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Kingsport Ballet Prepares for Centennial Production: Seeds of Change

Kingsport, TN – Kingsport Ballet prepares to stage an all-new contemporary ballet, Seeds of Change, along with the short “ballet blanc” Les Sylphides in celebration of the city’s one hundredth birthday, March 16-19, 2017 at Wellmont Performing Arts Center.

The Production: Seeds of Change is made up of contemporary choreography exploring themes relevant to 1917, the year of Kingsport’s founding. This act will explore some of the realities of that time in history, through a warm story set in the East Tennessee meadows that become an industrial city. Les Sylphides is a short romantic ballet without a story line. Beautiful nymphs in long white romantic tutus alongside their “poet,” dance to the enchanting sounds of Chopin amidst a tree-shaded glen. This ballet was created simply for the sake of beauty in the early twentieth century as a form of escapism during troubling times.

Concept of the new ballet, Seeds of Change: Kingsport Ballet, in collaboration with various artists (local and guest artists) has been busy creating choreography, backdrops and costumes relevant to our city’s centennial. By exploring societal changes present in this time-period we intend to transport the audience to 1917, highlighting the charm as well and the challenges of that time.

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.

Artists and Organizations Involved: 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. Venue/s: Seeds of Change and Les Sylphides will be performed at Northeast State’s Wellmont Performing Arts Center. Tickets: Tickets are on sale now ($20, $26, $10 for children 5 and under and college students) through the company’s Facebook page or website, or by calling Kingsport Ballet 423-378-3967.

School Performance = Thursday, March 16th, 2017 at 10am. Free of charge for students with one free chaperone per school or home schooled group. All other adults $10.

Educational Materials = Students and teachers will receive educational workbooks free of charge.

Kingsport Ballet is funded in part by general operations from the Tennessee Arts Commission, as well as by the City of Kingsport, Massengil De-Friece Foundation and TAC/Funds for at Risk Youth for outreach programs. Please visit their website for a full listing of corporate sponsors. For more information: Bertina Dew – 423-863-1280 – School performance information: Amy Ramey – Photo above: Les Sylphides.

To learn more visit their Facebook page.

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