Southwest Virginia Ballet’s newest production, “Metamorphosis: Movement through Time” is a collaboration with the Roanoke Youth Symphony and the Taubman Museum of Art.
These preeminent Roanoke arts organizations have joined forces to create a one-of-a-kind production that traces the intersection of visual art, classical music and ballet through three centuries and across multiple cultures.
“Always, my motive is collaboration,” explains Pedro Szalay, artistic director of Southwest Virginia Ballet. “In this production we want to educate people on how music and dance and art have developed together.”
“Metamorphosis” will take the stage three times — as an educational show on March 11 at 10 a.m. and as a public performance on March 12 at 7 p.m. at the Berglund Center Performing Arts Theatre. It will be also be staged at the Historic Masonic Theatre in Clifton Forge on March 21 at 3 p.m.
In two acts, during 75 minutes, 130 dancers and musicians will gallop through the history of art, beginning with the Renaissance, showcasing the minuet of the Baroque period, continuing into the Romantic era with excerpts from well-known ballets such as Coppelia, Swan Lake and Les Sylphides. The performance winds up with Jacques Offenbach’s explosive Can Can and Sergei Prokofiev’s lyrical Romeo and Juliet.
Guided by a printed program, the audience will view projections of paintings that accompany each artistic era. These periods will then be given voice and life by the musicians and dancers.
“I want to give the audience a little seed, to see how the arts work together to make something beautiful,” Szalay explains. “Maybe it will inspire them to keep on caring for the arts in the future.”
Southwest Virginia Ballet is in its 29th year, with four dozen company members, ages 10 to 18. Company members commute from Blacksburg, Charlottesville, Henry County, Galax and beyond, dancing together in a newly renovated studio in the Roanoke Industrial Center each Saturday from August through May. Company membership, instruction and costumes are provided free of charge.
Roanoke Youth Symphony is the educational arm of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and is made up of three youth training orchestras: String Ensemble, Chamber Ensemble and Roanoke Youth Symphony Orchestra. These ensembles, formed of top music students ages 9-18, rehearse weekly and perform public concerts throughout the year. The RYS is the only pre-professional training orchestra program in Southwest Virginia and students travel from all over the region to participate.
The Taubman Museum of Art, located in a strikingly designed building in downtown Roanoke, offers eleven galleries and originates 15-20 exhibitions each year. The Museum partners with dozens of community organizations and regularly hosts performances in its galleries and spaces. General admission to the museum is free. Children can also enjoy a hands-on creative experience in Art Venture, the Museum’s interactive learning space.
Tickets are on sale now to the March 12, 7 p.m. performance, at the Berglund Center box office (540-853-5483) or online at https://theberglundcenter.com. Adult tickets cost $24; for children 18 and under, tickets are $10.