Richmond Ballet News

2014-15 Season Announced

April 11th, 2014


Carmina Burana returns to the Carpenter Theatre as classics, contemporary favorites round out a season that concludes in Beijing


Richmond, VA – Richmond Ballet is pleased to announce the line-up for the 2014-15 season, a season that will include a three-production residency at the Carpenter Theatre beginning in late October, as well as a three-part Studio Series that will once again open the season beginning in September. The 2014-15 season will feature the return of one of the most popular pieces from the Ballet’s repertory in Carmina Burana, John Butler’s impassioned masterwork, set to Carl Orff’s musical triumph of the same name. Nicolas Beriozoff’s Don Quixote, a thrilling full-length ballet alive with flair and some of the best music ever written for ballet in the memorable score of Ludwig Minkus, is also set to return to the Carpenter Theatre stage this season. The holiday favorite, The Nutcracker, will once again be part of the Ballet’s much anticipated Carpenter Theatre residency.

Carmina Burana will anchor a special mixed repertory program in October, as Richmond Ballet will also celebrate the 40th Anniversary of The School of Richmond Ballet (The School, SRB) with the presentation of George Balanchine’s Mozartiana. Students from The School will join current company members, some of whom are among SRB’s notable alumni, on stage for Balanchine’s final masterpiece. Students will also be featured in a special revival of Stoner Winslett’s Danse Macabre, returning to coincide with the Halloween weekend.

The 2014-15 Studio Series will feature five world premiere works, including a new piece by Darrell Grand Moultrie who set a work for the Ballet’s New Works Festival during the 2012-13 season, and who has become one of the most sought-after contemporary choreographers working today. In addition, Val Caniparoli’s Swipe and Balanchine’s elegant Liebeslieder Walzer will return to the Richmond Ballet Studio Theatre this coming season.

The upcoming season will conclude with a preview of the mixed repertory program, Made in The USA: Traditions & Innovations, which the Ballet will take to China as part of the ‘Meet in Beijing’ Arts Festival in May of 2015.

“I believe this is one of the strongest season’s we have ever put together at Richmond Ballet,” said Richmond Ballet Artistic Director Stoner Winslett. “With offerings that range from both beloved classics to brand new contemporary works, this season is a perfect representation of what Richmond Ballet would like to carry forward into our next thirty years. I am particularly excited to have the opportunity to revive John Butler’s Carmina Burana this year. John Butler asked me to help keep his works alive after he was gone, and to share this ballet, on the beautiful Carpenter Theatre stage with the full power of the Richmond Symphony and the Richmond Symphony Chorus, will truly be a memorable moment – among many special moments – this season.”

2014-15 Season Line-Up:

Studio One  |  Sept. 23-28, 2014  |  Richmond Ballet Studio Theatre

World Premiere  |  Choreography by Darrell Grand Moultrie  | Music, TBA

Swipe  |  Choreography by Val Caniparoli  |  Music by Gabriel Prokofiev

Studio One sees a world premiere from one of America’s most sought-after contemporary choreographers, Darrell Grand Moultrie, along with the return of Val Caniparoli’s popular Swipe, commissioned by Richmond Ballet in 2011.

A Juilliard graduate, Darrell Grand Moultrie has choreographed for theater, ballet, and modern dance companies, and has become a leader in the commercial dance genre. Moultrie, who set a dynamic piece for The New Works Festival in 2013, brings his high-octane energy back to the Studio Theatre for a fully-produced, new work inspired by the lives of professional dancers.  Weaving filmed interviews with company dancers into his plans for choreography and lighting, Moultrie’s dancer stories come to life in this 21st century ballet that embraces technology and cutting-edge design.

Val Caniparoli’s Swipe, complete with intricate choreography that pulls from the world of hip-hop as well as classical dance, returns to Richmond with its trademark causal cool. With the music of dueling violins – a mash-up of the classical and electronic music traditions – Swipe is a piece that pushes the boundaries of contemporary dance.


