Ballet 5:8 Artistic Director Julianna Slager's newest creation, Interplay, will go onstage for the first time this February in both the Mirrors of the Mind and Out of the Dust programs. The abstract ballet explores concepts drawn from the book of Proverbs and employs an angular, geometric movement style that Slager touched on for the first time in her 2014 Indwelling. This month, we decided to catch up with the soloists from Interplay for some insight into the work's main characters.
Lead Company Artist Lauren Ader-Cumpston
Q. What is your character? What is your character’s personality like?
A. My character is called "The Human." She is the character in the ballet who is found caught in the middle of a decision. She finds her own thoughts intermingling with the influences of Wisdom and Folly.
Q. How does that personality come out in your character’s choreography?
A. At many instances during the ballet, "The Human" finds herself torn between the persuasion of Folly and the prudent guidance of Wisdom. The choreography reflects this back-and-forth in the character's mind as she wrestles with the complex interaction between her own thoughts, the admonishment of the Wisdom, and the lure of Folly. My character experiences states of chaos, peace, confusion, fear, among others, and these are all reflected wonderfully in Julianna's choreography.
Q. What has been the most fun about taking on your role, emotionally and/or technically?
A. This role is very different from anything I have performed with Ballet 5:8 before - I enjoy the process of developing a new character and continuing to explore different kinds of movement.
Q. What has been the most challenging about taking on your role?
A. "The Human" is an interesting and challenging character to play as the ballet takes place in her mind, in the synapses of her brain. Thoughts are sometimes fleeting and chaotic, and at others are focused and drawn out. Reflecting the nature of thoughts, and at the same time the content of those thoughts, through dance, is a fun challenge!
Q. Why come to see Interplay?
A. This work is quite abstract in some ways, but at the same time carries a narrative - I think that in watching this piece the audience will be able to both understand what is taking place on stage and, at the same time, walk away with their own reflections and conclusions about what they have just watched. It is going to make you think, in a good way!