Director’s Notes: Grand Rapids Renaissance

DirectorUnderneath Grand Rapids Ballet artistic director Patricia Barker’s million-watt smile lies an unyielding determination to realize her artistic visions. So when friend Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, unexpectedly died before he could introduce her to fellow author Chris Van Allsburg (The Polar Express and Jumanji), Barker took it upon herself to visit Van Allsburg’s Massachusetts home to convince the Grand Rapids native to help design GRB’s new Nutcracker production. When Van Allsburg was reluctant to venture down that well-traveled road, Barker convinced him otherwise. The resulting 2014 premiere proved a seminal moment in the company’s history.

By Steve Sucato | Pointe Magazine
Read the story at Pointe Magazine | April/May 2015 Issue