New Ballet Ensemble & School
photo: Patricia Possel

Dorothy Gunther Pugh, 2017 Memphian of the Year

Congratulations on a well-deserved honor for Dorothy Gunther Pugh and Ballet Memphis.

ArtsMemphis Grantee, Ballet Memphis, is an authentic Memphis asset with a widely acclaimed original repertoire that speaks of the cultural significance of our area.

Dorothy Gunther Pugh founded Ballet Memphis in 1986 with two dancers. Today, the company has 25 dancers and have recently moved into their new, state of the ART, home in Midtown.

In 1985, ArtsMemphis approached Pugh with the idea of her building a ballet company. “Shortly after that meeting, I got a call from Pitt Hyde, asking to meet. Pitt got down to business right away and asked, ‘If I gave you $200,000, what would you do with it?’

“I looked at him and said, ‘I’d probably give most of it back to you because I want to grow slowly.’ Three days later, Pitt and an anonymous donor gave us startup money, and we began to build a ballet company.”  Memphis Magazine

Ballet Memphis has performed to audiences around the globe and at home, including The Joyce Theater in New York City and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., among others. No wonder Dorothy Gunther Pugh has received the honor of 2017 Memphian of the Year. 

Read How this Memphian's vision created a world-class ballet company by Jon W. Sparks in this months Memphis Magazine

Nutcracker: Everyone's holiday must-see featuring the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.

This weekend Ballet Memphis will be performing Nutcracker, December 15 - 17, 2017. A joyful celebration of worldly cultures, youthful imagination and the overwhelming awe of more than 100 dancers, both professional and children from around the city, are a part of this one-of-a-kind experience.

Poised in the beautiful Orpheum Theatre, the transforming sets let the magic unfold before your eyes—from an exquisite party with life-size dancing dolls and a battle with life-size mice and toy soldiers, to sparkling falling snowflakes in the Land of Snow and the dazzling and colorful Kingdom of Sweets. And as Sugar Plum, Dew Drop, the Russians and Arabians, Mother Ginger and many more favorites bring to life, with the Memphis Symphony, Tchaikovsky’s luscious music, everyone will know what a true holiday gift Nutcracker can be.

Visit Ballet Memphis for show details and tickets. 

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