Ripple Effect: Beth Patterson

Ballet 5:8's repertory program The Stor(ies) of You and Me returns to the stage this spring in cities across the nation. One of the great things about a repertory program is the variety - both for the audience and the dancers! With five different works presented in Stor(ies), there is truly something for everyone watching. There is also quite the depth of experience available - the works represent a wide range of movement styles, emotion and stories told. This winter and spring, we'll continue digging into this depth of experience as we check in with the dancers and hear about their experiences preparing for Stor(ies) behind the scenes.

Company Artist Beth Patterson

Q. Based on your experience so far, how would you describe Ripple Effect?

A. Ripple Effect is about the powerful effect that words have on people, and how they create a negative ripple effect through our community if we let gossip, slander, and lies to permeate our thoughts and conversations. 

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

A. I have been dancing the role of one of the three gossip women. These three women are stuck in a terrible pattern of gossiping and judging others. They do this to try to cover any of their own faults and insecurities about themselves. This negative cycle causes more lies to circulate and creates and downward spiral for everyone involved. 

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

A. The movement is very distorted and it may not look pretty all of the time. Our lines and movement quality are exaggerated and stretch to their limits. These ugly positions that we make reflect who we are as people and show our bad intention and lack of compassion for people. 

Q. How do you get into your character?

A. To get into character, I have to change my intent and line of thinking. All of the tendencies of being judgmental or catty that are usually suppressed have to be released and brought out. It can be difficult at times and it doesn’t always feel great. I also have to bring intention to my quality of movement instead of focusing so much on things like technique and correct body placement that is so important in ballet.

Q. Why see Ripple Effect?

A. Ripple Effect has a serious and dark message. It is dramatic, emotional, and riveting. It will leave you feeling more mindful of others and how the small things we say and do effect the people around us.