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Southwest Virginia Ballet Presents TIES

Southwest Virginia Ballet (SVB) is proud to once again collaborate with local museums and artists in their production of TIES.  Originally choreographed by Artistic Director Pedro Szalay, and performed by the company in 2008, TIES is a collage of historic photos, live music and expressive dance.  Audiences will delight as dancers ride the rails of railroad history with a vision of Roanoke’s past, present and future.

From artistic director, Pedro Szalay:

“To me, TIES is about people and their incredible connections to others and to the land that holds them.  Many have uprooted or been uprooted, leaving a country, a region, or a family.  They are pushed by themselves or by circumstances to reach for their goals and go beyond their comfort zones.  As a result of World War II, my family emigrated from Hungary to Venezuela where I was born.  I loved both my countries; however, when the time came to spread my wings, I went to New York City, then to Richmond, Virginia and finally here to Roanoke following my dreams.

So, when I started searching for a project for SVB in 2008, I was intrigued by the rail history of this region and its influence on immigration to Roanoke.  As the idea developed, I decided to leave the chronological storytelling to the museums.  Instead, I focused on the relationships of people – the dreamers, laborers, and witnesses who chose to stay or come to the Big Lick, the Magic City, the Star City, the Roanoke Valley.  Costume changes will flit through history like the children, parents and grandparents of O. Winston Link’s photographs. Relationships will develop and dissolve throughout the choreography like the spirits that rise, suffuse and integrate into the earth that is this valley.  Their spirits grew out of great dreams, cold steely labor, disappointments and victories.  Watch the images of the train with its trails of steam and imagine it to be the spirit of the tough gritty people who brought the clanging steel carts to our days and nights.

As with these people, it takes collaboration, and we are happy to have fostered that in this production.  Thank you to O. Winston Link for the captured images of a past era and the museum that houses them here in Roanoke.  We also thank the Virginia Museum of Transportation for sharing ideas and history of our valley.  David Austin’s original scores expresses the spirit of the past and contemporary era.  Combined with the talents of Bule Mule and the Atta Boys, we are transported seamlessly from one era to the next.  We thank Nancy Stark, for once again allowing her original artwork to be used on promotional materials.  She consistently captures the images of today’s railcars that hint at their own history in their rusty skins. Please visit and support these museums and artists as they have supported SVB.”

Southwest Virginia Ballet TIES
Location: Elmwood Park
Public Performance Dates: Saturday May 14 /, 2:00pm and 7:00pm
Tickets go on sale March 7

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