Richmond Ballet, The State Ballet of Virginia, announces its fall season featuring in-person and virtual options for Studio Series performances in September, October, and November. Artists are known for their creativity, and the season reflects the Ballet’s ability to innovate and inspire with a series of performances that are a true reflection of today.
Following local health and government guidelines, as well as recommendations from the Ballet’s medical task force team, measures have been put in place to protect the health and safety of audiences, dancers, and staff. The Studio Theatre capacity will be reduced from 250 to 70 to allow for social distancing. All patrons, who will be required to wear masks, will be assigned staggered arrival times and dismissed by row upon exiting. Dancers will also be wearing masks, and through creative programming and choreography, those who are not members of the same household will remain socially distant from each other.Artistic Director Stoner Winslett has embraced the challenge of putting together one-hour shows with no intermission. Each Studio Series will feature Richmond Ballet favorites presented in new ways, paired with new works that reflect current times. For September’s performances, Winslett has commissioned new pieces by Richmond Ballet dancers Matthew Frain and Mate Szentes. Recently-appointed Associate Artistic Director Ma Cong will also choreograph, but solely via Zoom, a first in Richmond Ballet history. Costume Director Emily Morgan is working closely with the artists to create masks that either complement the current costumes or are incorporated into the new pieces’ designs.
“I believe that now more than ever our world needs the arts,” said Winslett, “and that is why we have spent the last several months tirelessly working on safety protocols and programming that will allow us to fulfill our mission of awakening and uplifting the human spirit of both audiences and dancers. All of our audience members, whether they attend in person or virtually, can expect to see extraordinary dancing for extraordinary times.”
2020 Fall Season
September – September 15-27, 2020
October – October 13-25, 2020
November – November 10-22, 2020
Virtual tickets to the September and October Studio Series are available now. In-person tickets will go on sale in September. Visit richmondballet.com or call the Richmond Ballet Box Office at 804.344.0906 x224 to learn more.
Last week Winslett shared with the Ballet’s Board, dancers, staff, and students that The Nutcracker, which traditionally ends the Ballet’s fall season, will not take place this December in either Norfolk or Richmond. To bring The Nutcracker to life, it requires hundreds of dancers, students, musicians, production crew, and backstage personnel each performance. Their safety, as well as that of audience members, was the Ballet’s first priority in making this difficult decision.
“This will be the first time since the premiere of my production of The Nutcracker in 1980 that Richmond Ballet will not perform our beloved classic,” said Winslett. “Seeing the joy that The Nutcracker brings to our audiences makes up so many of my precious memories, and I am extraordinarily grateful to all of the families who have made our production a part of their holiday tradition each year. Until we can once again gather in person around the Silberhaus’ enchanted Christmas tree, our entire Richmond Ballet team is dedicated to exploring new ways in which we can still bring the magic of the holidays to our community this season.”
[Richmond Ballet 2020. All Rights Reserved. Feature photo by Sarah Ferguson]