All God's Children: Samuel Opsal

Ballet 5:8's fall program Compass premieres this October. Made up of four individual one-act ballets, one of the great things about Compass is its variety - both for the audience and the dancers! The works in Compass represent a wide range of movement styles, emotion and stories told, so there is truly something for everyone watching. Throughout this 2017/18 Season, we'll be checking in with the dancers to hear about their experiences preparing for and performing Compass: Navigating Cultural Tension with Compassion.

Company Artist Samuel Opsal

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Q. Based on your experience so far, how would you describe All God's Children?

A. All God's Children is an extremely visual piece in which the costumes are integral to the piece as a whole. As the dancers personify the rhythm of the music, the work transports you to a world in which culture is being created.

Q. What role(s) have you been dancing?

A. I am dancing in the second culture wearing teal costumes. In this world we capture the essence of water.

Q.  Describe the movement. What has been easy to capture and perform? Challenging?

A. The movement is rhythmic throughout with some sections emphasizing line while others showcase powerful dynamic change. There has been an ease for me to the choreography in my section since it has a flow where movements transition naturally from one to the next. The challenge has been that I don't ever stop dancing during my section of piece and had to build stamina to keep up with intensity of the choreography.

Q. What do you most enjoy about the work?

A. I most enjoy the partnering in this piece. Some of it is quite fast and intricate but it all feels highly intuitive.

Q. Why see All God's Children?

A. During the course of all six movements in All God's Children, many different styles can be seen - effortless partnering, virtuosic turns, and fast footwork - all culminating in an ending that might surprise you!