Richmond Ballet’s ‘Road to China’ wowed RVA audiences ahead of Chinese trip
Next week, Richmond Ballet will travel over 7,000 miles where they will dance in the 15th annual “Meet in Bejing Arts Festival.”
By invitation, they will perform “The Road to China” on four of the most reputable stages in Bejing. It is no surprise that Richmond Ballet continues to strive for greater heights and produce remarkable work, but now they have evolved what once was a local institution into a prestigious international dance company.
The preview for the production debuted Tuesday night along with an exclusive farewell performance by Richmond Ballet’s Shira Lanyi. Shira’s emotional farewell alongside the excitement of next week’s journey consumed the studio stage and room, with nothing less of sincere sentiment, gratitude, and pride.
“The Road to China” consists of four very complex and amazing ballets. Starting off with a Balanchine classic to contemporary and electrifying pieces, and ending with a unique work by Chinese native and choreographer Ma Cong.
Cong shared his excitement and overwhelming joy for Richmond Ballet’s journey to China as well as their performance of his piece Lift the Fallen. Not only is it an honor to present his work to his home country, but for a company as pristine and professional as Richmond Ballet to represent his work.
Lift the Fallen was absolutely stunning.
With such a collaborative group of professional dancers, Cong was able to convey his experience of coping with the loss of his mother. As represented in Chinese culture, Cong used stage length fabric symbolizing the connection between the world of the living and the world of the dead, creating a beautifully lavish setting for grief, acceptance, and connection.
The monumental fabric paired with the exquisitely beautiful music by Max Richter and costuming make Lift the Fallen an absolutely breath-taking piece. Full of culture, elegance, reflection, and vitality.
All pieces were truly impressive and beautiful in their diverse ways. Richmond Ballet will perform pieces ranging from a classically charming ballet to influential contemporary pieces.
Not only sharing their range of movement, technique, and inspiration, but more importantly, sharing the international language of dance.
Alongside Richmonders Tuesday evening were members of The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China. Their partnership, support, and commitment are what made the company’s extraordinary endeavor a reality. The Richmond Ballet has much to look forward to as each piece from “The Road to China” brought all audience members, local and visiting, to their feet.
Images via Richmond Ballet by Sarah Ferguson
Nicole has been dancing since early childhood and can't get enough. You can find her salsa dancing at Havana 59 or tango dancing at the Vmfa. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from VCU and strives to keep the arts alive! She loves all things lavender, pugs, and crisp weather.
“If you have talent or not, if you are willing to work, I want to teach you,”January 12, 2017
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