of community bonds

All programs will be held at the State Historical Museum of Iowa, 600 E. Locust St. in Des Moines. Hours are 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday. More information is available at or 515-281-5111.

03.23.2017: Performance Postings

Just a hop, skip and a jete' east of here:
Jessica Lang Dance

Founded in 2011, Jessica Lang Dance has rocketed to prominence with its contemporary work fueled by classical ballet and striking design elements. Lang has teamed up with famed architect Steven Holl—who designed two art buildings on the University of Iowa campus—to create Tesseracts of Time, one of the pieces on the evening’s program.

Thursday, March 23 at 7:30pm
Hancher Auditorium
141 Park Road, Iowa City, IA 52242
Thursday, March 23, Harvest of Grief film,
part of the Engaged Citizen documentary series;
featuring an introduction by Rekha Basu, daughter of film-maker Rasil Basu

Location: Olin 101
Time: 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Sponsors: Principal Center for Global Citizenship & Engaged Citizen Experience

The north Indian state of Punjab was once considered the breadbasket of the nation. Since the mid-1990s, however, unable to bear the burden of escalating agricultural costs, declining soil fertility, dwindling yields and mounting debt, small and marginal farmers are killing themselves. Harvest of Grief, a 66-minute documentary, chronicles the victims' untold stories. Shot in four villages in Sangrur, a relatively poor district of Punjab, the film touches upon the human and social cost of "solutions" to hunger such as the Green Revolution. It explores the severe agricultural crisis caused by economic liberalization, globalization, and the myopic business strategies of profit-seeking multinational corporations.

03.22.2017: Fine Arts Grant

A local company is giving back to the community:
Des Moines Art Center receives grant award from DuPont Pioneer

(Capital City News Service) – The Des Moines Art Center is pleased to announce that DuPont Pioneer has donated $20,000 toward the Art Center’s 2017 Educational Programs and Outreach for At-Risk Youth as part of the DuPont Pioneer sponsorship program. According to Director Jeff Fleming, “The Art Center is thrilled to partner again with DuPont Pioneer in 2017 in our ongoing efforts to provide quality educational opportunities to the community as well as for at-risk youth. Our programs continue to grow, in part, because of support such as this.”

Pioneer makes contributions to community-based organizations on behalf of the business and employees. Consideration for outreach grants is given to communities where Pioneer sales representatives, DuPont Pioneer employees and customers live and work, and that support quality-of-life initiatives to create an improved, sustainable lifestyle for people worldwide.

03.21.2017: Dance Series!

Here's who's coming in the 2017-2018 Dance Series:

January 24, 2018
Des Moines Civic Center

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is among the most original forces in contemporary dance. As one of the only professional dance companies to perform year-round, Hubbard Street is continually touring nationwide and internationally. Now in its 39th year, the main company has appeared in celebrated dance venues in 44 states and 19 countries.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s core purpose is to bring artists, art and audiences together to enrich, engage, educate, transform and change lives through the experience of dance.

March 3, 2018
Des Moines Civic Center

Opus Cactus has a new look, fresh energy, and fun surprises! Moses Pendleton brings the landscape of the American Southwest to life with his signature illusionistic style creating dynamic images of cactuses, slithering lizards and fire dancers. Originally created as a 20-minute piece in 2001 for the Ballet Arizona, Opus Cactus was then brought back into the MOMIX retort and a full-evening work was created.

May 5, 2018
Des Moines Civic Center

Ballet Hispánico brings communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through innovative productions, transformative dance training, and community engagement.

Led by award-winning Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro, the Ballet Hispanico Company has performed for audiences totaling over 3 million, throughout 11 countries, and on 3 continents. The Company’s commitment to contemporary repertory has produced world-class, multifaceted performances that have featured master works by Nacho Duato, cutting-edge premieres by Cayetano Soto and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and live music collaborations with renowned artists such as Paquito D’Rivera and Ruben Blades—to name a notable few.

03.20.2017: The Start of March Mania

Let's go for "the reel beeg Dance"! The premiere of the new season of DWTS is tonight! (Be still my battu heart!o) I haven't spent a lot of time going over the cast list, but, sight unseen, I'm picking Simon Biles to be the winner of the mirror-ball trophy! She should be able to capitalize on her youth, personality and athletic skills to lap the field. It's her mirror-ball to lose! She is the front-runner to follow in the footsteps of other Olympic Gymnasts like Laurie Hernandez and Shawn Johnson. Unless she pulls a Nastia Liukin and can't capitalize on her talents. (Still shaking my head over that one! All that talent AND Derek, too? And, still can't win? Wasabi with that?) But, the exciting part of the competition is watching for someone out of left field, someone you don't expect to give the leaders a run for their money! First one out should be the super-models and hunky actors, anyone who depends on their looks for their 15 minutes of fame! Give the edge to athletes, and youth shall be served! Unless you trained when you were younger, youth will be served on this show! Fatigue and injuries will factor in on this show and the resilient will prevail! Let the dancing begin!o)

03.17.2017: Rhyme and Reason!

Spoken word battle victor:
Sioux City student wins Poetry Out Loud in Iowa

While basketball tournaments command much of the state’s attention this month, we were delighted to see Grace Kiple (middle) of Sioux City’s LAMB School of Theatre and Music capture the 2017 Poetry Out Loud in Iowa state championship.

Grace earned the victory with compelling recitations of “The Cross of Snow” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Dear Reader” by Rita Mae Reese and “Entirely” by Louis MacNeice. Esther Oge Ubadigbo (right) of Des Moines Central Academy took second place, and Elise Sturgeon (left) of Sioux City North finished third.

With her win, Grace received a $200 cash prize, plus $500 for her school to purchase poetry books and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., where she will represent Iowa in the Poetry Out Loud National Finals April 25-26. Students from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will compete for $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends. Please join us in wishing Grace good luck at the national finals.

03.16.2017: It LIVES!

Exclusive E-Mail offer from the DsM Playhouse:
E-Club Exclusive:
$10 tickets to final dress rehearsal of "Young Frankenstein"!

7:30 PM, Thursday, March 16, 2017
Tickets go on sale online 10:00 AM, Thursday, Mar. 16. Seating is reserved.

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Charlie Reese) finally succeeds in creating a Monster (Adam Yankowy) to rival his grandfather’s, but not without some hilarious complications. With the help of his mysterious side-kick Igor (Brett Spahr), a leggy lab assistant, Inga (Patricia Arvanis), and fiancée Elizabeth (Jackie Schmillen), Frederick sets to work back in Transylvania to finish what his family started long ago.

Soon the whole audience will be “puttin’ on the ritz!”

Young Frankenstein is directed by Maxwell Schaeffer, with music direction by Brenton Brown and choreography by Alison Shafer. The cast includes Mary Bricker, Brad Church, Emily Davis, Megan Helmers, Katie Herting, Jess Hoffert, Andrew Hughes, Jay Jacobson, Greg Kephart, Eric Layden, Dean Messerly, Rachel Elizabeth Meyer, Lindsay Mickelson, Brent Nery, Don Rothweiler, Christopher Rozenboom, Stephanie Schneider, Alexandra Stark, Tony Tandeski, and Lexus Waymire.

