Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Virginia Regional Ballet holds 5K to raise money for ‘Nutcracker’ performance

The Virginia Regional Ballet is holding their 6th annual 5K this weekend to raise money to hire a live orchestra for this year’s Nutcracker performance. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Virginia Regional Ballet)

WILLIAMSBURG — The Virginia Regional Ballet is asking the community to run so that they can dance to live music.

This weekend, the Virginia Regional Ballet (VRB) will hold its sixth annual 5K Run/Walk to raise funds to pay for a live orchestra to provide live music for the ballet company’s December production of “The Nutcracker.”

The 5K will be held on Saturday, May 1 at First Colony Clubhouse, 125 Pasbehegh Dr., from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. 

Taking place the same day as the Kentucky Derby, it’s appropriate that the theme of this year’s 5K is “Derby Day.”

Adelle Carpenter, cofounder of VRB, said that the Run/Walk is the start toward the company’s goal of adding live music to their performances. 

“We like to have a live orchestra, which is a huge financial commitment,” she said. 

Carpenter said that for the company to have a live orchestra for a dress rehearsal and two performances, it costs around $35,000. 

The 5K Run/Walk will begin and end at the First Colony Clubhouse. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Virginia Regional Ballet)

Founded by Carpenter and the Chamber Ballet’s Heidi Robitshek in 2007, VRB is located in Williamsburg’s Art District at 1228 Richmond Road, with a second location at 4839 George Washington Memorial Hwy. (Rt. 17) in Yorktown. The company offers weekly classes taught by professionally trained dancers that specialize in ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap and more. The academy also features its students in performances throughout the season.   

Every year, the company puts on a traditional performance of “The Nutcracker,” a classical ballet by Pyotr Tchaikovsky that tells the Christmas tale of toy soldiers and sugar plum fairies. 

While last year’s production was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company plans to return this year with its 43rd annual production, which will be performed at the Ferguson Center for the Arts, 1 Avenue for the Arts in Newport News, Dec. 18 and 19. 

To raise money to pay for the needed for this year’s live orchestra, the company will continue its tradition of the annual 5K Run/Walk event. Carpenter said there are usually over 100 participants that take part in the 5Ks, with around 60 people currently registered for this year’s. Registration closes April 30 at 6 p.m., but walk-up runners are also welcomed. 

“It’s always a lot of fun,” she said. “And people don’t have to race. They can just donate if they want.”

All proceeds and donations collected through the 5K will go directly to VRB in order to reach their goal of having a live orchestra this year. 

Beginning and ending at First Colony neighborhood clubhouse, the 5K course will be a counterclockwise loop of the neighborhood. The course includes Pasbehegh Drive, John Rolfe Lane and The Maine, and then loops into Jordan’s Journey and Barrows Mount.

The run will start with a one-mile fun run at 8:30 a.m., which has a $10 entrance fee. The 5K begins at 9 a.m., with an entrance fee of $25. 

More information on the 5K can be found online.

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