Scarlet 2018: Lorianne Barclay

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!

Lorianne Barclay (Placidia) and Samuel Opsal ("Doctor" Chillingworth) in rehearsal for  Scarlet .

Lorianne Barclay (Placidia) and Samuel Opsal ("Doctor" Chillingworth) in rehearsal for Scarlet.

Solo Artist Lorianne Barclay

Q. Tell us about your character. 

A. I dance the role of Placidia, one of the four Puritan women who are characters pulled out of the community of the town. The four Puritan women put on huge facades in their interactions with Hester, Dimmesdale & Chillingworth. They want to look wise, put together, and respected in the town. My particular character is a widowed mother who is often offended by Hester, seeking pity from Dimmesdale, and trying to remain in good standings with the Doctor (Chillingworth).

Q. What is your character's emotional arc?

A. The plot gets thick quickly. In the second scene in the first act, Hester enters the stage with her newborn baby girl and everyone is immediately casting judgments. As the story progresses, my character keeps up my facade to look respectable, but underneath I’m holding in hurt and brokenness. This ends up causing me to become neglectful and angry towards my own children. It builds in act two to a point when Hester can see through my facade. I finally see my own brokenness alongside Hester’s and am able to lay it down to find true redemption and forgiveness.    


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

A. I have enjoyed revisiting this ballet for the second time. I feel like my character’s story has become more clear. I am finding new depth to draw out in some of the smaller and seemingly overlooked scenes on stage where there are large crowds.

Q. How has the story of Scarlet impacted you?

A. I think we all have tasted a glimpse of Hester’s life at some point in our lives - of being judged prematurely. Personally, it is a reminder to be quick to extend grace. In many ways, it reminds me of this quote by Spurgeon: “The more grace we have, the less we shall think of ourselves, for grace, like light, reveals our impurity.”

Q. What is your favorite part of the ballet?

A. I love the sewing dance in act two. It is an all women cast that showcases an epic climax of drama and our filth in sin. Usually by this point in the ballet, I feel tired and fatigued physically. To show that level of extreme raw emotion is gratifying.

Q. Why see Scarlet?

A. If you love good drama and climax that make you sit on the edge of your seat, this is the ballet for you! You will be transported to a society unlike our own, and yet, a mirror image of our struggles today. But no worries, it won’t leave you dark and depressed. Instead you will be pleasantly surprised by the journey this story takes you on.