Mixed Repertory Program  |  Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2014  |  The Carpenter Theatre  |  With Richmond Symphony and Richmond Symphony Chorus

Danse Macabre  |  Choreography by Stoner Winslett  |  Music by Camille Saint-Saëns

Mozartiana |  Choreography by George Balanchine  |  Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Carmina Burana   |  Choreography by John Butler  |  Music and Text by Carl Orff, after ancient Bavarian songs

Celebrating 40 Years of The School of Richmond Ballet:

In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of The School of Richmond Ballet (The School, SRB), students from The School will perform Stoner Winslett’s first-ever piece for Richmond Ballet, Danse Macabre, a swirling and ghoulish waltz set to the music of Camille Saint-Saëns, befitting the Halloween weekend. Mozartiana, George Balanchine’s final masterpiece, done, as many believe, as a farewell for his beloved ballerina Suzanne Farrell who premiered the lead role in 1981, continues the celebration.  A series of elegant dances, Mozartiana is set to Tchaikovsky’s moving musical tribute to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The ballet’s beautiful steps – both purely classical and yet unmistakably crafted by Balanchine – intertwine to form a profound work that is one of the legendary master’s best.  Students from The School will join company members, some of whom are SRB alumni, on stage for this joyful ballet, last performed by Richmond Ballet in 2008.

The professional company is set to perform Carmina Burana, one of the most popular works from the Richmond Ballet repertory, outside the company’s Studio Theatre for the first time since 2001. Butler’s powerful, impassioned masterwork, choreographed originally in 1959 for New York City Opera, used the full breadth of Carl Orff’s choral score to explore the melding of classical ballet’s structure with the earthiness of contemporary dance, ultimately creating an innovative work that remains polarizing to this day. Orff’s grand-scale, incredibly varied musical spectacle was meant to overwhelm the senses, painting a lusty and emotional portrait of the cycle of medieval life, both celebrated and lamented in the 24 carminas, or songs, that were discovered in an ancient Bavarian monastery. With its avant-garde costuming and emotive lighting design, Carmina Burana is sure to soar with the powerful accompaniment of the Richmond Symphony and the Richmond Symphony Chorus, uplifting Orff’s oeuvre to its masterful heights, enlivening Butler’s extraordinary, groundbreaking work.

Carmina Burana was last performed by Richmond Ballet in 2007 at the Ballet’s Studio Theatre, and previously at the Carpenter Theatre in 2001.


The Nutcracker  |  Dec. 19-28, 2014  |  The Carpenter Theatre  |  With Richmond Symphony

Choreography by Stoner Winslett   | Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Stoner Winslett’s The Nutcracker, heralded as “perfect” by The New York Times, returns to The Carpenter Theater to celebrate the holiday season. From the opening notes of Tchaikovsky’s famous overture, audiences are whisked into the warm, candlelit drawing room of the Silberhaus family, buzzing with celebrations of Christmas. To the delight of the family’s young daughter, Clara, Dr. Drosselmeyer, the mysterious toymaker, and his handsome nephew arrive with a special gift – a wooden nutcracker doll – that captures the girl’s imagination. As darkness falls, Dr. Drosselmeyer’s magic begins to work, setting in motion fantastical events that will fill Clara’s dreams: a battle beneath the branches of an enchanted Christmas tree, the transformation of the nutcracker doll into the young Nutcracker Prince, and a journey from a snow-covered forest to the far-off Kingdom of Sweets. Join the Russian Bear, the Chinese Dragon and the Mouse King as they celebrate the magic of the holidays with Richmond Ballet’s entire professional company and students from The School of Richmond Ballet.


Don Quixote  |  Feb. 20-22, 2015  |  The Carpenter Theatre  |  With Richmond Symphony

Choreography by Nicolas Beriozoff (after Marius Petipa & Alexander Gorsky)  |  Music by Ludwig Minkus

Adapted from the famous Cervantes tale of the aging yet forever valiant knight Don Quixote and his faithful squire Sancho Panza, Nicolas Beriozoff’s Don Quixote tells the playful story of two young lovers, the spirited maiden Kitri and her opportunistic Basilio, who through a series of humorous events meet Cervantes’ hero en route to the altar. Filled with the bright colors of sunny Spain, bravura, high-flying jumps and sizzling spins, Don Quixote is set to one of the most well-known ballet scores ever written in the work of Ludwig Minkus, and its choreography, originally set by the masterful Marius Petipa and adapted for Richmond Ballet by Beriozoff in 1985, is strong, sassy and overflowing with energy.

Two guest artists from the National Ballet of China are slated to join the Richmond Ballet dancers during the show’s February run as part of the Ballet’s Road to China that will carry the company through to the ‘Meet in Beijing’ Arts Festival in May of 2015.

Don Quixote was last performed by Richmond Ballet in 2007.


