New Orleans Ballet Association opens its 2013-14 season on 10/4 with The North American Premiere of Scottish Ballet’s A Streetcar Named Desire
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Orleans Ballet Association opens its 2013-14 season on 10/4 with
The North American Premiere of Scottish Ballet's A Streetcar Named Desire
"A tour-de-force and blazing new work..." The Herald
NEW ORLEANS, LA - The New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA) opens its 2013-14 season with the North American premiere of Scottish Ballet's critically acclaimed full-evening ballet, A Streetcar Named Desire, at the Mahalia Jackson Theater on Friday, October 4 at 8 pm. This bold and daring production created a sensation across Britain and won the South Bank Award for Best Dance Production and the Critic's Circle National Dance Award for Best Classical Choreography.
New Orleans takes center stage in this extraordinary adaptation of Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece. Scottish Ballet paired award-winning theater and film director Nancy Meckler, renowned for her work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, with internationally acclaimed choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa to create this tour-de-force full-length ballet, recommended for mature audiences.
Hailed as "heartbreakingly beautiful" (The Independent) and "simply gripping from start to finish" (STV.tv), the gorgeous ensemble of 30 dancers infuse drama and dance to brilliantly tell the iconic story of fading Southern belle, Blanche DuBois, her sister, Stella, and Stella's brutish husband, Stanley. Set to a jazz-inspired score by acclaimed British television, film and theater composer, Peter Salem, and with striking vintage styled costumes and sets by designer Niki Turner, "the whole production is a seamless blend of music, dance and drama." Londondance.com.
When Tennessee Williams began writing his play A Streetcar Named Desire, he toyed with calling it The Moth. The ballet's opening image scene takes its inspiration from that title with the key image of young Blanche DuBois dancing under a bare light bulb. She is a delicate creature fluttering towards the light, a light which attracts but which will also burn. Unlike Williams' play and in a bold plot move, Meckler and Ochoa present Blanche's story chronologically, revealing the awful circumstances behind her fateful arrival at her sister Stella's apartment on Elysian Fields Avenue by the infamous New Orleans streetcar.
"There is no past tense in dance," says Ochoa. Instead, the audience witnesses DuBois' tragic backstory, including the failure of her marriage, her husband's suicide and the loss of her family home. These elements are presented in a clever and an entirely new theatrical way. Of the countless revivals in the 65 years since it was first performed, this wordless retelling is intimate and immediate.
"Our scenario is very much based on the play, but it becomes a very different experience," says Meckler. "We can show the audience things that were only talked about in the stage or the screen versions." Of note, this production marks Meckler's first time directing professional dancers and Ochoa's first full-length narrative ballet.
Salem's superb commissioned score includes a diverse combination of live and recorded music matching lyrically classical strings to accompany love and heartbreak, and upbeat jazz to transport action to the vibrant nightlife of New Orleans.
Turner's industrial sets transform a very stark stage with exposed light bulbs hang from the ceiling and rectangular blocks that the dancers move to create the set pieces and furniture from beds and bar stools to hotel signs. Her vivid, vintage-style costumes provide a touch of 1950s glamour.
Tickets ranging from $20-$80 may be purchased through the New Orleans Ballet Association Box Office at (504) 522-0996 or online at www.nobadance.com, and through Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com. Discounts are available for students, seniors, and groups. All audience members are invited to join artistic director Christopher Hampson, choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and director Nancy Meckler at 7:00 pm upstairs on the Mezzanine, Level M2, of the Mahalia Jackson Theater for a pre-performance talk.
Scottish Ballet In the Community
Through the Chevron Master Artist Series, choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, director Nancy Meckler, and members of the company will conduct a series of outreach activities October 2-5, including master classes in ballet and repertory based on scenes from A Streetcar Named Desire for the NORDC/NOBA Center for Dance and partner institutions, and workshops for schools.
About Scottish Ballet
Scottish Ballet is Scotland's National Dance Company, presenting a wide range of high-quality dance to audiences across Scotland, the UK, and abroad. With strong classical technique at the root of all of its work, the company's repertoire includes new versions of classic titles, as well as seminal modern works