Richmond Ballet‘s New Works Festival opens this Thursday, April 4th (through April 14th) and brings new dance works from four innovative contemporary choreographers: Starrene Foster, Sasha Janes, Darrell Moultrie, and Amy Seiwert. Richmond Arts Review asked each choreographer to answer a few questions. This is the first installment of responses, starting with New York-based Darrell Moultrie.

For tickets to the New Works Festival, go here.

Darrell Moultrie

Darrell Moultrie

RAR: What, if any, new directions is ballet taking?

DM: Ballet is constantly adding more color and diversity. The diversity can be found in the music, ethnicity of the dancers, culture, abstract tendencies, etc. Ballet is expanding the classical aesthetic.


RAR: What are your most powerful non-dance/non-music creative influences or inspirations?

DM: People and children are my biggest influences. I live in New York so I always have the opportunity to people watch- walking on the street, eating a meal, everywhere! I get a chance to watch a person’s “character” come alive. During my time here at Richmond Ballet, I sat in on a Minds In Motion class with Cat Studdard (the director of the program), it was amazing to see the children thriving in that class. You can see their old spirits, the family that has come before them, and all they have yet to accomplish. It’s powerful in a way that words can’t describe.


RAR: What is the biggest lesson you’ve gleaned from your recent experience choreographing with Richmond Ballet for the New Works Festival?

DM: When the choreographer and dancers come into the room having done their homework, the whole process is effortless, but it means that everyone has to be fully committed to the process. Here at Richmond Ballet, everyone is committed, and it’s made the whole experience worthwhile.


RAR: Do you dance in your sleep dreams?

DM: Of course I do, who doesn’t? In my dance dreams I’m the best dancer ever! A black Baryshnikov, but even better than him! I do a million pirouettes perfectly, and then I wake up…


Raised in Harlem, Moultrie is a graduate of Juilliard School, and is known for his blurring of dance genres. Here’s a short reel of his choreography. If this doesn’t get you excited for the New Works Festival, nothing will!