Studio Two: The New Works Festival   |  Mar. 17-22, 2015  |  Richmond Ballet Studio Theatre

As the culmination of four, one-week workshops, where choreographers each receive 25 hours to set their short pieces in Richmond, the annual New Works Festival is meant to give choreographers the opportunity to explore and create new work with the support and resources of Richmond Ballet. With unlimited access to the company’s professional dancers, costume inventory, and production team, along with the opportunity to perform in the Ballet’s state-of-the art Studio Theatre, the Festival presents a unique platform for both choreographers and audiences to share and see work that is new and still in progress. Richmond Ballet is proud in its commitment to supporting the creation of new works, ever-vital for the perpetuation of dance.


Studio Three: Liebeslieder Walzer |  Apr. 14-19, 2015  |  Richmond Ballet Studio Theatre

Choreography by George Balanchine | Music by Johannes Brahms

Elegant ballrooms come to life in George Balanchine’s romantic Liebeslieder Walzer (“Love Song Waltzes”), a beloved ballet that spans both the temporal and the ethereal worlds. Balanchine’s choreography explores the relationships that develop between four couples, who appear first in traditional, 19th century ballroom attire and then later in romantic tutus and tuxedos as the on-stage action transforms from a courtly dance between men and women to an emotional connection between souls. With music taken from two books of vocal waltzes by Johannes Brahms, Liebeslieder Walzer is an intimate ballet with touching duets that effortlessly create layered characters who both struggle to be with and without one another.

Richmond Ballet last performed Liebeslieder Walzer in 2011, at the Ballet’s Studio Theatre.


Beijing Preview

Made in The USA: Traditions & Innovations  |  May 12-17, 2015  |  Richmond Ballet Studio Theatre

Valse Fantaisie |  Choreography by George Balanchine  | Music by Mikhail Glinka

After Eden  |  Choreography by John Butler  |  Music by Lee Hoiby

Ershter Vals  |  Choreography by Ma Cong  |  Music by Klezroym

Swipe  |  Choreography by Val Caniparoli  |  Music by Gabriel Prokofiev

Richmond Ballet is proud to revive its popular Made in The USA: Traditions & Innovations program as the company prepares for its second international tour, a tour that will take the Ballet to the far reaches of China in the summer of 2015.

George Balanchine’s bright and glittering Valse Fantaisie is a tremendous display of technical virtuosity, a devilishly fast yet polished ballet that bears the classic hallmarks of Balanchine’s distinct American style. Set to Mikhail Glinka’s music of the same name, Valse Fantaisie is a joyful ballet in constant motion that is sure to delight.

After Eden, a deeply emotional and sensuous pas de deux, choreographed by John Butler, places Adam and Eve alone and bare on the stage, as they struggle with their yearning for one another after their fall from grace. Butler’s unique blend of modern and classical dance brings this timeless tale to life with a unique power and poignancy that celebrates the human form and the graceful strength found within the body of a dancer.

Filled with a cool, cutting-edge energy, Swipe will return to the Studio Theatre as the celebrated Richmond Ballet commission prepares for its second overseas trip with the company. Swipe pulls its inspiration from hip-hop and together with its music – an innovative mash-up of classical and contemporary sounds – Val Caniparoli’s 2011 ballet is an intricate work that comes alive through the talents of the Richmond Ballet dancers.

Ershter Vals (“First Waltz”), choreographed for Richmond Ballet by Chinese-American Ma Cong, is inspired by the power and strength of joy, even in the face of utter horror and darkness. Set to music steeped in the Jewish tradition and danced in flat shoes and colorful costumes, Ershter Vals was also performed at Richmond Ballet’s Kennedy Center debut in June of 2013 to critical acclaim.

Made in The USA: Traditions & Innovations was last performed by Richmond Ballet, on tour, at the Linbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House in 2012.


Richmond Ballet 2014-15 Studio Series is generously sponsored by Altria Group.

Richmond Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker is sponsored by Dominion Resources,

with additional major support from the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation.

A grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation supports live musical accompaniment for select Richmond Ballet productions.

Richmond Ballet also receives support from the Arts and Cultural Funding Consortium (City of Richmond, Hanover County and Henrico County), the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and Richmond Ballet Choreographers’ Fund.

The Crown Plaza, Downtown Richmond is the official hotel of Richmond Ballet.

Photo: Carmina Burana

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