Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication

179—Catholics create huge new ballet: interview with producer, composer, and choreographer of Raffaella

By Catholic Culture Podcast ( bio - articles - email ) | Jun 11, 2024 | In The Catholic Culture Podcast

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On June 29 and 30, in South Bend, Indiana, there will be a major and even unprecedented event in the history of American Catholic art: a new, full-length classical ballet production with a new story, new music, new sets and costumes, and nationally known dancers—with a cast of about fifty. This fairytale ballet, Raffaella, was commissioned by Duncan and Ruth Stroik in honor of their daughter Raffaella Maria Stroik, a dancer with the St. Louis Ballet who passed away tragically in 2018 at the age of 23.

In the first segment, Thomas Mirus interviews impresario Duncan Stroik about the ballet as a whole and the process of putting together such a huge production. In the second, he interviews composer Michael Kurek and choreographer Claire Kretzschmar about the collaboration between music and dance, and the difference between classical and modern ballet.


Tickets for Raffaella

See rehearsal footage on Instagram

Michael Kurek

Claire Kretzschmar at Ballet Hartford

Duncan Stroik

Theme music: “Franciscan Eyes”, written and performed by Thomas Mirus. Download the Catholic Culture Podcast soundtrack.

Thomas V. Mirus is Director of Podcasts for, hosts The Catholic Culture Podcast, and co-hosts Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast. See full bio.

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