Richmond Ballet News

Richmond Ballet Joins State Department for Cultural Forum in China

July 8th, 2014

Annual Cultural Pillar Delegation Promotes US, China Ties

Richmond, Va. – Richmond Ballet, The State Ballet of Virginia, is honored to announce that the organization has been invited to participate in the U.S. Department of State’s 2014 Cultural Pillar Delegation for the US-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE), July 9 and 10, in Beijing, China. U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, will join participants, alongside Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong for the distinguished forum promoting cultural understanding between the American and Chinese nations. Richmond Ballet Artistic Director Stoner Winslett and Managing Director Brett Bonda will be in attendance on behalf of the Ballet.

In addition to Richmond Ballet, the National Geographic Society, Carnegie Hall and the National China Garden Foundation have also been invited to participate in the prestigious event in Beijing this July.

The invitation follows the Ballet’s previous announcement, made by Virginia State Governor Terry McAuliffe, that the professional company will travel to China in May of 2015 to perform in the 15th Annual ‘Meet in Beijing’ Arts Festival, at the National Centre for the Performing Arts. The Ballet’s tour to China will serve as an important piece of the Road to China and Beyond initiative for The State Ballet of Virginia which will foster and support cultural exchange programs celebrating Chinese culture in the United States throughout the company’s 2014-15 season. Richmond Ballet is slated to give an overview of the Road to China programs, and the long-term role of such programs, during working sessions on the first day of the forum.

“We are incredibly honored and excited to participate in this year’s CPE,” said Mr. Bonda. “We are privileged to represent the United States, Richmond Ballet, and the performing arts while in China, and we welcome the opportunity to participate alongside such esteemed company. We are proud to play a part in our country’s continuing efforts to establish a collaborative relationship with China. We believe that dance, which exists beyond the barriers of the spoken word, serves as a strong and meaningful language of mutual cultural exchange and respect. To have our state and national governments as well as the Embassy of The People’s Republic of China acknowledge our Road to China initiative has been a wonderful experience thus far, and we are eager to work together both in China and the United States for years to come.”


About The Cultural Pillar Delegation, from The U.S. Department of State:

Since the re-establishment of bilateral relations in 1979, cultural exchanges have played an important role in people-to-people engagement between the United States and China. The CPE promotes and strengthens people-to-people ties between the United States and China in the fields of education, culture, science and technology, sports, and women’s issues. It provides a high-level annual forum for government and private-sector representatives to discuss cooperation on exchanges in a broad, strategic manner. Read more.


About the Road to China and Beyond:

Richmond Ballet’s Road to China and Beyond initiative and the year-long Road to China programs, which will celebrate Chinese culture in the United States throughout the 2014-15 Season, will incorporate many facets including the arrival of two guest artists from the world-renowned National Ballet of China who will share the stage with Richmond Ballet dancers during the company’s February performances of Don Quixote. ‘China’ will also be the theme for the Ballet’s community outreach program, Minds In Motion, in both Richmond and Charlottesville. Additionally, Richmond Ballet plans to schedule a series of events designed to encourage diverse communities across Virginia to become more engaged in movement, dance and Richmond Ballet. This series will include the organization’s annual gala scheduled for February 28, 2015, honoring the Chinese New Year. The Road to China programs conclude with the Ballet’s performances at the 15th Annual ‘Meet in Beijing’ Arts Festival in Beijing, China at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in May 2015. The trip will mark the Ballet’s first journey to Asia, and the organization’s second international tour, following a successful run at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre in London, England in June 2012. Richmond Ballet has plans to tour three additional cities in China, including Shanghai.


Photo: Cody Beaton in Stoner Winslett’s The Nutcracker. Photo by Sarah Ferguson.

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