If Richmond’s fall dance lineup were a person, she’d be a modern, innovative, dramatic, Juilliard-educated, hip-hop waltzing ghoul of a ballerina who enjoys reading history and reciting medieval poetry. In other words, in a city with such a thriving dance scene, there’s something for everyone.
Amaranth Arts comes to Richmond after traveling the world choreographing, performing and teaching. It will perform Scott Putman’s “Falling Back to Grace.” The company, every member an alumnus of Virginia Commonwealth University Dance, will join with the Island Moving Company of Newport, R.I., for part of the program. The vision of the classically trained, contemporary ballet company is “that collaboration and a supportive environment enhance the creative process.” If you’re in the mood for brainy, high-concept modern dance, this is the one for you. Grace Street Theater, Sept. 11-13.
In the intimate setting of the Richmond Ballet Studio Theater, Studio One features the world premiere of “iNVERSION” by choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie. This Juilliard graduate’s new work acts as a multimedia documentary of the lives of Richmond Ballet dancers, featuring interviews with them recorded last spring.
“I wanted a piece that, when you finish watching it, you’ll feel more in tune with these artists,” Moultrie writes in a description of the show. “The audience might almost feel like they are watching a live dance documentary, where I mix the dancers’ stories, the dancers’ lives, in with solid choreography.”
Start October off with the Starr Foster Dance Project. The premiere of “Lunacy” and three new works by award winning Artistic Director Starrene Foster will be at Grace Street Theater on Thursday, Oct. 2 through Sunday, Oct. 5. Always a concept well suited to dance, “Lunacy” is “a portrayal of the human spirit and how one's sanity and balance can quickly evolve into a downward spiral of complete delirium.” Also on the program is Apt. No. 9, with an exhibit of vintage lightbulbs used to separate the stage space in this piece about circumstances and relationships. If you missed the premiere in March of this year, now is your chance to see this audience favorite.
Also included in the program is San Francisco-based choreographer Val Caniparoli’s “Swipe,” commissioned by Richmond Ballet in 2011. A blend of hip-hop and classical ballet, this work traveled to London when Richmond Ballet performed there in 2012. It also will travel to China with the company next year. The score is Gabriel Prokofiev’s techno-remixes of string quartets. If you’ve never seen a production in the Richmond Ballet Studio Theater, go. You’re close enough to hear the strike of the dancers’ feet on the floor. Studio One opens the Richmond Ballet 2014-2015 season and runs Sept. 23-28.
For something entirely different, see “Sol & Luna” by the Latin Ballet of Virginia. This work about power, passion and the conquest of the American continent is inspired by the histories of Aztec Princess Malinalli and the Queen Juana I de Castilla. The trademark of Founder and Artistic Director Ana Ines King is blending traditional Latin dance with contemporary dance for often unexpected results. The show runs Oct. 23-26 at the Cultural Arts Center in Glen Allen.
What better way to celebrate Halloween than with a ballet designed to overwhelm your senses and basically rip your guts out? The popular “Carmina Burana” returns to Richmond Ballet Oct. 31-Nov. 2. Medieval life is explored, both the good and the bad, through a combination of classical ballet and contemporary dance set to Carl Orff’s emotional score. The Richmond Symphony and Richmond Symphony Chorus will bring to life the carminas, or songs, discovered in an ancient Bavarian monastery. As part of the school’s 40th anniversary, students from the School of Richmond Ballet will perform “Danse Macabre,” choreographed by Artistic Director Stoner Winslett. The music? An eerie waltz. The Richmond Ballet company will join the students to dance “Mozartiana,” George Balanchine’s final masterpiece, set to Tchaikovsky’s musical tribute to Mozart. If you think you don’t like ballet, this program might change your mind.