Ballet 5:8's program Compass returns to the stage this spring in cities across the nation. Made up of four individual one-act ballets, one of the great things about Compass is its variety - both for the audience and the dancers! The works in Compass represent a wide range of movement styles, emotion and stories told, so there is truly something for everyone watching. Throughout this 2017/18 Season, we'll be checking in with the dancers to hear about their experiences preparing for and performing Compass: Navigating Cultural Tension with Compassion.
Company Apprentice Jessica Lohr
Q. What role(s) have you been dancing?
A. Strangers and Angels shifts between 1917 during the Armenian Genocide, and 2017 during the Syrian Refugee Crisis. I am dancing the role of a refugee in the Syrian Refugee Crisis.
Q. Based on your experience so far, how would you describe Strangers and Angels?
A. Strangers and Angels approaches the reality of being displaced due to war with an outlook of compassion and hopefulness. It acknowledges the pain and resilience of those affected and dares one to look at the issue through their eyes. I would best describe this work as hopeful.
Q. Describe the movement. Any surprises?
A. The movement of the 2017 piece is a really fun mix of pedestrian and rich, full movement. It has been a unique experience to be able to combine the technical aspects of dance with the casual nuances that make us human. This piece is filled with surprises - it is a fast-paced piece, and a lot of the movement carries deeper symbolism. See if you can catch some it!
Q. What do you most enjoy about the work?
A. I enjoy so much about this work! The music and choreography is really so unique and exciting. I also find it very meaningful and challenging to put myself in the shoes of a fellow human being going through such circumstances.
Q. Why see Strangers and Angels?
A. Strangers and Angels gives a truly unique approach to storytelling. It is a piece that brings forth beauty and pain, thought and hope.