Under the creative direction of Artistic Director Julianna Slager, Ballet 5:8 engages in an ongoing process of creating and performing new ballets. With an average of ten professional dancers on staff each season and performances in Chicago and other cities including Fort Wayne, Indiana, Jackson, Michigan, and Davenport, Iowa, Ballet 5:8 could be considered a “typical” professional ballet company. However, there are two primary aspects of Ballet 5:8 that set us apart from most other ballet companies. 

Committed to New Works

As an organization full of people who are passionate about ballet and the performance arts in general, we love the classic ballets. If you attend a Chicago ballet company’s next performance of Swan Lake or Don Quixote or even he Nutcracker, you may very well see one of Ballet 5:8’s dancers or staff members there, enjoying and admiring every aspect of these beautiful time-tested works. However, you will not see Ballet 5:8 producing and performing them. This is already being done by others. Moreover, we have a desire to involve our audiences in something a tad more meaningful than the most recent time that Cinderella lost her glass shoe. 

Ballet 5:8 is committed to creating and performing new works that allow us to invite audiences to join us for a meaningful experience, not just to observe a pretty ballet. We strive to ensure that our ballets are always accessible, meaning that they can be enjoyed and understood by first-time and veteran arts-goers alike. We also strive to ensure that our ballets will always communicate something, whether it be an idea or a story, that has the potential to spark questions in the mind of the viewer and discussion among audience members. In this way, we hope to engage in the creation and performance of art at its best: in the form of beautiful, experiential and meaningful communication.

Our Christian Faith

As an organization full of people who are passionate about Jesus Christ, we love creating breathtaking art. Ballet 5:8’s name comes from a verse of Scripture that is the basis and inspiration for our lives as well as the work we do in the performance arts: 

“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Mission Statement

The mission of Ballet is 5:8 is to employ artistic ingenuity, innovation and excellence as we celebrate the exchange of ideas in the creative realm. Our ongoing commitment is to the creation and performance of new, abstract and narrative works from the unique basis of our Christian faith, and to the development and creative exploration of the dancing artists, choreographers and composers of our day. Our goal is to serve as a catalyst for genuine discussion of life and faith with audiences and artists alike, in the context of breathtaking dance performance.