Kingsport Ballet celebrates city's centennial with "Seeds of Change"

Contributed To The Press • Apr 12, 2018 at 9:32 AM

KINGSPORT — Kingsport Ballet, under the direction of Valeria Sinyavskaya, prepares to re-stage contemporary ballet, Seeds of Change, along with the Dream Act in Don Quixote, April 12-15, 2018 atEastman's Toy F. Reid Employee Center.

Seeds of Change is made up of contemporary choreography exploring themes relevant to 1917, the year of Kingsport's founding. The ballet explores some of the realities of that time in history, through a warm story set in the East Tennessee meadows that become an industrial city.

Dream act from Don Quixote is Act II, Scene II of the ballet classic. This act represents Don Quixote's dream. In the full ballet, Don Quixote is a Spanish gentleman who often dreams of being a knight engaged in passionate battles. After imagining such a battle, where he is wounded in combat, he enters a majestic garden where the object of his love, Dulcinea, dances surrounded by beautiful nymphs and cupids.

Kingsport Ballet, in collaboration with various artists, created choreography, backdrops and costumes relevant to our city's centennial.

“By exploring societal changes present in this time-period we transport the audience to 1917, highlighting the charm as well and the challenges of that time through dance,” explains choreographer Erika Ballard.

As men were sent to fight in WWI, women sought employment opportunities in growing cities, such as Kingsport. This influx of non-traditional workers grew urban populations, gave fuel to increased social rights of women, and laid the foundation for an industrial boom that propelled the nation into the leading industrial world leader. In Kingsport specifically, this is seen with the arrival of the railroad, the growth of business and industry, and the migration to the city from farmland.

Kingsport Ballet artists Valeria Sinyavskaya, Bertina Dew, and chief choreographer Erika Ballard have collaborated with guest artists, such as Lyvan Verdecia of Ballet Hispanico, Akop Akopian with Ellison Ballet Academy as well as local teachers, artists and musicians, in creating this short, contemporary ballet. Guest artist Leonid Flegmatov will perform the lead male roles. Mr. Flegmatov is a principal dancer with New Jersey Ballet. He graduated from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow. He is a frequent teacher and performer with Kingsport Ballet.

Seeds of Change and Dream will be performed at Eastman's Toy F. Reid Auditorium Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and are $20 adults, $16 for students and seniors and $10 for children 5 and under and college students. Tickets may be purchased through the company's Facebook page or website, or by calling Kingsport Ballet 423-378-3967.

The company will host a school performance Thursday at 10am. The performance is free of charge for students with one free chaperone per school or homeschooled group. Tickets $10 for all other adults, and students and teachers will receive complementary educational workbooks.

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