Arts Alive opens new season with Richmond Ballet

WEST POINT – Arts Alive's new season will be begin with the opening performance of the Richmond Ballet. The performance will be held at the Robinson/Olsson Civic Auditorium and Fine Arts Center in West Point on Saturday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m.

Richmond Ballet will present "Raymonda," first created by Marius Petipa in 1898 for the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, is a bright and colorful ballet, full of memorable dancing. The ballet is a fixture within the repertories of the world's greatest classical ballet companies. Set to Alexander Glazunov's score, Raymonda is a story of love and intrigue set at the opulent courts of France.

Mozartiana, George Balanchine's final masterpiece, done, as many believe, as a farewell for his beloved ballerina Suzanne Farrell who premiered the lead role in 1981, continues the celebration. A series of elegant dances, Mozartiana is set to Tchaikovsky's moving musical tribute to Mozart. The ballet's beautiful steps — both purely classical and, yet unmistakably crafted by Balanchine — intertwine to form a profound work that is one of the legendary master's best.

Val Caniparoli's Swipe, complete with intricate choreography that pulls from the world of hip-hop as well as classical dance, returns with its trademark causal cool. With the music of dueling violins — a mash-up of the classical and electronic music traditions — Swipe is a piece that pushes the boundaries of contemporary dance.

Richmond Ballet's West Point performance promise to be an evening of enjoyment, inspiration and revelation.

This performance is made possible in part by a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Arts Alive Inc. would also like to thank the governments of West Point, King William and New Kent counties as well as the Elis Olsson Memorial Foundation and the Robinson Family for their financial support.

Tickets for individual performances are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors (65 and older), and $10 for students. Season tickets are still available and can be bought at a reduced price of $85 for adults; $65 for seniors and $20 for students until Sept. 13. After Sept. 13, season tickets increase to $90; $75 and $25, respectively.

Tickets for are available by phone at 804-843-3475, online, or email at artsaliveinc@yahoo.com. Tickets will also be available at C&F Bank branches in West Point two weeks prior to the show or at the door. Group rates are available at $15 each for groups of 10 or more. For more information, visit the Arts Alive website at http://www.artsaliveinc.org.

Prior to the Richmond Ballet performance, the Visual Arts Committee of Arts Alive will host an opening reception at 6 p.m. for the Invitational Exhibit featuring works by Baylor Nichols.

Nichols was born on the Eastern Shore and has been creating art for more than 70 years. He has received numerous awards including an Award of Achievement at the Peninsula Fine Arts Juried Exhibition in Newport News in 1986. This exhibit can be viewed from Sept. 13-Nov. 11 in the exhibit area at the auditorium, and is open during school hours by entering at the West Point High School main entrance.

The Visual Arts Committee will also present an Encaustics/Mixed Media workshop on Sept. 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the West Point Library. The Encaustics/Mixed Media workshop will be taught by Karen Eide, an artist at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and is open to ages 11 and older. Classic encaustic painting techniques are combined with surface embellishment, image transfer, incising, collaging and creating marks and images with pastels, markers and inks. The workshop costs $15. Space is limited. Contact Jeanette Wagner at puddin5515wags@aol.com or 994-9668 or Gail Nichols at gabaylor86@yahoo.com or 843-4418 to register.