Richmond Ballet‘s New Works Festival is starting its second and final week! It runs through this Sunday, April 14th. The festival 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 final installment, with responses from Starrene Foster. Foster is a graduate of the Dance and Choreography Department of Virginia Commonwealth University and the Artistic Director of Starr Foster Dance Project.

For tickets to the New Works Festival, go here.

Starrene Foster

Starrene Foster

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

SF: Ballet is definitely expanding and choreographers are taking greater risks, becoming more bold, and exploring extensively with music and the movement vocabulary. This new direction results in a very diverse and exciting shift.


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

SF: I am greatly influenced by human interaction and how we respond to each other on both a physical and emotional level. My greatest inspirations evolve from conversations we have with one another to stories people share about family or personal relationships. I find it essential to create work that provokes thought and emotion; whether it connects with recent or past experiences or stimulates new ideas.


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

SF: My experience working with the Richmond Ballet has reminded me that creating a new work is an absolute collaboration. Even though I provide the choreography, the dancers take on the responsibility to create a cohesion and make the vision vital. The Richmond Ballet dancers are notably dedicated and plunge themselves into the learning process, which truly makes my job fluent and gratifying.


RAR: Do you dance in your sleep dreams?

SF: Of Course! Doesn’t everybody? I have a special book full of ideas that resulted from dreams (some possible and some quite impossible) that I keep at my bedside.