...Click here for more information.

03.15.2017: Dancing Takes U Placez

Fierce young dancing trio entertains Ellen and a NATION!o)

03.14.2017: Sharpen Your Athletic Skillz

New reference for coaches and teachers:
Product Description

The unifying theme of every elite athlete and every spectacular performance is movement. It’s the basis for what we recognize as athleticism. It’s the foundation for athletic skill and the essential ingredient to excellence.

Athletic Movement Skills: Training for Sports Performance sets a new standard for athletic assessment and development. This authoritative work presents proven protocols for evaluating, correcting, training and translating athletic movement to athletic dominance.

Combining the latest science and research with cutting-edge techniques and strategies,Athletic Movement Skills will show you how to

  • develop multidirectional speed and power for any sport and any position,
  • improve jumping and agility with effective plyometric progressions,
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  • evaluate and correct posture and body position,
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Hundreds of photo sequences and illustrations plus 10 detailed exercise progressions depict how to refine and perfect speed, agility, strength and power-related movements and skills.

Whether you are working with young or experienced, novice or elite athletes, Athletic Movement Skills is a must-have. It is the definitive development guide for anyone serious about sport performance.

...Find out more here.

03.10.2017: Guten Morgan, Mein Einhorn!o)

Tips from a former New York City Ballet soloist:

03.09.2017: Application Deadline

More Money for nuttin', gitcher kix 4 free!oP

Cultural Leadership Partner Operating Support Grant

Demonstrate your investment in a rich cultural environment that improves the quality of life for all Iowans by becoming a Cultural Leadership Partner. Partners are selected every three years and receive grant funds to support operating costs throughout the three-year cycle. Current and prospective Cultural Leadership Partners demonstrate an exemplary record of programming, managerial excellence and community service on a year-round basis to the citizens of Iowa.

Who: Iowa Nonprofit Cultural or Arts Organizations
What: $30,000 to $60,000 in General Operating Support over a three year period
When: The deadline to submit a letter of inquiry is May 1, 2017, with full applications due on November 1, 2017. The funding period will cover July 1, 2018-June 30, 2021.
...Click here for more information.

03.08.2017: Performance Posting

Attention, Tovarisch! Fleur Cinemas celebrates "Mother Russia"!
Special Event Screening

The Russian Avant Garde,
A Century On

Wednesday, March 8 @ 7:30 pm

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Margy Kinmonth, REVOLUTION: NEW ART FOR A NEW WORLD is a bold and exciting feature documentary that encapsulates a momentous period in the history of Russia and the Russian Avant-Garde.

Drawing on the collections of major Russian institutions, contributions from contemporary artists, curators, and performers and personal testimony from the descendants of those involved, the film brings the artists of the Russian Avant-Garde to life. It tells the stories of artists like Chagall, Kandinsky and Malevich - pioneers who flourished in response to the challenge of building a new art for a new world, only to be broken by implacable authority after 15 short years and silenced by Stalin’s Socialist Realism. Yet these remarkable artworks survived and the Russian Avant-Garde continues to exert an influence over contemporary art movements.

REVOLUTION: NEW ART FOR A NEW WORLD confirms this; exploring the fascination that these colorful paintings, inventive sculptures and propaganda posters retain over the modern consciousness 100 years on.

See this incredible, visually stunning documentary on the big screen for one show only!

03.07.2017: Audition Action

Audition notices courtesy The Culture Buzz
Auditions: 1. Ankeny Community Theatre: Auditions Sat, Apr 1 at 10 AM and Sun, Apr 2 at 6:30 PM. What goes on in the minds of people suffering from Alzheimer's Disease? The Middle of Yesterday tries to give us an answer. Kilby Fleming, an aging ex-War hero, struggles between reality and the hauntings of his memories as he declines into the dark world of Alzheimer's. Locked in time, Kilby is forced to view his past as the people in the present fight to bring him back. 2. Des Moines Playhouse: Auditions Mon Apr 24 for The Music Man. 9 men, 3 women, 1 boy, 1-2 girls, Ensemble of men, women, boys, girls. Performance dates Jul 14 – Aug 24.

03.06.2017: Special Spoken Word

Keeping you updated on arts haps in the Capital City:
Sioux City student wins 2017 Poetry Out Loud in Iowa state championship
Grace Kiple of LAMB School of Theatre and Music to represent Iowa at National Finals in April in Washington, D.C.

(Capital City News Service) – While basketball tournaments command the state's attention this month, 15 Iowa high school students vied for a championship of another kind today.

Grace Kiple of Sioux City's LAMB School of Theatre and Music captured the 2017 Poetry Out Loud in Iowa state championship today with compelling recitations of "The Cross of Snow" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "Dear Reader" by Rita Mae Reese and "Entirely" by Louis MacNeice. Esther Oge Ubadigbo of Des Moines Central Academy took second place and Elise Sturgeon of Sioux City North finished third. The program was held at the State Historical Building in Des Moines.

With the victory, Kiple received a $200 cash prize, plus $500 for her school to purchase poetry books, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where she will represent Iowa in the Poetry Out Loud National Finals April 25-26. Students from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will compete for the national championship and $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends.

"It's (exciting) to participate in Poetry Out Loud because it gets kids looking at the meaning of poetry with a great incentive at the end," Kiple said. "I am thrilled to represent Iowa at the National Finals and want to thank my parents and coach, Diana Wooley, for their support."

This year, more than 1,100 Iowa students participated in Poetry Out Loud programs at school and district levels, memorizing and reciting poems in front of their classmates and judges. The experience can be nerve-wracking, but it helps them develop public-speaking and critical-thinking skills that will last a lifetime.

Created in 2005 by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, the program is overseen in Iowa by the Iowa Arts Council, which partnered with ArtForceIowa this year to expand the program to under-served student populations. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation provide state arts agencies free, standards-based curriculum materials for use by participating schools, including an on-line poetry anthology, a program guide to help instructors teach recitation and performance, and an DVD.CD.

Student competitors are judged on accuracy, physical presence, voice and articulation, appropriateness of dramatization, evidence of understanding and overall performance. This year's judges were the Des Moines musician Max Wellman and two Iowa Artist Fellows, the Nevada poet Jennifer L. Knox and the Cedar Rapids performance artist Akwi Nji.

Overall, more than 300,000 students across the country participated in the program this year.

03.03.2017: Performance Posting

An update from the Fleur Theaters:
Surprise Addition
A UNITED KINGDOM Also Opens Today!

We're so excited to announce a late addition to our lineup from our friends at Fox Searchlight: A UNITED KINGDOM, starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, opens today! Based on the heart-rending true love story of the romance between the prince of Botswana (Oyelowo) and a British clerk (Pike) set against racial prejudice in colonial Africa, A UNITED KINGDOM soars with political intrigue, romance and incredible performances from its lead actors.

