Provided by Virginia National Ballet
The Virginia National Ballet is delighted to be back with a full season at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, after taking a year-long hiatus due to the pandemic. The company has a fantastic season, with a wide variety of shows, including Nutcracker in November, White as snow in March, and three new world premieres on February 12: The Beatles, Tango evenings, and For those we’ve lost, all choreographed by award-winning VNB Artistic Director Rafik Hegab.
VNB wants to pay tribute to all those who lost their lives due to COVID with For those we’ve lost, a powerful contemporary one-act ballet set to the iconic music of Max Richter and Samuel Barber. The George Mason University Choir will sing the Agnus Dei by Barber live during the performance. The music is incredibly heartbreaking and brings the emotions of grief, longing and love to life. Most people will recognize the music as it was used in the movie. Section in the original version of Barber’s Adagio for strings.
Also on the program The Beatles, an energetic contemporary one-act ballet about the Beatles’ greatest hits, performed live by The Liverpool Lads, a Beatles tribute band based in Ohio. Songs to be performed include Come Together, Something, Get Back, Yesterday, I Saw Her StandingTthere, and more. The Beatles were a historic rock band that inspired generations of future rock and pop musicians, and their music is still alive and popular, with over 25 million listeners a month on Spotify alone. Whether you’re old enough to remember The Beatles or too young to know them, you’ll be thrilled to the sound of music, choreography and dancing!
The third premiere on the program is Tango evenings, a sensual neoclassical one-act ballet to the music of famous Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla, with many tango-inspired elements. This ballet follows the adventures of three couples in a Tango bar in Argentina and will sweep audiences away in intense romance, laughter, dancing and music. Piazzolla created “nuevo tango” by incorporating elements of classical and jazz music into traditional tango music. Rafik Hegab, the choreographer, also creates a new style with this ballet, which mixes neo-classical ballet with elements of tango, and is a perfect fusion of these multiple styles of music and dance, mixed with drama.
Rafik Hegab was full of artistic vision and energy after the one-year hiatus due to COVID. While VNB has collaborated with a live orchestra in the past, this is the first time that they have used a live rock band as well as a large chorale in a performance, and also the first time that they have used a live rock band as well as a large chorale. mixes tango with neo-classical ballet. Each of these three world premieres will have unique costumes, sets and lighting, to transport you to three different worlds in one evening.
About the artists and performers
Artistic director Rafik Hegab is originally from Cairo, where he was principal dancer of the Cairo Opera Ballet Company for many years before coming to the United States. He has been with the Virginia National Ballet since its inception in 2013 and has choreographed numerous world premieres, including Aida, Aladdin, Bohemian Rhapsody, Bolero, Carmen, Carmina Burana, Cendrillon, La Boheme, Life in the Fast Lane, Blanche-Neige, and more. He is the recipient of the 2019 Seefeldt Award for Outstanding Individual Artist and was a guest choreographer for the Regional Emmy Award-winning production of “The Circle of Life: The Music of Time Rice” by Young Artists International at the Music Center in Strathmore.
The George Mason University Choir is a choir of 80 to 100 singers led by Dr Lisa Billingham, the choir’s conductor. The university choir has performed at numerous university events, including the inauguration of GMU President Cabrera and for a special visit by President Barack Obama. Alumni of Choral University are leaders in the Northern Virginia community and beyond in many diverse fields, including teaching, performing, and government positions. In VNB’s performance of For those we’ve lost, around 40 singers will perform.
The Liverpool Lads are a well-known Ohio-based Beatles tribute band with a busy schedule of festivals, nightclubs and private events. Scott Duress plays John Lennon, ES Hider plays Paul McCartney, AJ Tscherne plays George Harrison and Joe Koch plays Ringo Starr.
There will be two performances on Saturday February 12 at the Hylton Performing Arts Center: 2 pm and 7:30 pm Tickets are available at the Hylton box office and website.
For more information on Virginia National Ballet, visit virginianationalballet.org