Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Richmond Ballet Season Opens After Triumphant London Debut

As Richmond Ballet, The State Ballet of Virginia, embarks on its 29th Season, following a triumphant debut in London this past summer, the City of Richmond will recognize the Company with an Open House on Friday, September 7, 2012, at 6:30pm at their studios, 407 East Canal Street in Downtown Richmond. Richmond Ballet is part of the new Arts and Cultural District that will help create “the vibrant district that city officials envision.” The Open House, being held during the city’s monthly First Friday’s recognition, serves as the invitation for all residents to hear about the Company’s recent London debut, first international cover on Dance Magazine and the upcoming 2012-2013 Richmond Ballet Season. Attendees to the event will also have the opportunity to tour the Richmond Ballet studios and meet the Company dancers. 

“It was a privilege to see Richmond Ballet, The State Ballet of Virginia, make its international debut in London,” states Dance Europe Magazine. “The Company showed themselves to great advantage by presenting such a varied program.” The 2012-2013 Season begins with Colin Connor’s breathtaking Streets and Legends, last performed in 2005 at the Joyce Theater in New York City, coupled with a newly commissioned work by Philip Neal, a Richmond native, former New York City Ballet star and School of Richmond Ballet alumnus. 

Commissioned and performed for the first time by Richmond Ballet in 1997, Colin Connor’s Streets and Legends is a tribute to the essence of a Scot. The ballet is thrilling as the dancers execute the choreography while outfitted in tartan kilts and tattoos. Streets and Legends is set to the invigorating and gripping music of fiddlers Alasdair Fraser and Ashley MacIsaac. “Richmond Ballet is delighted to revive Colin Connor’s Streets and Legends after an eight year rest. It was so popular and we performed it so often that I felt it needed a break. It is now back by popular demand,” expresses Stoner Winslett, Artistic Director of the Richmond Ballet.

One of the integral components to the mission of Richmond Ballet is the presentation of new works. “We are pleased to welcome back School of Richmond Ballet alumnus and Richmond’s own Philip Neal to present his World Premiere, Gargoyles,” adds Stoner Winslett, “After 23 years as a dancer with New York City Ballet, we are pleased to work with Philip as he expands his dance career into new areas.”  

“The images of Gargoyles will serve as a visual springboard for an abstract, dramatic neo-classic work,” says choreographer Philip Neal. “After staging Liebeslieder Walzer for Richmond Ballet last year, I have clear ideas of how I wish to utilize the dancers and I have challenged myself to push the boundaries of typical ballet partnering.” Philip Neal attended The School of Richmond Ballet for six years while growing up in Richmond.  After winning the prestigious Prix de Lausanne ballet competition he became a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet for seven years. Mr. Neal is now the Palm Beach Liaison for Miami City Ballet.

Performances of Gargoyles and Gargoyles take place in the Richmond Ballet Studio Theatre located at 407 East Canal Street. Tickets are available for purchase in person at the Richmond Ballet box office, by phone at 1.800.514.3849, or online at Single tickets start at $20. Tickets for opening night Choreographer’s Club start at $65 (and include a post-performance reception with the choreographers and Richmond Ballet dancers and artistic staff). 

Thursday, September 27 6:30pm
Friday, September 28 6:30pm
Saturday, September 29 6:30pm
Sunday, September 30 2:00pm
Wednesday, October 3 6:30pm
Thursday, October 4 6:30pm
Friday, October 5 6:30pm 
Saturday, October 6 6:30pm
Sunday, October 7 4:00pm

The 2012-13 Studio Theatre Series is sponsored by Altria Group. Richmond Ballet is grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the Crowne Plaza Hotel Downtown Richmond for their continued support.

For more information on the Richmond Ballet, ticket information, or the tour performance schedule, please visit: or call 804-344-0906.

Hannah Wess, 804-344-0906 x246,