Ballet tour producers buy Hillside House

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POWNAL — The producers of the Moscow Ballet tours in the U.S. and Canada have purchased the former Hillside House furniture building on Route 7.

Talmi Entertainment Inc., which is based in Pittsfield, Mass., purchased the building on a .86-acre site near the Williamstown, Mass., line for $329,000, according to Doreen Coones, of Monarch Realty Inc.

The building, which Talmi Entertainment plans to use for storage related to the tours, contains 17,844 square feet of floor space, according to the real estate ad, and use of the site dates to 1965. It was offered for sale for $399,000.

The furniture business was operated for many years by the Armstrong family of Pownal before closing about three years ago. For a time, a section of the building housed Hoppy Valley Organics Vermont Tasting Room, which was linked to a local hops growing business.

Dan Talmi, the producer of Talmi Entertainment, said Thursday that the business was looking for space to store performance sets, props, gear and other items associated with the ballet tours. Talmi had used space at the partially closed Berkshire Mall in Lanesborough, Mass., but there were concerns about "the ownership situation" regarding the mall complex, he said.

"We had been looking around, and Pownal fit the bill," he said.

Renovations have begun, Talmi said, and the former furniture complex should soon be "filled to the brim" with tour-related material.

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The move to Pownal is temporarily on hold, he added, because of Vermont's restrictions on business activity during the coronavirus emergency.

200 shows annually

Talmi Entertainment presents some 200 Moscow Ballet shows a year in 150 cities, Talmi said, primarily in November and December.

According to the website, Talmi Entertainment has presented international dance performances since 1972 and "regularly packages national tours from conception to execution on all levels."

Talmi produces "the annual `Great Russian Nutcracker' tour, consisting of three Russian companies of award-winning dancers, creative team, and road team touring simultaneously from coast to coast in the U.S. and Canada," reaching a total theater audience nationwide of about 200,000, according to the website.

The business, which is now headquartered on East Housatonic Street in Pittsfield, was founded by Dan Talmi's parents, Akiva Talmi and Mary Giannone Talmi.

Jim Therrien writes for New England Newspapers in Southern Vermont, including the Bennington Banner, Brattleboro Reformer and Manchester Journal. Twitter: @BB_therrien


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