The Los Angeles Times raves, "The opening title 'Based on a true story' can cover a multitude of movie sins, but in A UNITED KINGDOM it unlocks the door to a romantic drama that grows more remarkable by the minute….Though it engages in some not surprising simplifying of complex events, A UNITED KINGDOM also displays a welcome yearning for fidelity…A UNITED KINGDOM understands that it was by no means easy, but emphasizes the centrality of their determination not to allow 'the world's ugliness to take our joy away.' They don't, and we are all the better for it."

Unfortunately this film was added to our lineup after the deadlines for our newspaper ads, so the showtimes in the newspaper this weekend are erroneous. As always, please consult our website for the latest showtimes and enjoy A UNITED KINGDOM in addition to new films JULIETA and THE SALESMAN!

03.02.2017: Arts Funding

Money for nothing! Get your kicks for free!
New Call for Grants

(Capital City News Service) If your next big idea could use some financial support, you’re in luck. The Iowa Arts Council just announced a new call for grant applications. While most of them are due May 1, the earliest application deadline is March 15 for the Iowa Artist Fellowship.

If you’re familiar with the grants, you’ll want to check out a few changes to established programs, plus a couple of new ones. This year, you can get some help with each grant program’s application process by registering for our live webinars, which allow you to follow along from the comfort of your home or studio.

03.01.2017: Visit To Middle Earth

Fantasy discussion on Iowa Public Television:
Iowa Public Television Presents Tolkien & Lewis: Myth, Imagination & The Quest For Meaning

(Capital City News Service) - Iowa Public Television announced today the premiere of Tolkien & Lewis: Myth, Imagination & The Quest For Meaning. The program will premiere Monday, March 13 at 8 p.m. and air again Sunday, March 26 at 1 p.m.

This hour-long documentary explores the fundamental characteristics of myth, reality, ritual and imagination, and tells the story of C.S. Lewis' intellectual journey into the realm of faith, which began at a meeting with fellow author J.R.R. Tolkien.

Tolkien & Lewis: Myth, Imagination & The Quest For Meaning engages scholars from various spiritual and academic viewpoints while challenging viewers to draw their own conclusions about the meaning of life and the role that mythology and imagination play in determining belief. Scholars featured in the film include Dr. Reza Aslan, Dr. Verlyn Flieger, Dr. Rolland Hein, Dr. Christopher Mitchell, Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne, Dr. Thomas Shippey, Deepti Tewari and Rev. Dr. Michael Ward.

Tolkien & Lewis: Myth, Imagination & The Quest For Meaning is a production of the Duncan Entertainment Group in association with the Crouse Entertainment Group. Programming support is provided by: the Grace A. Bersted Foundation, the Theda & Tamblin Clark Smith Family Foundation, the Samuel E. & Mary W. Thatcher Foundation, Ambassador Robert D. Stuart, Jr., the James H. & Judith L. DeVries Charitable Foundation, the William H. Donner Foundation, Dr. John Templeton, Jr. and Gayle Harlow.

02.28.2017: Performance Posting

Hamilton star coming to the Capital City:

(Capital City News Service) Des Moines Performing Arts is pleased to announce that Hamilton Tony Award®-winner, LESLIE ODOM, JR., will perform in concert with the Des Moines Symphony on the Civic Center stage Saturday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m. This captivating performance will be offered as an add-on to the 2017-2018 Willis Broadway Series Season Ticket Package and as part of the Symphony’s Pops Subscription Series. Ticketing details will be announced at a later date.

Performance Schedule:
LESLIE ODOM, JR. with the Des Moines Symphony
Des Moines Civic Center
Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Multifaceted performer LESLIE ODOM, JR. has most recently been seen in the blockbuster Broadway musical Hamilton, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for the role of “Aaron Burr.”

He is a Grammy Award winner as a principal soloist on Hamilton’s Original Broadway Cast Recording, which won t2015 award for Best Musical Theater Album.

Odom, Jr. originated the role of “Burr” in a sold-out run at The Public Theater in 2015, earning a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical and a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical.

02.27.2017: Movie Magic

Pass the word to budding movie makers:
"The Film Lounge" premiere receives high praise from Iowa filmmakers
Submissions for next season accepted through June 1

(Capital City News Service) The television premiere of "The Film Lounge" wrapped last weekend with high praise from filmmakers, and submissions for the next season are already being accepted.

"The Film Lounge" is a new public television series that showcases short, independent films by Iowa artists and celebrates the economic and cultural vitality that filmmaking brings to the state. The show is produced by Iowa Public Television in partnership with the Iowa Arts Council and Produce Iowa, divisions of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

The program's first episodes featured multiple short films compiled in two, one-hour shows that aired on Iowa Public Television this month. Those who missed the television premiere can find a schedule of additional air dates and an online version of the program at [goog_365476725]

Filmmaker reactions:

Steve Jennings and Kathy Buxton of Grasshorse Studios contributed "The Sacrifice" to this year's "Film Lounge." Their hand-illustrated, animated film was inspired by the story of Saint George and the dragon. “'The Film Lounge' is a great first step in marketing talent. It creates an opportunity for us as filmmakers to share our work and create a fan base. Artists like us don’t survive without them."

Filmmaker Kristian Day, who works on independent films and national television shows in Iowa and Hollywood, said "The Film Lounge" was a great opportunity to showcase his "Cactua" movie to other filmmakers and new audiences. "It was a great experience and I was really happy with (the program). It definitely appealed to filmmakers, and I'm hoping it really connected with the general public and that they engaged with it."

Des Moines filmmaker Bruce Bales contributed a music video he produced for musician Christopher Ford's song, "Everybody Rains." "I plan on applying again. It is great exposure and it helps me to make connections and put names to faces of other filmmakers. To have your voice amplified by an authority like IPTV is impressive. I enjoyed the quality of the films that were included in the episodes and want to know more about each (of them)."

New submission deadline:

Iowa filmmakers may submit films for the next "Film Lounge" season by June 1, 2017. Submitted films must be two to 20 minutes in length, including credits, and will be accepted in the following genres:

Music video
Applicants will be notified by Aug. 1 and selections will be announced Sept. 1. The next season will air in February 2018. Selected filmmakers will receive a stipend of $500.

The submission deadline is 11:59 p.m. Thursday, June 1, via an online application portal available at Only one application may be submitted per individual. Films produced as part of a production competition, including the 48-Hour Film Project, are not eligible.

More information can be found at

02.24.2017: Ag Art

Celebrating Iowa Agriculture and the arts:
Iowa artists can submit art that showcases farming
Celebration of Iowa: Agriculture Art Award offers $5,600 in prizes

(Capital City News Service) From the gentle swells of landscapes to barnyards and farm animals, the "Celebration of Iowa: Agriculture Art Exhibition" captures the splendor of the Iowa's rural heritage.

