Aviation museum and ballet make strange bedfellows

WICHITA, Kansas — It may seem like an odd pairing, but when Ballet Wichita executive director Barbara Chamberlin was first approached about performing in front of a Boeing 727, she couldn’t refuse.

“I knew the minute he [Lon Smith, Kansas Aviation Museum] said it to me ‘let’s combine on an event’ I thought ‘oh perfect perfect’ and it’s just turned out to be great,” Chamberlin said. “It’s gonna be a great memory for everybody who comes but definitely for the dancers.”

Lon Smith, director of the Kansas Aviation Museum agreed.

“I know it sounds like a bit of a strange connection, but why not?” Smith said. “It’s a great opportunity for two non-profit organizations in Wichita to partner together and…it gets a lot of people here to the museum that may have never been here before so it’s really a win-win for everyone.”

The ballet performed “A Prairie Tale,” the story of an inquisitive monarch butterfly as she migrates across Kansas.

Oh, and that Beoing 727? Not only was the backdrop for the performance, but it also served as the dressing room for the ballerinas.

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