I mentioned in my prelude to this performance that colleagues from my dance company would join me for the performance. I thought you might be interested to read a dancer/choreographer's experience of the event. Allow me, then, to share with you Kristyn McGeehan's perspective:
I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t seen a performance by the Atlanta Ballet in years. As a dancer in this city that’s an awful thing to admit. Its even worse now that I realize what I’ve been missing all this time.
Friday night I attended Mozart's Magic Flute along with the pre-show lecture by choreographer Mark Godden. I love pre-show talks, getting to know what was going through the choreographer’s mind, how the work made it from their brain to the stage. All of that intrigues me. In this instance I found it to not merely be entertaining, but nearly essential. I’d heard the score for the Magic Flute before but knew nothing of the opera’s tale. Without the pre-show information I fear the nuances Godden brought to piece when he translated it to a ballet would have eluded me.
Godden’s work reminded me why I fell in love with ballet as a child. Mozart's Magic Flute was whimsical and magical, with a hefty dose of humor. The story was compelling and beautifully expressed through the movement. The dancers themselves portrayed the roles exquisitely, but what impressed me was that the individual movements were able to tell the tale instead of relying solely upon the dancers’ acting to convey the story. Far too often choreographers create beautiful movement that is incidental to the story. They trust to facial expressions and liner notes to keep the audience up to speed. Godden instead created a rich vocabulary that allowed the dancers to truly live in their roles. I think the highest praise I can give as a dancer is that I wanted to be in those movements. It was difficult to sit still, but that’s my favorite way to watch a show – at the edge of my seat, yearning to be up on the stage.
There are two more performances of Mozart's Magic Flute this Friday and Saturday evening at 8pm
at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available online and in person through the Atlanta Ballet. Discounted tickets will be available on the day of each show thru AtlanTIX.