Organizers of the sixth annual exhibit are accepting new submissions online at through July 1. The competition offers $5,600 in prizes, with ​ awards presented​ during the Iowa State Fair and ​finalist artwork ​ displayed August through October at the State Historical Museum of Iowa in Des Moines. The exhibit is overseen by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs; the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship; and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.

“This exhibit has been well received since its inception and continues to be a great success," Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said. “We thank the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, Iowa Arts Council and Iowa Farm Bureau for partnering with us, and we look forward to seeing what Iowa artists submit this year.”

“Iowans have honored the beauty and diversity of our land through art long before we were even a state," Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie said. "We are grateful to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation for partnering with us to showcase Iowa artists of all ages and encourage their talent."

“Agriculture accounts for one out of every five jobs in Iowa, but few Iowans get a chance to work the land," Iowa Farm Bureau Federation President Craig Hill said. "So it's very satisfying that this exhibit draws attention to our passion for growing crops and caring for animals."

"Celebration of Iowa: Agriculture Art Exhibition" is a juried exhibit that recognizes Iowa artists and celebrates Iowa’s role as a global leader in agriculture. Artwork will be judged on innovation of concept and the aesthetic and technical quality of the work. There is a Youth Division (17 years of age and younger) with a $1,000 first place prize and an Adult Division (18 years of age and older) with a $1,500 grand prize. Second, third and other finalists will also receive monetary awards.

Exhibit entries will be evaluated by a panel of judges arranged by the Iowa Arts Council. Eligible participants must be Iowa residents working in 2D media. (Sculpture, film, video, or installation work will not be accepted.) Accepted works must be ready for display (with frames, if necessary, and any related hanging gear) and must not require set-up by the artist. Only one application may be submitted per individual.

02.23.2017: Movie Magic?

CCDC tap instructors are ready if this ever becomes a thing in the Capital City:
(Capital City News Service) -- Los Angeles and New York dance studios are cashing in on the popularity of the movie "La La Land." Many who've never danced before now want to kick up their heels after watching Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone bebop their way around L-A. The 3rd Street Dance Studio in Los Angeles kicked of its La La Land workshops Saturday with 30 dancers of all ages packing the studio. Fancy footwork is the main focus as instructors shout "five, six, seven eight" as dancers step in unison. It's the same story in New York as would-be tap dancers learn the steps.

02.22.2017: Performance Posting

Fans of anime art take note:
Studio Ghibli's Latest Opens Friday at the Fleur Theaters

From the acclaimed animation workshop Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Ponycomes THE RED TURTLE. Nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, THE RED TURTLE is a lush, medatative animated feature with no dialogue but plenty of sumptuous landscapes and a gorgeous color palette.

Entertainment Weekly raves that THE RED TURTLE "...invites us–as in, anyone who’s ever felt stranded–to consider our little spot in the world. Lavish with stunning imagery, the experience will ripple into your dreams."

02.21.2017: Performance Posting

DsM Playhouse has just unveiled its ambitious agenda for next year:
The Des Moines Community Playhouse has the most rootin-tootin', fan-crazed, dreamy, jazzy, gut-wrenching season ever. The theatre's 99th season includes four musicals, plus drama, comedy, and family shows.


July 14-Aug. 6, 2017
There's trouble in River City! Fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill cons Iowa-stubborn citizens by convincing them to purchase instruments and uniforms for a boys' band. But his plans to skip town with the money are thwarted when he meets Marian, the librarian, and falls in love… first with her, and then with the town. The Music Man is Meredith Willson's tribute to his home state, and one of the Playhouse's most-requested musicals.


Sept. 8-Oct. 1, 2017
Seventeen dancers audition for eight ensemble roles in the next Big Broadway Musical. From tap dance sensation Mike to Cassie, a former featured performer now begging for any role, each one has a story and unique reason for performing. A Chorus Line shows what actors do for love of the theatre in a life that is demanding, heartbreaking, and exhilarating. A Chorus Line is one singular sensation!


Oct. 13-29, 2017
World Premiere! Liz is a recent widow with a bad dating track record. Her spunky friends each set her up with a different guy, manipulating things along the way, of course. In the hilarious intrigue that follows, Liz finds out just how difficult making choices can be. Choices, where the women are smart and the humor is sharp, is the latest comedy by Des Moines playwright Karen Schaeffer, author of Girls' Weekend, a hit in the Playhouse's 2014-15 Season.


Nov. 3-20, 2017
Ma, Pa, Mary, and Laura Ingalls gather the whole family together at their home in Kansas to celebrate the holidays. When a natural disaster strikes, it seems like Santa won’t be able to make it! But Christmas is a time for miracles, and Laura and Mary are determined to help ensure Ma and Pa don’t have a gift-less holiday. Based on the Little House series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, A Little House Christmas is a perfect way for families to kick off the holiday season.


Dec. 1-24, 2017
Ariel may have fins, but she wants nothing more than to leave her kingdom under the sea. After saving Prince Eric from a storm at sea, she knows she’s in love and her father will never understand. But when Ariel makes a deal with Ursula, the evil sea witch, to experience the life she's dreamed of, things go terribly wrong. Make The Little Mermaid part of your family's world this holiday season!


Jan. 5-21, 2018
From the pages of Mo Willem’s beloved books comes a musical adventure that will have families rolling with laughter. Gerald, an elephant, and Piggie, a pig, are “bestus” friends. Gerald worries about their friendship, but Piggie is completely confident, especially because they’re invited to a party! Through singing and dancing, the pair learns important lessons about the meaning of friendship, and what to wear to a fancy pool party.


Jan. 26-Feb. 11, 2018
A horrible automobile accident nearly claims best-selling author Paul Sheldon’s life. Luckily, his biggest fan, Annie, is there to save him and nurse him. It doesn’t take long, however, for Paul to realize he is living a nightmare. Completely at Annie's psychopathic mercy, he's unsure if he’ll make it out alive after all. Based on the book by Stephen King, Misery will have audiences on the edges of their seats.


Feb. 23-Mar. 11, 2018
Miss Nelson’s class is the worst in the whole school. Why? She’s just too nice. One day, Miss Nelson doesn’t show up and the evil substitute teacher Viola Swamp takes her place. Under Swamp's tyranny, the students begin to see the error of their ways. Based on the book by Harry G. Allard Jr. and James Marshall.


Apr. 6-29, 2018
At the dawn of a new century, everything is changing and anything is possible. Three families -- embodied by an upper-class wife, a Jewish immigrant, and a Harlem musician -- cross paths and their lives intertwine in pursuit of the American Dream. After a tragedy, people discover they have more in common than anyone thought. Based on the best-selling book by E.L. Doctorow with a Tony Award-winning score, Ragtime is a powerful and inspiring portrait of America, and musical theatre storytelling at its finest.

02.20.2017: Performance Posting

Latest at the DsM Playhouse:
Feb. 24-Mar. 12

Based on the award-winning book by Louis Sachar, Holes tells the story of Stanley Yelnats (Michael Cunningham), who continues his family's curse of bad luck and finds himself at Camp Green Lake, convicted of a crime he didn't commit. But this isn't any ordinary camp; the boys are forced to dig, day in and day out, in search of historic treasure.

