Scarlet 2018: Antonio Rosario

A Ballet 5:8 tradition, we are catching up with the dancers for their insights on bringing our full length ballet/film hybrid Scarlet back to the stage for our Spring 2018 Season!

 Antonio Rosario (Arthur Dimmesdale) and Brette Benedict (Hester Prynne) in rehearsal for  Scarlet .

Antonio Rosario (Arthur Dimmesdale) and Brette Benedict (Hester Prynne) in rehearsal for Scarlet.

Solo Artist Antonio Rosario

Q. Tell us about your character. 

A. I am playing the role of Arthur Dimmesdale in Scarlet. He is the pastor of the Puritans; he is also the lover of Hester Prynne and the father of Pearl. Dimmesdale's role in the ballet is to demonstrate what unconfessed sin does to a person and how it can slowly but surely deteriorate the person from within and cause physical sickness, unstable emotions, and broken relationships.

Q. What is your character's emotional arc?

A. In the beginning of the ballet, Dimmesdale starts with a reserved attitude but still complying to how the Puritans treat Hester. Dimmesdale slowly starts to step in to protect Hester and the child Pearl. He shows compassion as the pastor, and the villagers praise him for his goodness and holy acts. This sets him in a downward spiral due to the shame he faces for not facing the truth. His health becomes visibly worse as the ballet progresses. He attempts several times to reach out the Puritans, but he is turned down. Dimmesdale comes to a place of restlessness with his secret and finally reveals that he is the father of Pearl and the man who committed adultery with Hester - ultimately dying in the arms of Hester from a heart attack.

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Q.  This role was created on you when Scarlet premiered in March 2017 - what is it like revisiting your character a year later?

A. It's a joy to revisit a role you have danced before because you get to continue the progress of working out the meaning behind every gesture and movement since the steps are mostly the same and the attention can shift to understanding the role. We have really been able to focus our attention on the story and develop the connection each character has with the others. I have a much better understanding of Dimmesdale this time around than last year. Digging into the rehearsal process this year has been especially wonderful.

Q. How has the story of Scarlet impacted you?

A. The rehearsal process of Scarlet has shown me how great the grace of God is. Everyone is doing such a fantastic job in portraying how the Puritans in the story acted when sin was found out. We've also reflected on how Jesus reacted to the many people he came across with their "Scarlet 'A'" - Jesus was compassionate in the way he told the truth and showed incredible love and kindness. It has reminded me to stay humble and to be more willing to serve others.

Q. What is your favorite part of the ballet?

A. Too many parts! I like the Trial Scene in the first act. Here, Dimmesdale is seen defending Hester, while everyone else is condemning her for her sin. I also really like the Act II pas de deux with Hester where Dimmesdale is wanting to reconcile with Hester. The movement is dynamic but tender in other parts. Love can be seen for a few moments and deep sorrow is demonstrated through the choreography.

Q. Why see Scarlet?

A. Scarlet brings a much-needed message for the time we live in. I love that there is hope at the end of ballet seeing that healing is possible for everyone who accepts Christ into their life. Sin is real and the consequences are real, but Jesus Christ has defeated them both!