The Richmond Ballet 2017/18 Season kicks off September 19 – 24 with Studio One, featuring Portrait of Billie by John Butler, Tarantella by George Balanchine, and Winter’s Angels, a world premiere by Ma Cong.
Performed for the first time in Richmond, Portrait of Billie is a powerful and elegant duet that depicts the pathos of famed blues singer Billie Holiday. Iconic American choreographer John Butler, known to Richmond audiences for his works Carmina Burana and After Eden, brings Billie Holiday vividly to life in this portrayal of her public glory along with her private demons. Her haunting voice provides the soundtrack to this captivating ballet. Richmond Ballet was honored to have Carmen de Lavallade, a 2017 Kennedy Center Honoree and the original dancer to portray Billie, set the piece on the Company dancers.
In contrast, Tarantella is a striking example of the way one of the world’s most famous ballet choreographers, George Balanchine, expanded the traditional vocabulary of classical ballet. With the profusion of steps and the quick changes of direction, this brief but explosive pas de deux typifies the signature nimble quickness of Balanchine’s work and provides a virtuosic showcase.
The program is completed by a world premiere from a Richmond-audience favorite, Ma Cong. Having recently been engaged to choreograph M. Butterfly on Broadway, Chinese-born Cong returns to choreograph Winter’s Angels, his fourth Company-commissioned work. This contemporary creation ties together fluid movement with a soulful score and is sure to move any spirit.
Studio One Performances
September 19-24, 2017| Richmond Ballet Studio Theatre
407 E. Canal Street, Richmond, VA 23219
Tuesday, September 19 at 6:30 pm (Choreographer’s Club)
Wednesday, September 20 at 6:30 pm
Thursday, September 21 at 6:30 pm
Friday, September 22 at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm (Club 407/Young Professionals)
Saturday, September 23 at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm
Sunday, September 24 at 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm
Tickets start at $23.50. Studio One tickets can be purchased online at richmondballet.com, by phone at 804.344.0906 x224 or in person at the Richmond Ballet Box Office, 407 East Canal Street, Monday – Friday, 11:00am – 6:00pm.
Tarantella. Choreography by George Balanchine. © The George Balanchine Trust.