dance flash @ the appeal: the christmas ballet

An excerpt from my preview of Smuin Ballet's "The Christmas Ballet" at the SF Appeal:

Don't get me wrong; I love a good "Nutcracker." But what does it really have to do with Christmas? Is the underlying theme, "X-mas is all just a dream!" Or, heavens no, that there really is a magical Sugar Plum Fairy who can whisk you away at a moment's notice to a land filled with high fructose corn syrup and red dye #40, and that Jesus nursed on candy and coffee during his first night in the manger?

Either way, I was skeptical about Smuin Ballet's "The Christmas Ballet." The name slightly scares me. It's not the holiday ballet; it's focused on Christmas. Yikes. But I checked out the first half Wednesday afternoon at the company's dress rehearsal and now feel semi-reassured.

For the entire article, go here.

photo by smuin ballet

also, last week was hectic, and i didn't get a chance to post a link to my interview with catherine galasso. here's an excerpt and link.

"lightning never strikes the same place twice" was selected to be presented at the 2006 skena up international theater and film festival in pristina, kosovo, where it received the new spirit award for most original outreach in theater. i'm a dance geek, so i have to admit, i don't know what "original outreach in theater" means. would you help me out, in layman's terms?

i think the "original outreach" part was just a poor translation. it means, "most original," i guess. there were awards for "best director" and "best theater show." i don't think they had ever seen anything quite as cross disciplinary as our "lightning" piece, but they really liked it so they gave it this special award. brandt adams, who plays the lead in "lightning," was awarded "best actor" which is hilarious because he doesn't utter a single word during the entire show! brandt is definitely a great actor and an exceptional mover.

you're remounting "lightning," which is based on the real-life story of roy sullivan, a man who was struck by lightning seven times during his lifetime. what drew you to his story?

originally i wanted to make a piece about a character that goes on a quest or journey. roy sullivan's story seemed to fit perfectly. there is not a ton of biographical information available about sullivan, but based on what i've read, it seems like he had a really hard time being close with the people around him. we made up new characters that are to exist in sullivan's psyche. we use video sequences to tell the story of the real sullivan, and to describe some of the medical consequences of a lightning encounter. the live sequences are an interpretation of sullivan's hallucinations, and his love for an imaginary woman made of electrical cords.

ok, gotta ask, have you ever been struck by lightning?


for more, go here.

No comments: