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New artistic director at Grand Rapids Ballet wants to spotlight city’s “world class” company

James Sofranko has spent decades dancing on stages from Florida to New York to San Francisco.

After growing up in Cincinnati, he went on to study at Juliard. He's trained with dance legends, some of them students of the iconic dancer and coreographer Martha Graham.

James Sofranko headshot
Credit Andrew Weeks
James Sofranko

Now, after 18 years with the San Francisco Ballet, James is returning to the Midwest. He officially began his position as artistic director with the Grand Rapids Balleton July 1.

"I think people want to know more about the ballet. I think we just have to give them enough opportunities to see it," Sofranko said. "I feel like it's going to be my goal to make sure everyone in Grand Rapids knows we have a world class ballet."

Listen above to learn more about Sofranko's artistic vision for the company, how parents can encourage and support their young dancers, and how he's adjusting to life in Grand Rapids. 

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