Surprised by Joy: Samuel Opsal

Ballet 5:8's repertory program The Stor(ies) of You and Me returns to the stage this spring in cities across the nation. One of the great things about a repertory program is the variety - both for the audience and the dancers! With five different works presented in Stor(ies), there is truly something for everyone watching. There is also quite the depth of experience available - the works represent a wide range of movement styles, emotion and stories told. This winter and spring, we'll continue digging into this depth of experience as we check in with the dancers and hear about their experiences preparing for Stor(ies) behind the scenes.

Senior Apprentice Samuel Opsal

Q. Based on your experience so far, how would you describe Surprised by Joy?

A. Surprised by Joy follows the journey of a man stricken with the grief of losing his wife. During the course of the ballet he finds a way to be joyful despite the devastating loss.

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

A. I have been dancing the male embodiment of joy.

Q.  Describe the movement. Any surprises?

A. The movement relates to a classical ballet aesthetic and technique while highlighting the athleticism of precision of the entire ballet company. It has been exciting to see the growth of all of us dancers throughout the rigorous rehearsal and performance process.

Q. How do you relate to the work? 

A. I am thankful to have a joy that I experience through faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. What I have enjoyed about this work is finding ways to express that joy outwardly in a way that is different from my everyday life where I tend to internalize what I am feeling.

Q. Why see Surprised by Joy?

A. Surprised by Joy presents the audience with a wide range of emotions. The piece ends with a high-energy sequence with a stage full of dancers that is not to be missed.