Stanley and fellow "campers," X-Ray (Elvin Soe), Magnet (Calvin Wilner), Armpit (AJ Mortale), and Zigzag (Harold Norris), find themselves digging up the story of Kissin' Kate Barlow (Katy Merriman), one of the most feared outlaws in the west. Hole by hole, Stanley begins to also dig into his past and with the help of his friend Zero (Jarhon Hill), reshapes his destiny.

Holes won the 1998 U.S. National Book Award for Young People's Literature and the 1999 Newbery Medal for the year's "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children."

The Playhouse cast is directed by Nathan Jorgensen. The cast includes Brooks Blackwood, Melody DeRogatis, Michael Garrison, Ella Henderson, Emmett Phillips Jr., Michael Ream, Corbett Reeves, Gary Scherer, Rebecca Scholtec, Michael Tallman, and Lauren Vickers.

Holes is 1 hour 45 minutes including a 15-minute intermission.

02.17.2017: Even More Tips From Teachers

Here's some coaching from various ballet experts:

02.16.2017: Movie Magic

This note from the Fleur Theaters:
Documentary and Foreign Nominees Open Friday

This Friday you'll finally get a chance to see two more Oscar nominees: I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, a trenchant documentary about James Baldwin's observations of race in America nominated for Best Documentary Feature and TONI ERDMANN, a ribald German comedy nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. Critics are lavishing praise on both films.

The Associated Press calls I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO "…searing and utterly necessary…It is not only a must see, but one that should be studied and absorbed over many viewings."

The New York Times made TONI ERDMANN a Critic's Pick, praising the film as "its own kind of rebellion, a thrilling act of defiance against the toxicity of doing what is expected, on film, at work and out in the world."

Finally, mark your calendars: The Fleur will once again host a free Oscars Watch Party with the live broadcast on the big screen on Sunday, February 26. Check out the event details here.

02.15.2017: Local Listings

Latest from the weekly update from The Culture Buzz:
1. Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre at the Des Moines Community Playhouse. Fancy Nancy The Musical will hold auditions on Sun Mar 5 for 5 women and 1 man roles. For complete information, please visit
Other Cultural Considerations:
1. Repertory Theatre of Iowa is offering a unique opportunity for cultural patrons to take their support to a new level. For its next show, August: Osage County, opening Fri Mar 3 in the Kum & Go Theater at the Des Moines Social Club, leading champion for performing arts has pledged a $3000 matching grant for anyone interested in sponsoring an actor or other production member. For example, your $250 will be matched to sponsor a lead actor. For complete details and who to contact, please visit
2. Goldfinch Theatre Company continues its world premiere of Mike Draper’s No Coast with Thu, Fri and Sat shows at 7:30 pm, and a closing show on Sun Feb 19 at 2:00 pm in Grand View University’s Viking Theater (a marvelously refurbished performing venue). "...the snark of Mike Draper, the range of the talented Scott Seipker and a well-crafted script make NO COAST a delightful stroll on the Midwestern cultural beach..." -The Culture Buzz
3. Ankeny Community Theatre its run of one of the most iconic small musicals of musical theatre history, The Fantasticks, through Sun Feb 19.
4. Des Moines Big Band has been delighting audiences for years, and continues its weekly tradition each Wednesday at Noce, the hottest jazz and music club in the Heartland. Drop by some Wednesday to unwind and soak in the audio ambience as a cavalcade of legends and emerging stars treat those in attendance to a jazzy journey.

02.14.2017: Arts Festival Update

The Arts Festival just sent this out:
The Artists On January 26 we proudly announced the professional and emerging artists selected by the five-panel jury to exhibit during the 2017 Des Moines Arts Festival. The announcement came at REVEAL presented by Foster Group, a special event at Wells Fargo Arena.

Artists were selected from 29 states and the countries of Canada and Argentina. A balance of mediums including jewelry, mixed media, photography, wood, sculpture, and more will be represented in June.

The jury included 2016 commemorative poster artist, Brice McCasland, 2016 Leysens Family Award-winner, Kristen Greteman, Liz Lidgett, Des Moines artist, Alex Braidwood and Michael Morain.

Head to our website for a complete list of artists and also to enjoy a slideshow of the exhibiting artists.

Kind Regards,
Stephen King, CFEE
Executive Director

02.13.2017: More Tips From Teachers

Here's some coaching from the Prix de Lausanne experts:

02.10.2017: Arts Opportunity

Calling all Iowa female artists!
Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Art Council Call for Iowa Women’s Arts Exhibition Artwork Submissions

(Capital City News Service) – Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Arts Council today announced an open call for female artists to submit art for the Iowa Women's Art Exhibition, which showcases works from female Iowa artists and celebrates their contributions to the vitality of the arts and quality of life in Iowa.

"All across Iowa, business leaders tell me our state's quality of life is one of the top considerations when they're looking to expand or recruit new employees," Reynolds said. "Iowa's female artists have played a significant role in improving our quality of life in Iowa, and they've done it in a way that improves our economic vitality, too. So I am pleased to highlight their works in my formal office and encourage them to apply to be in the exhibit."

The new round of art will rotate semi-annually at the State Capitol in the formal office of the Lt. Governor with a Fall Exhibit July-December 2017 and a Spring Exhibit January-June 2018. The submission deadline is May 1, 2017 and artists must apply at

Applicants must be a current Iowa resident, female, 21 years of age or older and not enrolled in a degree-granting program. Submissions must be original pieces in 2D or 3D media completed within the past five years. Film, video or installation work will not be accepted. Works also must be display-ready including frames, fastening/installation material, and stand-alone without set up needs. Selected artists will receive $250 stipends to underwrite transportation and display costs.

Currently, works from Jody Boyer of Council Bluffs, Jane Gilmor of Cedar Rapids and Rachel Merrill of Des Moines are on display in the exhibit through June 30, 2017.

The exhibit series was created in 2014 by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and the Iowa Arts Council. The public is welcome to visit the exhibit 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the State Capitol.

The Iowa Arts Council is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. More information is available at or 515-281-5111.

02.09.2017: Performance Posting

Opportunity at the institution lovingly referred to as "Party Hearty U":
Faculty/Graduate Concert
Presented by the Department of Dance

Department of Dance faculty and graduate students present their work at Space Place Theater in North Hall on the University of Iowa campus. The performance will include the following works:

Choreography by Marc Macaranas
Informed by a curiosity for science fiction, sleek futurism, and slippery fixity, DYAD is a dance for two that explores jigsaw-like interactivity and intricate dysfunctions.

Mommie Queerest
Choreography by Jesse Factor
This piece began as a study investigating the aesthetics of Camp. Jesse is interested in the excessive body and the counterpoints of glamor and abjection. Inspired by Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest, Jesse mines the Hollywood tropes of the diva in distress for humor and beauty.

