Masterworks is the oldest Christian dance company in South Hampton Roads.
Founded in Late 1989, Masterworks presented its first production as a premiere production at the Founders Inn and Conference Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia. This first production First performance in 1990 The Gift , a story ballet about the almost fatal sibling rivalry between two sisters. The rivalry comes to a climax when one’s jealousy almost takes the life of the other.
The second original ballet was “Lily & The Gypsies”. This too was a story ballet and a period piece taking place in the late 1800s. The story was a about a young girl who falls under the Influence of an evil gypsy queen who wants her to betray her only true friend in order to succeed her as the next gypsy queen. In a classic battle between an Angel and the Demon who the evil queen has summoned to control the girl, the girl is freed from the demonic control and she and her friend escape. This ballet was so popular it has been repeated twice to the delight of audiences.
Taking a brief break from their story ballet format, Masterworks presented “Dance Sing & Shout For Joy”, a celebration of faith and freedom using many forms of dance and to salute the American tradition of freedom and faith.
In its first attempt to use a biblical setting for a story ballet, Masterworks presented “Hadassah, The Story of Esther” on the giant stage of the Virginia Beach Coliseum. A totally original production featuring custom sets and costumes, this production may have been seen by the largest non-Christmas dance presentation in South Hampton Roads. This was the first United States and Israel by LeSEA Broadcasting and Middle East Television.
“The Christmas Gift” was the next Masterworks effort. Using the original “The Gift” as the basis of the story, Masterworks Director Arnora Hummel did a major upgrade to the original story, choreography and company performers with the addition of dancers from Belarus, the Ukraine as well as senior dancers from The Academie de Ballet of Chesapeake. “The Christmas Gift” was so popular, it was brought back to Hampton Roads the following year to full house audiences. This Masterworks production was also captured for television and was broadcast nationally and in the Middle East.
The Eternal Covenant was a new kind of dance presentation for Masterworks. Adapted from the Israeli presentation to fit the smaller stages of the Virginia venues, this ballet was a dramatization of the history of the Jews from Abraham to the founding of the state of Israel. Powerful and compelling, the production brought tears to the eyes of the audience at one moment only to have them standing and cheering at the climax. Because of copyright issues with the music and vocals, this production could not be televised. Because of the enthusiastic reception of both Jewish and Christian audiences, a new version of this production is in the writing stage at the moment for possible future presentation.
While staying with their tradition of presenting story ballets, Masterworks turned to a fantasy ballet for children for the Christmas season. The new ballet, “A Storyland Christmas” was first presented at Regent University’s stage following a performance of the Virginia Symphony the previous week. Based on story book characters and fit loosely on the plot line of “There Was A Crooked Man”, this ballet was a smash hit and because of popular demand, repeated the following year.