OUR CONTRIBUTORS

The world behind the enchanting Raffaella ballet, where every step, every note and every brushstroke tells a story of passion, dedication and love. Meet the brilliant minds and supporters who breathe life into this mesmerizing production.

Claire Kretzschmar

CLAIRE KRETZSCHMAR

CHOREOGRAPHER
Claire Kretzschmar is a choreographer, dancer, teacher, and former soloist with New York City Ballet. Her recent choreography credits include Rachmaninoff Variations and Rhapsodie for the New York Choreographic Institute, and A Ceremony of Carols for Ballet Hartford. Her ballets have been called “stunning and sublime.”

MICHAEL KUREK

COMPOSER
Michael Kurek is an American composer hailed for his lush neo-romantic compositions. He has garnered international acclaim and his works are performed regularly by symphonies and chamber groups across five continents.
Michael Kurek
ISABELLA LAFRENIERE

ISABELLA LAFRENIERe

raffaella
Isabella LaFreniere is a principal dancer of the New York City Ballet (NYCB), the premiere ballet company founded by George Balanchine in 1948. At NYCB, she has danced in over twenty featured roles including Firebird, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. While training in South Bend, she met and danced with Raffaella.

JONATAN LUJÁN

THE PRINCE
Jonatan Luján, a native of Argentina, is a freelance dancer in New York City. He has been a soloist at the Slovak national theater, Ballet Zurich, the Metropolitan Opera, Ballet Argentino, and the Ullate Ballet in Madrid. He has danced featured roles in CarmenRomeo and JulietGiselleLe Corsaire, and Swan Lake.
JONATAN LUJAN
South Bend Symphony Orchestra

South Bend Symphony

ORCHESTRA

The South Bend Symphony inspires the community with the transformative power of orchestral music in all its forms. As the region’s only professional orchestra, the Symphony is committed to diverse sound and a robust arts community in Michiana that entertains and connects people to music.

ROBIN FOUNTAIN

CONDUCTOR
Robin Fountain is Professor Emeritus of Conducting at Vanderbuilt University’s Blair School of Music. He is in demand as guest conductor, with recent engagements including concerts with the Singapore Symphony, the Tennessee Philharmonic, the Louisiana Philharmonic, and L’Orchestre Philharmonique Sainte Trinite.
Gabrielle Stroik Johnson

GABRIELLE STROIK JOHNSON

SET DESIGNER

Gabrielle Johnson is a classically trained architect, figurative painter, and former dancer. As a set designer, she has worked closely with Southold Dance Theater to design sets for their classical ballets.

Duncan and Ruth Stroik

Executive Producers
Duncan and Ruth Stroik, an architect and artist fell in love with ballet five decades ago. After losing their daughter Raffaella, who was a professional ballerina, they felt inspired to commission a new classical ballet. We hope that you will share the joy that was a hallmark of Raffaella’s short life.
Duncan and Ruth Stroik
Morris Performing Arts Center

Morris Performing
Arts Center

VENUE

The Morris Performing Arts Center is a Spanish Renaissance Revival building with a grand stage for classical ballet. Located in South Bend, Indiana it opened in 1922 as the Palace Theater. It was Raffaella’s favorite theater to perform in, and she always dreamed of returning there to dance. It seats up to 2,564.

UPCOMING SHOWS

Saturday, June 29, 7:30 pm

Sunday, June 30, 3:00 pm

Run Time: 1 hour 50 minutes including intermission

HOW TO SUPPORT

Donate online through our GoFundMe.