Enthusiastic YES
Choreography by Jessica Anthony, in collaboration with the dancers
Enthusiastic YES explores affirmative consent through a shared weight duet between two women.

She Was
Choreography by Kwame Azalius Ross
This work is a movement in response to a poem written by Christine Yohannes from Addis, Ethiopia who was a member of the International Writers Project this past semester. It was a great pleasure to continue to investigate this work and to give continuous awareness of the horror of sexual assault against the youth of our global world.

Variations once for sixteen, now eleven
Choreography by Armando Duarte
Variations once for sixteen, now eleven is composed of short and long abstract contemporary dance phrases; it intends to fully explore the dancers performance ability; motivated by the wonderful scores composed by Mr. Philip Glass.

This production contains adult content, adult language, and the use of theatrical haze.

Tickets are available through the Hancher Box Office at 319.335.1160 or 1.800. HANCHER or online at

02.08.2017: Playhouse Performances

The Playhouse set to release next season's line-up:
Des Moines Playhouse 2017-18 SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT
5:30 PM, Monday, Feb. 20, 2017

The season announcement party is free, but RSVPs are required. You will be emailed your admission ticket. You need a ticket for each guest, and each guest needs to sign up individually. Questions? Contact Lee Ann Bakros, 515-974-5358,

Venue: Lobbies
Des Moines Community Playhouse
831 42nd St., Des Moines, IA 50312

02.07.2017: Latest Interview

A CCDC student recently asked to interview me for a school assignment. Here are the answers and you can find the questions on our FaceBook page:
  1. I'm from Hawai'i and was hatched like a hatchimal many, many moons ago. Never ask a dancer how old they are or when they were born.
  2. My dad was the most influential person on me as a young child. He was a no nonsense kind of guy who always wanted me to do my best.
  3. I went to Kalani High School in O'ahu. But, don't ask me when I graduated (See answer to number one)
  4. I started formal training in ballet when I started attending the University of Hawai'i. But, I had been dancing most of my life. I was considered quite the dancer in high school. Always made it a point to know the latest steps.
  5. I trained in martial arts when I was younger. I reached san-kyu ranking in Judo and was an instructor in Huk-Hu Gung Fu. I was also a tournament-winning high school wrestler and tri-captain my senior year.
  6. I started training at the University of Hawai'i and danced with several companies in Honolulu. I danced with a small ballet company in Crystal Lake, Illinois when I first came to the mainland. I then went on scholarship at Maria Tallchief's School of the Chicago City Ballet and ended up teaching there. I became a principal dancer at the Duluth Ballet one season and then danced for two seasons with the Des Moines Ballet, that became Ballet Iowa my last season.
  7. My greatest accomplishment was leaving my home to pursue my dreams of dancing professionally. There were some trials and tribulations, but, I can say what few others can say: I have been a professional ballet dancer.
  8. Favorite color? Silver-blue comes to mind, but, I wear black most of the time.
  9. Favorite thing I've done is what I do every day today: try to get better at ballet or try to get others to be better at ballet.
  10. My parents always wanted me to excel at whatever I did. I think they enjoyed the fact that I became an award-winning journalist. But, I think they would've preferred me to become a doctor or engineer. I think they were dumbfounded by the fact I chose to become a professional dancer, the first in our family.
  11. I met Melissa at a ballet studio. I think only another dancer can understand the time commitment it takes to feed our obsessions.
  12. I define happiness as the byproduct of working towards a goal. Set a goal and work towards it to achieve happiness.
  13. My most memorable travel experience was a visit to the 2013 Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland. We also got to travel across the lake to step foot in France for the first time.
  14. Funniest thing told to me is when a fellow dancer traveled to Poland for a summer intensive. She was deposited in front of the school with her big bags. She asked some of the guys standing around outside for help carrying her luggage up to the third floor. Her future husband looked at her with a puzzled expression on his face. "Oh," she thought, "I wish I spoke Polish!" She then acted out carrying luggage and struggling and pointed to him with a questioning look. He replied in perfect English, "Oh, you want some help with that?" He spoke perfect English all along, just enjoyed seeing the cute foreign dancer pantomiming her questions!
  15. Greatest hope is to be of service, to influence young people in a positive way. To be an asset to the world and to control my negativity.
  16. Favorite thing about dance is traveling to different cities, taking class from new teachers and finding out different dancers are all the same. Ballet is in the blood.

02.06.2017: Tips From Teachers

Here's some coaching from the Prix de Lausanne experts:

02.02.2017: Prix de Lausanne Week

Day Three of the 2017 Prix de Lausanne International Youth Ballet Competition:

02.01.2017: Prix de Lausanne Week

Day Two of the 2017 Prix de Lausanne International Youth Ballet Competition:

01.29.2017: The 2017 Prix Begins!

The premiere international youth ballet competition getting underway in Lausanne, Switzerland today:

Bookmark this page to find the livestreaming of the finals.

01.27.2017: Performance Posting

Support local theater:

JAN 27 - FEB 12, 2017
Adapted for the stage by Simon Levy

Performance Times:
7:30 PM Wednesday through Saturday; 2:00 PM Sunday
Run Time: 1 hour 50 minutes including a 15-minute intermission

What would you do for true love? Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire, takes Long Island newcomer Nick Carraway under his wing and into his decadent world of obsession, greed, and danger. Gatsby hopes to reunite with Nick’s cousin, Daisy Buchanan.

Narrated by Carraway looking back seven years, the story reveals not only the true impact that Gatsby had on Nick’s life, but also the real reasons behind Gatsby’s lavish lifestyle.

The glamour of the Jazz Age comes to life in this new adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel.

The performance on Sunday, Feb. 5, will have live audio description, provided by IRIS. Please contact our ticket office at 515-277-6261 if you would like to use this free service.

01.26.2017: Chance 2 Dance Or Trip The Light Fantastic!o)

Parents! Dance with your kids! Lovers! Celebrate V-Day!o)
Sweetheart Dance
February 10, 2017, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM (CST)
Location: Blank Park Zoo

Dance the night away with your favorite Valentine! On Friday, February 10 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, bring the whole family to Blank Park Zoo for an evening filled with music, sweet treats, crafts, and much more. Music will be provided by 'Affordable Music & Sound'.

Ticket information
Member: $12.00 per person
Non-Member: $15.00 per person
Click here to purchase tickets.

Frequently Asked Questions
Will there be food at the dance?
There will only be a dessert bar and light refreshments, so guests should plan to eat before or after the dance.

Will we be able to see all the animals?
Indoor exhibits will be open until 8 p.m. Outdoor exhibits are closed as the animals must go in for the night 30 minutes prior to sunset for the safety of the animals and animal care staff.

Is this a Father/Daughter or a Mother/Son dance?
It’s both! Bring the entire family!

01.25.207: Preparing For The Prix!o)

Gearing up for this soon!

