Torie Arrington on Belteshazzar

Ballet 5:8's Belteshazzar: A Perilous Tale went onstage for the first time in February, 2015. One of Ballet 5:8's largest-scale undertakings at the time, the full length, three-act story ballet set to the music of Benjamin Britten was a beautiful success and a favorite among audience members who saw it during the 2014-2015 season. This performing season, Belteshazzar has returned to the stage for a second round of performances - but what's changed? As final performance of the season looms closer in May, we are catching up with a few of the dancers to see how the work has evolved and what some of the highlights of its run have been. 

Torie Arrington

Q. What role do you play in Belteshazzar?

 A. I play Abednego as well as a Magistrate in Act 3.

Q. What are some of the major attributes/characteristics of your character and your role? 

A. Abednego is a very courageous person. Although he is a gentle person, he holds fast to his convictions and is not willing to cave to the pressures encountered in Babylon. When his faith is tested (multiple times), he looks to the Lord for guidance.

The Magistrates, on the other hand, are only focused on themselves and on obtaining a higher status in the kingdom. They are conniving and jealous, and they do not have any faith in God.

Q. How does the choreography communicate this?  

A. All of Abednego’s movements are very strong. The choreography and miming together show how sure Abednego and his friends are of their God! The magistrates move in a way that that is very envious and sneaky. You can tell even by our walk that we are up to no good!    

Q. How has the role evolved for you from last year?

 A. Abednego is a new role for me! It has been exciting to dive into this new character in the story!

Growing the magistrate character has been one of my favorite experiences. I have really enjoyed finding the areas in the story where I can be even more malicious than last year.

Q. What are your favorite parts? Most Challenging?

A. Act 2 is definitely my favorite and most challenging part of the ballet! It is very emotionally and technically challenging for me. I have loved having the opportunity to really push myself to the extreme in both of those areas.

Q. Why see Belteshazzar again?

A. It is always great to see a ballet for a second (or third!) time because you will notice things you missed the first time. There are so many details laced throughout this three act ballet that it is nearly impossible to catch everything only seeing it once. You won’t regret coming to watch this ballet again!