Scarlet: Samuel Opsal

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.

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Senior Apprentice Samuel Opsal

Q. Tell us about your character. 

A. I play the role of Roger Chillingsworth. My character is a psychopath who is in married to Hester. Throughout he ballet he antagonizes Hester and Dimmesdale in various dark demented ways.

Q. What has been the most fun about learning your character and the choreography? The most challenging?

A. I have enjoyed being part of the creation process, both the character development and in the choreography. Once the steps were set I have had had time to develop idiosyncrasies to make my character creepier. The challenging part has been that I play an older character. To convey the age I carry a lot of tension in my upper back. Doing that while partnering has made me quite sore during the rehearsal process.

Q. How does the movement convey your character? The overall story?

A. As I mentioned earlier the posture I have is a starting point for my character. During the scenes in which I torment other characters the choreography drives the story forward through the way I interact with others.

Q. Tell us about your experience during the creation of the film elements. Have you ever been in a movie before?

A. The creation of the film allowed for further investigation on how to portray Chillingsworth. In the film I was able to use more subtlety that wouldn’t read on stage. I have been in some small film projects in college, but nothing at the professional level of Scarlet.

Q. Why see Scarlet?

A. Scarlet tackles tough material in a riveting way using many artistic mediums. Dance, film, spoken word, and an interactive set work together to bring the intense story of Scarlet to life in a captivating way.