This weekend marks the premiere of the Richmond Ballet’s second ballet of their performance season, “Trio.” This powerful show runs from Friday, Nov. 3, to Sunday, Nov. 5, at the Dominion Arts Center, and it aims to highlight the Ballet’s Company at the utmost of its capabilities. The “Trio” performance features three different ballets: “Gloria” by Dennis Spaight, “Journey” by Salvatore Aiello, and “Silence” by Gina Patterson.
The history behind each of these ballets in relation to the Richmond Ballet is rich. “Silence” first premiered with the Richmond Ballet about a decade ago. One of the Ballet’s masters was in the original production of “Gloria” when it premiered in 1983. “Journey” is an all-male ballet, featuring all 12 of the Company’s men.
Richmond Ballet’s Public Relations and Content Manager, Valerie Tellmann-Henning, was in the original production of Patterson’s ballet. “The ‘Trio’ is one of the most beautiful ballets of the season because it highlights the company to the best of its ability,” Tellmann-Henning said. “We get dancers from all over the world; the texture of fabric from movements by Brazil and Hungary.”
One of the current dancers in “Silence” and “Gloria,” Abi Goldstein, expressed her involvement in the works. “’Gloria’ is uplifting and happy, and ‘Silence’ is very dramatic,” Goldstein said. “I walk through the stage wearing a long, flowing red dress.”
Another dancer, Ira White, was born and raised right here in Richmond, and rose through the Ballet’s Minds in Motion program, to the School of Richmond Ballet, and finally to the premiere Company. “I’m in all three ballets,” White said. “So, it’s a true trio for me.”
White also spoke of his excitement in getting the opportunity to perform in “Journey,” Aiello’s all-male ballet. “It’s fun to be out there with fellow men who all love dance. It’s athletic, yet beautiful and precise,” he said.
Some of the most anticipated elements of this performance will be the collaboration the Ballet has facilitated with themselves, the Richmond Symphony, and the VCU Commonwealth Singers in the ballet “Gloria.” This classical, traditional ballet is a dance interpretation of the Vivaldi’s “Gloria,” which features tremendous solos and ultimately fascinating duet work, so the Symphony and the Singers will be there to perform the ballet’s soundtrack. It’s not something to be missed.
“Silence” leans more towards the more contemporary side of ballet as it first premiered at the New Works Festival in 2008. The ballet was then first fully-commissioned by the Richmond Ballet under Patterson in 2009, and now reappears because of its sheer beauty and emotion it evokes. The Symphony will also be collaborating by performing the score alongside the dancers.
“I think it is about finding peace within the stillness, the silence when we find ourselves alone in a quiet moment, in the dark of night, or on a walk with miles in front of us to conquer,” said Patterson in a statement about “Silence”.
Finding itself between the contemporary and classics, Aiello’s “Journey” is a ballet that features an entirely male cast. What’s so fascinating is similar to White’s words, this ballet is so physical and athletic, but it still contains the tenderness and grace consistent with ballet. It’s form-breaking, and executed by the undeniably qualified and capable male dancers of the Ballet’s Company.
With the “Trio,” Richmond Ballet has raised the bar once again for its ballet patrons.
“The standards Richmond Ballet sets for its performance are high, so we keep having to outdo ourselves, and our dancers love the challenge,” Tellmann-Henning said.
“Trio” will premiere at the Dominion Arts Center Friday, Nov. 3, at 7pm, with another performance on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 7pm. There will also be a matinee on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 2pm. Tickets are $25-$80 and can be found here.
Top Photo Credit: Aaron Sutten. Richmond Ballet