As we begin our thirteenth season at TRDance, the harmony of the last dozen years seems to ring throughout the studio. The memories of the dancers who have shared their gifts and moved on, the amazing events in which we got to perform, the guest dancers and choreographers who have graced us with their presence, and the dances that have touched our audiences seem to live inside our walls. It is no small accomplishment to maintain a dance company in a culture in which established dance companies are folding on a regular basis, but here we are. What a thrill it is to provide coastal Virginia with professional dance and the best dance education in Hampton Roads.
TRDance and VBT performed throughout our region last season, including the Bernstein at 100 Celebration with the Virginia Arts Festival and Virginia Symphony, TRDance and Friends with guest dance company Dance Kaleidoscope, and the hit story ballet “Little Red Riding Hood.” It was a year of great teamwork. Operations Director Denise Olivieri led our companies through a year of rebirth. Jennifer Gage, our kind and loving academy director, brought the academy to a new level of success. Our board president Lisbet Hanson accomplished so much in her first year as she launched a new era of leadership for our organization. To the many teachers, staff, and volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes, Ricardo and I would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Last season saw the departure of several dancers who will be greatly missed. Aileen Braun and Timothy Patterson have left the area with their husbands who are in the military. We wish them luck and love on their next adventures. Janelle Spruill will be returning to school for her MA in arts administration from Goucher College, but she will remain as our choreographer-in-residence and rehearsal master. Jacob Spallino has relocated to NYC to further his dance career, and we send him off with love and the blessings of the dance gods. And Kierstin Kratzer has moved to Richmond to pursue new opportunities at SOUL Aerial and Performing Arts Center. We also want to welcome new dancers Isabel Cary, formerly of the Washington Ballet, and Timothy Knoll, who comes to us from the University of Utah. We are thrilled to welcome them to the TRDance family.
Our dance season will open with Stories for the Young on September 29 and 30, featuring two delightfully quirky folktales, “The Horse of Many Colors” and “Peter and the Wolf.” Then, in November, we will present our Studio Concert Series—a mixed bill of modern and ballet offerings. Lucky thirteen here we come!
Artistic Director, TRDance