Ballet 5:8 Artistic Director Julianna Slager's Eden premiered at the Beverly Arts Center in Chicago on February 27th. It will go onstage again in Jackson MI, Denver CO, and Fort Wayne IN as part of Ballet 5:8's Out of the Dust program. Eden asks, have you sit back and really imagined what the creation could have looked looked like? Those first days? Slager uses playful yet technical, bold, and neoclassical choreography to paint a moving, colorful picture of those first days. This month, we decided to catch up with the cast from Eden and get a behind-the-scenes look at the creation process behind the ballet.
Q. Of the roles you dance in Eden, which is your favorite or stands out to you?
A. I personally really enjoy dancing the piece "Birds and Fish" just because it is really quirky and fun! Julianna's choreography combined with the music she selected for this section of the ballet, in my opinion, captures the weird and funny but also elegant characteristics of those animals, it is just fun!
Q. What has the creation process been like for the choreography?
A. The creation process has been really interesting for Eden because, for a significant number of the pieces, we are representing and telling the story of aspects in creation that are difficult even to describe in words and which science can not fully understand or explain! It was wonderful to watch the ballet unfold as the company explored how to best do this through movement.
Q. How does the movement communicate?
A. I think that across the ballet, Julianna was able to capture a kind of essence for each phase of creation through the choreography - each piece has a distinct character and style which work to describe that specific component, as well as the various characteristics of that particular aspect of creation.
Q. What has been most enjoyable/most challenging about tackling the role?
A. I think the most enjoyable part about playing the role of "Human" is simply the time and ability to reflect on what it would have been like to be the first created human being - with out death, or pain, or suffering, and being able to literally walk with the Lord in His very presence! At the same time, this presents one of the most challenging parts because it is difficult for me to truly grasp what this must have been like...
Q. Why see Eden?
There are so many reasons. The music and choreography are beautiful, so if nothing else, come to enjoy beautiful art! However, in addition to that, I think the ballet allows time for unique reflection about Creation that you will not be able to experience by another means.