The Mother: Lorianne Barclay

Ballet 5:8's fall program Compass premieres this October. 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 (left) rehearsing  Shades of Refrain .

Solo Artist Lorianne Barclay

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

A. I dance the role of the Mother as told from the perspective of Gwendolyn Brooks (the author of the poem “The Mother” which inspired this ballet).

Q. Based on your experience so far, how would you describe The Mother?

A. The Mother sheds an unbiased light on the uncomfortable topic of abortion. It's not an easy story, but a needed one. I would describe this ballet as being similar to watching a train wreck that you just can’t look away from.

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


A. The mother’s movement in this ballet is a contrast of force and abandonment. One moment I am forcing my leg where to go, the next I’m wandering in a turn. Much of the choreography in its nature invokes the emotions felt in this piece.

Q. What do you most enjoy about the work?

A. “Enjoy” is a hard word for a serious work such as The Mother. I find it a great privilege to tell this story, so in that sense I enjoy it.  

Q. Why see The Mother?

A. I personally have always had strong options on this topic. In my personal research for this ballet, I have found that my personal stance has not changed, but that I have gained new compassion. We should be quick to listen as it says in James. That is the gift of this ballet, that everyone gets a voice - both mother and child. The Mother will no doubt move you! My hope is that it will move you to compassion.