Of Gravity and Light premieres on Iowa PBS

A ballet dancer in the air mid-jump

Explore the beauty and wonder of space during Of Gravity and Light, a new production from Ballet Des Moines and Iowa PBS. With ethereal imagery, abstract sound and remarkable movement, the performance exemplifies how the universal language of music and movement can make complex concepts more human and accessible to audiences of all ages. It premieres on Iowa PBS June 10 at 8:30 p.m. 

“While working on this project, I was really struck by the artists’ ability to collaborate and build a brand new work from the ground up,” said Iowa PBS Producer and Director Theresa Knight. “The resulting performance is absolutely stunning and leaves the audience with a sense of wonder and curiosity.” 

Recorded at the Des Moines Civic Center, the ballet features the work of composer Beau Kenyon, choreography by Ballet Des Moines Artistic Director Tom Mattingly, video installation by artist Yu-Wen Wu, and live musicians under the direction of conductor Tim McMillin.

In addition to the broadcast, curriculum supporting the performance concepts that connect with science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM), as well as earth and space science standards, has been developed through a partnership between Iowa PBS, Ballet Des Moines, Iowa 4-H and Iowa Space Grant Consortium. Media clips from the performance and exclusive interviews with performers, musicians and artists will allow students and teachers to explore the STEM concepts as well as career opportunities in the arts and STEM fields.  

Curriculum and media will be available through PBS LearningMedia starting in fall 2022 for teachers and students to use as the 2022-23 school year begins. IowaPBS, Ballet Des Moines, Iowa 4-H and Iowa Space Grant Consortium will also offer professional development opportunities for teachers to support this curriculum integration in their classrooms.

In addition to its statewide broadcast, Iowa PBS .1 is available to livestream on iowapbs.org/watch, pbs.org/livestream, the PBS Video App and YouTube TV. Iowa PBS programs, behind-the-scenes extras and more can be enjoyed on iowapbs.org, 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.