Prix de lausanne

45th International Ballet Competition
January 29th - February 5th, 2017
Finals Saturday February 4th
Le Presbytère Av. Bergières 14 1004 Lausanne Switzerland
Check out their blog, their photos, their videos or their live-streaming.

01.24.2017: Guten Morgan!

Videos of interest to CCDC dancers:

01.23.2017: Arts Opportunity

Free art exhibit on display:
Art and law converge in new exhibit at State Capitol
First-time exhibit features Yun Shin of Orange City

(Capital City News Service) A new art exhibit is open today in the State Law Library in the State Capitol. Legal eagles and sharp-eyed visitors will spot it on display amid the room's ornate spiral staircases and towering shelves of books.

Created by a partnership between the State Law Library and the Iowa Arts Council, the State Law Library Art Exhibit features works from Iowa artists on a rotating basis beginning today with 2016 Iowa Artist Fellow Yun Shin of Orange City. The exhibit is free and open to the public 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in the State Law Library in the State Capitol. The State Law Library is a division of the State Library of Iowa. The Iowa Arts Council is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to bring art into a nontraditional setting where it can inspire and reflect the work that takes place there," Iowa Arts Council Administrator Matt Harris said. "Our state law library is a beautiful work of architectural art in and of itself, so this exhibit complements the space perfectly. We are very pleased to partner with the State Law Library on this exhibit and encourage Iowans to see it."

In her work, Shin draws upon her experience as a South Korean immigrant living in rural Iowa. She uses the process of making art to reconstruct memory and relationships from her homeland. Often, she photographs or digitally scans a a family artifact, such as a bedsheet, and then embellishes the new two-dimensional form with repetitive motifs that echo the tedium traditionally associated with women's work, such as embroidery.

The simple materials -- little more than pencils and paper -- as well as the artist's time and labor are important elements of the final product, which can reveal subtle insights about both family and personal history. Many layers lie below the surface.

"Yun Shin's art is very thoughtful and mirrors the way our patrons approach their work and conduct research," State Librarian Michael Scott said. "There is a certain degree of parallelism between the contemplative nature of her work and the law that makes the exhibit perfect in this space."

01.20.2017: Arts Opportunity

Expand your horizons!o)
Des Moines Art Center hosts public discussion on “The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life”

(Capital City News Service) On Thursday, March 23, 6:30 – 8 pm, the Des Moines Art Center will host a public discussion on Sharon Louden’s latest book The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life. Louden is an artist, advocate, and editor of the book. Featured speakers are Hrag Vartanian, editor-in-chief and co-founder of the arts blogazine Hyperallergic, who wrote the forward of the book, and Art Center Director Jeff Fleming. (Hyperallergic is a forum for serious, playful, and radical thinking about art in the world today, founded in 2009.) The discussion will be moderated by Louden, will take place in Levitt Auditorium, and is free and open to the public but reservations are required.* The community is highly encouraged to attend and engage in the discussion.

This extraordinary event is organized around the launch of the book and speaking tour, with the goal being to demythologize the tired cliché of the ‘artist hero’ by dispensing with the notion that contemporary artists should be treated differently from other members of our communities. Topics will include: views on current issues in the art world today, an exploration into what models exist that allow an artist to sustain his or her creative life, and what it means for an artist to be a "culture producer." The community is invited to a book signing in the lobby of the museum following the program.

01.19.2017: Performance Posting

Support the DsM Playhouse!
(Capital City News Service) ― What would you do for true love? Jay Gatsby (Matthew Phillip Smith), a self-made millionaire, takes Long Island newcomer Nick Carraway (Benjamin Sheridan) under his wing and into his decadent world of obsession, greed, and danger. Gatsby hopes to reunite with Nick’s cousin, Daisy Buchanan (Emma Kay Banner), his true love from a lifetime ago. The glamour of the Jazz Age comes to life in this new adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel.

The Playhouse cast is directed by John Viars. The cast includes Greg Blumhagen, Mason Ferguson, Kate Fitzgerald, Kristin Gredys, Shelby Jensen, Alexandria Porter, Dakota Rachuy, Jason Rainwater, and Gabriel Tejeda-Benitez.

The Great Gatsby is 1 hour 50 minutes including a 15-minute intermission.

01.18.2017: Performance Possibility

Support local theater!
Don't Miss This Stunning Cast

Directed by David A. VanCleave
Produced by Bob Filippone
Tickets at or (515)770-4210

The Normal Heart is a largely autobiographical play by Larry Kramer.

It focuses on the rise of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City between 1981 and 1984, as seen through the eyes of writer/activist Ned Weeks, the gayfounder of a prominent HIV advocacy group. Ned prefers loud public confrontations to the calmer, more private strategies favored by his associates, friends, and closeted lover Felix Turner. Their differences of opinion lead to frequent arguments that threaten to undermine their mutual goal.

The Normal Heart Cast List:

Craig Petersen: Ned Weeks
Spencer Gilbert: Felix Turner
Karen Schaeffer: Dr. Emma Brookner
Hank Fisher: Bruce Niles
Shane Donegan: Mickey Marcus
Bob Filippone: Ben Weeks
Jasen Emamian: Tommy Boatwright
Jake Leiberton: Craig Donner/Grady/Orderly
Tim Rodriguez: David/Hiram/Examining Doctor
Performances: January 20th-28th
Written by Larry Kramer

01.17.2017: Performance Posting

Yuks and brow-furrowing heading your way…
Tickets on sale Jan. 20th

(Capital City News Service) ― Des Moines Performing Arts is pleased to present comedian, political commentator, and talk show host BILL MAHER at the Des Moines Civic Center on Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets to BILL MAHER will be available starting at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 at, the Civic Center Ticket Office, by phone at (515) 246-2300, or on the Des Moines Performing Arts app (available for Android and IOS users).

For more than 20 years, BILL MAHER has set the boundaries of where funny, political talk can go on American television. First on “Politically Incorrect” (Comedy Central, ABC, 1993-2002), and for the last 14 years on HBO’s “Real Time,” Maher’s combination of unflinching honesty and big laughs have garnered him 38 Emmy nominations. Maher won his first Emmy in 2014 as executive producer for the HBO series, “VICE.” In October of 2008, this same combination was on display in Maher’s uproarious and unprecedented swipe at organized religion, “Religulous,” directed by Larry Charles (“Borat”). The documentary has gone on to become the eighth highest grossing documentary ever.

In addition to his television program – which has featured such visitors as President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kerry Washington, Michael Steele, Howard Dean, Michael Moore, Eva Longoria, Drew Barrymore, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Gen. Wesley Clark, Susan Sarandon, Kevin Costner, Gary Hart and Pat Buchanan, Maher has written five bestsellers: “True Story,” “Does Anybody Have a Problem with That? Politically Incorrect’s Greatest Hits,” “When You Ride Alone, You Ride with Bin Laden,” “New Rules: Polite Musings from a Timid Observer,” and most recently, “The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their A**.”

