Samuel Opsal: 2017/18 Season Reflections

Our Sixth Season has come to a close, and it's time to look back on the year and see what stood out to the dancers.


Samuel Opsal

Q. Pick one word to describe this season overall. Why?

A. I think the word “current” describes this season well in a couple of ways. First, the Compass bill dealt directly with current events through the lens of compassion. The second reason relates to the second meaning of the word. With so many performances, new choreography and the restaging of the full-length ballet Scarlet it has felt as though this year has been swept along by a strong current with time flying by. 

Q. What was your favorite moment onstage?

Samuel Opsal rehearsing the role of Roger Chillingworth in  Scarlet .

Samuel Opsal rehearsing the role of Roger Chillingworth in Scarlet.

A. There is a moment in Scarlet when I come to center stage and snap my fingers which then creates a dream like scene change. It was very simple in a way but for me that was the point right before my character of Chillingworth has his climax in the ballet and with the lights and dancers dramatically shifting around me I always found that moment to be exhilarating.

Q. Looking back, would you say that you learned something new about yourself or found yourself stretched out of your comfort zone?

A. I think one of the amazing things about the operation of a company the size of Ballet 5:8 is how all the details get accomplished. This past year I have grown in my knowledge of lighting setup and tech. I was also pushed outside of my comfort zone as I drove a cargo van with all the props, sets and costumes of Scarlet through Oklahoma in dark and rainy conditions.

Q. Is there a particular quote or idea that has been inspirational to you this season?

A. With this season’s piece Shades of Refrain being based on the book of Psalms, I have been doing a lot of thinking on that book and found inspiration in several chapters in Psalms. A specific verse from one of them is Psalm 8:1 which states: “O Lord, our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.” As we toured through many beautiful areas across the US, I have been constantly reminded of his glory!

Q. What are you up to this summer?

A. First off I will be performing as a guest artist with Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts in Pilgrim’s Progress on the second weekend of May. During July through August I look forward to teaching in Ballet 5:8’s Summer Intensive. In addition to all of that I will be looking to find some time of rest and recovery as I prepare for next season!