Scarlet 2018: Emily Ratkos

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!

Emily Ratkos (Far Right) with Samuel Opsal ("Doctor" Chillingworth) and Ballet 5:8 artists of the company in rehearsal for  Scarlet .

Emily Ratkos (Far Right) with Samuel Opsal ("Doctor" Chillingworth) and Ballet 5:8 artists of the company in rehearsal for Scarlet.

Company Apprentice Emily Ratkos

Q. Tell us about your character. 

A. In Scarlet, my character is Prudence, a high-standing member of the Puritan community whose story is highlighted throughout the ballet. She is one of four women who interacts more directly with Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth, and her opinions about the issues this village faces are well-respected. Prudence is a strong, self-righteous leader in the community who takes it upon herself to punish Hester for her sin, hoping to be met with approval and esteem from Pastor Dimmesdale and Doctor Chillingworth, all the while hiding an alcohol addiction.

Q. What is your character's emotional arc?

A. In the Trial scene of Act One, Prudence's outrage is quite transparent. Hester has betrayed the purity of this community, and my character wants her to suffer the consequences of it. I demand the crime be met with a harsh punishment, unveiling my hardened heart, provoked by judgment, a plea for justice, and the rituals of my idealistic beliefs. In the second act, my coldness and severity towards Hester is still present, but even more so is the feeling of losing control of my own life. I try to hide behind the comfort of something that ultimately loosens my grip with reality, telling myself I have done no wrong. My conscience and heart are finally struck at the end of the ballet, and I begin to find true forgiveness.  

Q. Having been part of the original cast when Scarlet premiered in March 2017, what is it like revisiting the ballet a year later?

A. Revisiting Scarlet has been a growing experience both technically and artistically, as we push to bring renewed clarity to the storyline and strengthen intent. I felt challenged to step into a new role, but it has been exciting to see this character unfold.

Q. How has the story of Scarlet impacted you?

A. The story of Scarlet has been a good reminder to me of the power of sharing each other's burdens and the willingness to be transparent, to love one another unconditionally and the importance of grace.

Q. What is your favorite part of the ballet?

A. If I had to pick a favorite part of Scarlet, it would probably be the Act Two pas de deux between Hester and Dimmesdale. There is such a level of vulnerability and expression in that piece, and you can clearly comprehend the conversation they are having.

Q. Why see Scarlet?

A. Scarlet is a beautiful portrayal of grace and redemption in the midst of sin and hurt. It is a story that is made relevant today and will stay with you for a while.