Scarlet 2018: Brette Benedict

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!

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Lead Artist Brette Benedict

Q. What is your character’s role in the story?

A. I play the part of Hester Prynne. Hester is married to Roger Chillingworth. Chillingworth had been gone for a couple of years and Hester finds herself having a baby with Arthur Dimmesdale. The entire Puritan community absolutely hates Hester and the fact that she has brought shame to their community.

Q. What is your character's emotional arc?

A. Hester begins the ballet in utter distress, about to be put on trial for the sin that she committed. Once the sentencing of wearing the Scarlet "A" has been placed upon her, the arc of the ballet slowly begins towards an upward trajectory to redemption. Hester eventually accepts her mistakes and seeks forgiveness from the only right Judge, God.  

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

A. Revisiting the role was a little daunting at first. From an athletic perspective, I remembered the physical struggles of dancing the role vividly - a lot of fear can set in until you face the fears head on! The good thing about time is that I've grown a lot as a person. As I've continued to push myself, I've seen the strength and stamina that has been built over time. Every fear I've had has been met head on, and the ballet has been a joy to revisit. I've enjoyed seeing the strength in not only myself but in the whole company as we have put the ballet back together. Julianna, the choreographer, has also strengthened and improved the story line through dance this year and I cannot wait for everyone to see the ballet, new and old audience members alike!

Q. How has the story of Scarlet has impacted you?

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

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

A. The story of Hester really impacts me in her development as a believer and sinner. At the beginning of Scarlet she admits to her mistakes but stands firm in truth, which to me takes courage. As we have reset the ballet and as I have dwelled on the development of the character of Hester this year, I've seen her growth more as a person and in her walk with the Lord. Her solitude gives her time to view things in a new light away from the Puritan community and begins to see and have compassion for the Puritans.

Q. What is your favorite part of the ballet?

A. I really do have so many favorite parts in the ballet! But I think what stands out the most is Hester's redemption solo at the end of the story. That, to me, is the moment of final release, the true impact that Jesus, having paid the ransom for Hester's sin, has on her.

Q. Why see Scarlet?

A. There are so many reasons anyone would enjoy this ballet! What I love most about it is the story. I get swept away with all the storylines that are woven into the ballet.