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.
Solo Artist Lorianne Barclay
Q. What role(s) have you been dancing?
A. I dance the role of Sarah who appears in multiple sections spread out throughout the ballet. Sarah is married to Frank. They have an encounter in the Valley where she tries to explain the beauty and love of God to Frank and how it surpasses any amount of Love earth could afford. As Lewis writes in the book, “You cannot love a fellow creature fully till you love God.”
Q. Based on your experience so far, how would you describe The Space in Between?
A. In the preface Lewis presents this story as, “An imaginative proposal.” Ballet 5:8 has played off Lewis’ original intent in this ballet. In that sense, The Space In Between takes any preconceived ideas of afterlife and puts it in a new light.
Q. Describe the movement. What has been easy to capture and perform? Challenging?
A. I think the most challenging aspect of the movement I personally perform is to convey things outside our earthly emotions. For example, in the Valley my character pleads for her husband to follow her up the mountain to Heaven and yet she cannot feel sorrow when he refuses and is over taken by his ego/pride. As Lewis states, it would be blackmail if those in hell could rob the joy of those in heaven. While this isn’t a natural response on earth, it is logical in context. Trying to walk the fine line of compassion and yet complete and unaffected joy. On the flip side, it is very rewarding to press into the joyful flowing movement found in the last scene which portrays heaven.
Q. How has the story impacted you?
A. Having read the book multiple times prior to this ballet Lewis gives a reality check of what our earthly lives may look on the other side. We all have a choice in how we live. One of my favorite quote from the book is,
“No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.”
Q. Why see The Space in Between?
A. Not a topic we often choose to discuss, but one I would challenge deserves every bit of our attention, even after the curtain falls. The Space In Between gives Lewis’ imaginative proposal new light, a visual reality and a breathtaking teaser of the pearly gates.