A World Premiere by Matthew Frain (Frain/TBA)
Richmond Ballet Company dancer Matthew Frain sent waves through the Richmond community when he partnered with D. Randall Blythe for his New Works Festival piece, Inventory, in 2015. This season, he’ll continue to show off his talent as a choreographer with a fully-produced new ballet to help close the 2016-17 season. With his own, unique contemporary style, Frain will once again use his insight as a Company member to play to his fellow dancers’ strengths and skills, combining for a work that is bound to create buzz.
A dazzling display of technical skill, explosive jumps and furious footwork, George Balanchine’s short, but wonderfully virtuosic Tarantella will be presented for the first time on the Richmond Ballet stage this season. Inspired by traditional Italian folk dances, Mr. Balanchine’s 1964 pas de deux is as thrilling to watch as it is challenging to dance; the dancers are in constant rhythmic motion, working together at daring speeds to the music of New Orleans-born composer, Louis Moreau Gottschalk. His composition, ‘Grand Tarentelle for Piano and Orchestra’ (1866), was a particular favorite of Mr. Balanchine’s, who was drawn to what he called the music’s “high spirits.” Complete with charming costumes, Tarantella is a true crowd-pleaser that celebrates the sheer athleticism and power of ballet.
Newly acquired from the varied repertory of choreographer Salvatore Aiello – who has been praised by Richmond audiences for his powerful rendition of The Rite of Spring – Notturno uses languid movements of push and pull, and of ebb and flow for this sensuous quartet for two couples. Set to Franz Schubert’s little-known, but romantic ‘Notturno in E-Flat Major for Piano, Violin and Violincello,’ played live on stage, this contemporary work creates both elegant and daring shapes with the human form, accentuated by the minimal, flesh-tone costuming.