A Ballet 5:8 tradition, we are catching up with the dancers for some insights on the creation of Ballet 5:8's full length ballet/film hybrid Scarlet.
Solo Artist Laura Schlatter
Q. Tell us about your character. What is your character’s role in the story?
A. My character's name is Prudence. She is the oldest member of the Puritan society, cold and bitter toward those younger and more spirited. She has a secret sin but hides it well underneath her false sense of piety and devotion to Reverend Dimmesdale. Prudence is the instigator of Hester Prynne's trial in Act One of our story.
Q. What has been the most fun about learning your character and the choreography? The most challenging?
A. Before we began the choreographic process of the ballet, the lead characters had the opportunity to sit down with Artistic Director Julianna Slager and delve deep into creating our backstories and how we are all connected in the storyline. That process of character development struck a chord of imagination in all of us that began what we would later learn to be called an "Internal Monologue." The challenge is keeping your internal monologue consistent, but not boring!
Q. How does the movement convey your character? The overall story?
A. Prudence holds true to her age in the way she interacts with the other puritans. Her boldness in movement exemplifies her prejudice in spirit.
Q. Tell us about your experience during the creation of the film elements. Have you ever been in a movie before?
A. Other than appearing in a TV commercial when I was 5 (and not even realizing what was happening!), I've never experienced working with professionals in film. Knowing that your face would be blown up to the size of a car, on a screen, for the public to see, made me slightly hesitant in my efforts. What if I look like a freak! What if I don't convey the right emotion? But Preston Miller and his team were so great. They assured all of us that we were doing great! And that if we didn't look good already... they'd make us look good! Haha!
Q. Why see Scarlet?
A. Artistically, this will be the most unique ballet you've ever seen. Emotionally, the story will leave you feeling raw and convicted, thinking deeper about subjects you heeded not too significant. Physically, we have put too much work into this for you NOT to see it! As I write this, both knees are aching! Please, just come.