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Ballet Balances Aesthetics and Finances in Next Season

To deal with the economic downturn and uncertain revenues, the Louisville Ballet is selling its building and dropping one show and three dancers from its next season. As the ballet faces its future, it's dealing with a choice many performing arts organizations are struggling with…modern or classic.Orchestras and ballets in many cities want to attract younger audiences with contemporary or avant garde performances. But the companies also need to appeal to traditionalists who regularly attend performances.Louisville Ballet Artistic Director Bruce Simpson says audiences in Louisville have come to expect both types of shows, but it's hard to compare their success."In a lot of instances, we've seen our ticket sales go up or go down, and it's depended a lot on the economy. I've always wanted a crystal ball to figure that out, but it really depends on what else is on in town," he says.Simpson says as a classical company, the Louisville Ballet must have a number of traditional shows to keep the dancers in shape and ready for the annual Nutcracker performance.

Gabe Bullard is the director of news and editorial strategy.