Maher started his career as a stand-up comedian in 1979, and still performs at least 50 dates a year in Las Vegas and in sold out theaters all across the country. Four of his 10 stand-up specials for HBO – 2014’s “Bill Maher: Live from DC,” 2007’s “The Decider,” 2005’s “I’m Swiss,” as well as the hilarious, “Bill Maher … But I’m Not Wrong,” – have been nominated for Emmy Awards.

Maher was born in New York City, raised in River Vale, N.J. and went to Cornell University. He now resides in Los Angeles.

01.16.2017: Playhouse Plea!

Got some spare room?
(Capital City News Service) The Playhouse is looking forward to welcoming guest designer, Travis George, for our upcoming production of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Travis is a rising international designer and we are eager to see his vision for this classic tale come to life on the Playhouse stage. Travis is not from the Des Moines community, so he needs a place to stay. We are reaching out to Playhouse friends and volunteers to see if you have a space within your home that would offer a bedroom, bath and privacy, but still afford the opportunity to interact, when possible, with the host family. While in Des Moines, Travis will be working most nights and doing correspondence during the day. Past home host volunteers have found the process to be rewarding, while helping the Playhouse bring new and varied talent to Des Moines. Housing is needed January 21 - January 28.

To offer your home, or for more information, please contact production manager, Jonathan Hudspeth, at or 515.974.5359.

01.13.2017: Performance Possibility

Support the local arts scene!o)
(Capital City News Service) The Des Moines Symphony continues its 2016-2017 79th Season with Cathedrals of Sound, 7:30PM Saturday, January 28 & 2:30PM Sunday, January 29, 2017 at the Des Moines Civic Center (221 Walnut Street, Des Moines).

Acclaimed by the New York Times as “one of the finest conductors of her generation,” JoAnn Falletta is a much-sought guest conductor and a vibrant presence on the podium. At the invitation of Joseph Giunta, she leads the Symphony in a soaring symphonic showcase. This energetic concert opens with Brahms’s lively Academic Festival Overture. Next, the virtuosic Oasis Quartet plays Bolcom’s Concerto Grosso, a masterpiece for four saxophones and orchestra. Finally, Bruckner’s monumental Fourth Symphony, his “cathedral of sound,” will take your breath away with its blazing power and majesty.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, January 28 / 2:30 p.m. Sunday, January 29
Where: Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut Street, Des Moines
Tickets: $15-$65 through [] or [] (up until two hours prior to performances) and at the Civic Center Ticket Office (515.246.2300, 221 Walnut Street, Des Moines; open 9AM-5PM Monday through Friday and two hours prior to performances).
More info here.

01.11.2017: Arts Hapz

Des Moines Art Center brings new context to work by Alberto Giacometti

(Capital City News Service) On Friday, January 20, the Des Moines Art Center will open Giacometti. The exhibition runs through April 23, 2017 in the Blank One Gallery. Alberto Giacometti’s L’homme au doigt (Man Pointing), 1947, is a critical work in the Art Center’s collection, and a seminal expression of the artist’s existential view of humanity. This spotlight exhibition features the hauntingly intense figure alongside five of the artist’s works on paper also from the museum’s holdings. Two loans from regional collections further enhance this exploration of one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century. Giacometti is organized by Curator Laura Burkhalter.

01.09.2017: Movie Monday

Watch and learn, Grasshopper! Watch and learn…

01.06.2017: Happy New Year, Pt 2!

Congratulations to the CCDC alum nicknamed "Mmmadd Skyllz"!!o) Here's her bio from the Cleveland Ballet website:
Madison Campbell

Madison Campbell first began her ballet training in Des Moines, Iowa with Melissa and Emery Uyehara and supplemented her dance education with summer courses at Joffrey Midwest Summer Intensive, San Francisco Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Dance, The School of American Ballet, The School of Pennsylvania Ballet, and The School of Nashville Ballet. She then spent a season at Miami City Ballet School training under Lourdes Lopez, Carter Alexander, and Geta Constantinescu. Next, she accepted an offer to study at the School of Pennsylvania Ballet on full scholarship under the direction of William Degregory and later Arantxa Ochoa. There, she had the honor of performing George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (on tour at the Kennedy Center), Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake, and George Balanchine’s Serenade with the Pennsylvania Ballet. The following year Madison accepted an opportunity to become a trainee with the Nashville Ballet and had the privilege of dancing Paul Vasterling’s Nashville’s Nutcracker as well as participating in several outreaches where she performed variations such as Giselle .This season, Ms. Campbell is very excited to call the Cleveland Ballet home and can’t wait to perform in her favorite ballet A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

...Good for you! Now, about that promotion to principal dancer...

01.05.2017: Happy New Year!

Congratulations to the CCDC alum nicknamed "2K2M"!o)
"...I just found out today that I got promoted to apprentice starting immediately!!! I am so excited and had to let you both know!!!!!..."

"...I'm so excited!! I didn't see this coming until the end of the season!..."

...Good for you! Now, about that promotion to principal dancer...

01.04.2017: Parent and Child Reunion

Only a few chances for fathers to dance with your daughters or Moms to have fun with your sons:
(Capital City News Service) – Join Des Moines Parks and Recreation Saturday, February 4 for a night of fun for the whole family. This year, there will be two events - the annual Father Daughter Dance and the inaugural Mother and Son Fun: Spy Adventure. Tickets for each event are only $10 and are available online at starting today. No phone orders will be taken and tickets will NOT be sold at the door.

Father Daughter Dance The 2017 Des Moines Parks and Recreation Father Daughter Dance will be held Saturday, February 4 from 6:30 – 8:30 the Science Center of Iowa (401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway). New this year, ticket pricing has changed to $10 per person. This occasion provides an evening of dancing, refreshments, photo opportunities and activities for fathers and their daughters. Dads, don’t miss out on this memorable opportunity with your daughter(s). The Father Daughter Dance is sponsored by Des Moines Parks and Recreation, along with the Friends of Des Moines Parks, University Photo, and Boesen the Florist. Visit website for more information.

NEW!! Mother and Son Fun: Spy Adventure The 2017 Des Moines Parks and Recreation Mother and Son Fun: Spy Adventure will be held Saturday, February 4 from 6:30 – 8:30 Four Mile Community Recreation Center (3711 Easton Blvd.) Admission is limited to 75 mothers and their children so get your tickets now! Gear up for adventure, excitement and this extreme challenge as you try to succeed in your mission. Make your way through lasers, drive past danger and conquer a daring obstacle course to hone your skills! Enjoy watching a spy adventure on the big screen while refueling with a fun food treat with your special date. Don’t miss your chance to take a special photo with your fearless partner (that’s you, mom!). Every aspiring secret agent spy is in for a night of adventure and thrills where the action never stops. Visit website for more information.

Volunteers needed in a variety of capacities for both events. If you are interested in helping out, please email or call 248-6373.

01.03.2017: Video Viewpointe

Today we're featuring men en pointe, boys in ballet and auditioning for the Bolshoi Ballet Summer Intensive:

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