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Richmond Ballet makes first visit to local stage

SoVaNow.com / February 28, 2013
A special treat is in the offing for Prizery patrons as the Richmond Ballet comes to the Chastain Theatre for their first appearance on the local stage. This night of professional ballet will take place Tuesday night, March 5 at 7:30. Tickets can be purchased at The Prizery box office, or by calling 434-572-8339 or buying online at http://www.prizery.com.

Stoner Winslett is the founding Artistic Director of the Richmond Ballet professional company. In the past 30 years, under Ms. Winslett’s direction, Richmond Ballet has established the first major company of professional dancers in the Commonwealth, commissioned 55 new works from 20 choreographers from around the world, introduced the much-acclaimed Minds In Motion program into area schools, renovated and occupied its landmark downtown building on Canal Street, and introduced the work of Richmond Ballet to audiences in such major centers as New York, Chicago and London.

Winslett was trained by Ann Brodie, Aldofina Suarez and Michael Lland in Columbia, South Carolina and at American Ballet Theatre School and North Carolina School of the Arts on scholarship. After knee injuries curtailed her performing career, she pursued a course of independent study at Smith College where she graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

Winslett’s vision for the organization has always encompassed not only performing but also the training of artists and education of the community that are necessary to both preserve the heritage and explore new directions for the ballet. The major programming divisions of the organization — the Richmond Ballet professional company, School of Richmond Ballet, and Minds In Motion — all reflect this mission. She has built an impressive repertory for Richmond Ballet with a foundation of full-length classics and 20t-century masters coupled with a strong commitment to new work.

Her own choreography is part of the backbone of the company’s repertory including her acclaimed version of The Nutcracker.

Igor Antonov (Richmond Ballet II Director) was born in Zaporozie, Ukraine. Upon graduation from the Kiev Choreographic Institute, he joined the Donetsk Ballet (Ukraine) as a soloist. In 1990, he was invited to join Richmond Ballet, where for five seasons he danced leading roles in works by George Balanchine, John Butler, Antony Tudor, William Soleau, Malcolm Burn, and Stoner Winslett.

During that time he was also a medalist and best couple award winner at the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. For the next several years, he danced with Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Dusseldorf, Germany, and made guest appearances with major ballet companies in Berlin, Madrid, and Nice.

Returning to Richmond Ballet in 2003, he continued to perform with the company, conduct rehearsals, and teach. September 2011 marked his final performances on the Richmond Ballet stage. Since then, Igor has stepped into the role of leading Richmond Ballet’s new second company, Richmond Ballet II, through the first year of rehearsals, performances, and tours.

The public is cordially invited to join The Prizery next Tuesday, March 5 for a wonderful evening of dance.




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