The Space in Between: Jessica Lohr

Ballet 5:8’s fall program includes Artistic Director Julianna Rubio Slager’s brand new ballet The Space in Between, a story inspired by C. S. Lewis’ novel The Great Divorce. Throughout this 2018/19 Season, we'll be checking in with the dancers to hear about their experiences preparing for and performing The Space in Between.

 Company Artist Jessica Lohr rehearsing the role of the Lustful Ghost in the Valley of the Shadow of Life movement from  The Space in Between .

Company Artist Jessica Lohr rehearsing the role of the Lustful Ghost in the Valley of the Shadow of Life movement from The Space in Between.

Company Artist Jessica Lohr

Q. What role(s) have you been dancing?

A. I am playing a citizen of Grey Town and the Lustful Ghost. The character of the Lustful Ghost is tormented by a lizard that represents the misplaced desires that consume her. In the book, The Great Divorce, the lizard sits on the ghost’s shoulder, ever whispering in the ghost’s ear. My character feels powerless to the lizard and has given up on trying to resist it. When heavenly Spirits come to offer her an answer to her turmoil she finds immense freedom. This is one of my favorite scenes in the book, so to be able to portray it in the ballet has been an honor and a challenge.

Q. Based on your experience so far, how would you describe The Space in Between?

A. The Space in Between has been an extremely exciting piece to be a part of. It is surprising and insightful. It shows both grit and beauty, and whimsically wraps it all into a deeply profound story.

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Q. Describe the movement. What has been easy to capture and perform? Challenging?

A. The movement styles of this ballet are very versatile, but are all extremely physical! There is lots sliding, throwing, and falling involved, which will be exciting to watch. Grey Town has a contained chaos feel to it, as the characters in this are completely self focused, uncaring of the issues going on around them. Each of the characters has a story to tell and engrossing myself in my characters’ stories has been one of my favorite parts of this process.

Q. How has the story impacted you?

A. The story has impacted me in that in this world of ghosts and spirits C.S. Lewis has created I can see a reflection of the very real world we live in. Many hard questions are posed in this ballet that most people, I believe, often ask themselves. To me, this story feels like a safe place where it’s okay to ask these questions. There is also light and truth found even within the hardest questions, and this story works to present that.

Q. Why see The Space in Between?

A. This ballet is truly unique to any other I have ever danced in! It will take viewers to places they might not expect and lead them to a place of light and beauty.