Iowa PBS and Ballet Des Moines present Acts of Resilience | Spirit

Celebrate the vibrancy and resilience of the human spirit as Iowa PBS and Ballet Des Moines conclude their groundbreaking partnership between dance, music and video arts. Acts of Resilience | Spirit premieres on-air and online Friday, March 12 at 8:30 p.m. with an encore presentation on Sunday, March 21 at 1 p.m.

Recorded on the stage of Iowa PBS’s Maytag Auditorium, this hour-long performance includes three distinctly different Ballet Des Moines performances united to convey romance, spunk and elegance. Following the premiere, Acts of Resilience | Spirit will be available for free on demand for a limited time on and the PBS Video App.

“Working alongside Ballet Des Moines Acts of Resilience has been such a unique and meaningful experience,” said Iowa PBS Producer and Director Theresa Knight. “Together, we were able to bring the performing arts to audiences in a time when in-person attendance isn’t an option, and even brought viewers behind the curtain in a way they have never been before. Being a part of providing some entertainment and a sense of normalcy for ballet fans far and wide is truly an honor.”

Interviews with choreographers, dancers and musicians weave between the ballets throughout Acts of Resilience | Spirit. Performances featured include:

●      In Formation — Featuring music by Philip Glass, choreographer Ma Cong created a striking contemporary ballet highlighting the strength and technique of classically trained dancers, with the flair of contemporary movement.

●      Classical Excerpts — Pieces from beloved ballets such as Sleeping Beauty and Le Corsaire highlight the strength and beauty of classical dance.

●      Padam Padam — The music of Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel provides a poignant backdrop for this romantic ballet featuring three couples dancing amid post-war Paris with choreography by Serkan Usta.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring the world-renowned choreographer Ma Cong to Iowa PBS viewers,” said Ballet Des Moines Executive Director Blaire Massa. “The dynamic range of ballets in this triple bill performance is vast — from contemporary to the utmost classical works, and a stroll through Paris courtesy of Serkan Usta, it's the perfect trio of ballets for any audience.” 

The Acts of Resilience series is created through a partnership between Iowa PBS and Ballet Des Moines to bring the ballet company’s 2020-2021 season to audiences across Iowa and beyond. The collaboration makes this breathtaking art form more accessible than ever. Additionally, Iowa PBS Education is creating a selection of bespoke learning opportunities targeted for PBS LearningMedia and virtual classrooms during the school year.

In addition to its statewide broadcast, Iowa PBS .1 is available to livestream on,, the PBS Video App and YouTube TV. Iowa PBS programs, behind-the-scenes extras and more can be enjoyed on, Facebook and YouTube. Viewers can also stream their favorite shows on demand using the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android and many streaming devices.