GROUNDBREAKING BALLET-FILM STAGE ADAPTION OF AMERICAN CLASSIC AT HEMMENS IN ELGIN

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CHICAGO – Celebrating its sixth performance season, Ballet 5:8 brings its popular film/dance hybrid production inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter back to the stage at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin after the successful Chicago premiere at the Athenaeum Theatre. The company’s dramatic production pairs original choreography by Ballet 5:8 Artistic Director Julianna Rubio Slager and a stunning score by American modernist composer Charles Ives with Spoken Word created by Chicago artist Kylla Pate, and film elements directed by Alvin Ailey choreographer and film producer Preston Miller. The classic story delves into the timeless struggles of hypocrisy, shame and ultimately, the hope of redemption. After each performance, audience members are invited to discuss their experience and ask questions during open panel discussion with Slager and artists of the company. The single Chicago-area performance will be held on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 7:00pm at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin, Illinois. Tickets are $30 for adults, $24 for students and seniors, and $15 for children. Tickets can be purchased at ballet58.org or by calling 312-725-4752. Performance information is available at ballet58.org/scarlet.

Audience members at the world premiere of Scarlet described the ballet as “well done,” “spectacular,” and “brilliantly choreographed.” Scarlet follows the iconic Hester Prynne as she wrestles with her open guilt and grief in a judgmental society, while Reverend Dimmesdale suffers in silence with his secret sin and love -  themes from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s historic novel are surprisingly relatable to the present day. The story of Scarlet is difficult, but that is what makes redemption shine so brightly. On the cutting edge of multidisciplinary art, the production weaves the visual strength of film and the emotional impact of Spoken Word into the beauty, grace and power of ballet. Each artistic discipline adds a unique texture and voice into the narrative, creating a multi-layered and dynamic experience within a timeless story.

According to Johnny Nevin of Dancermusic.com, “Ballet 5:8 is an imaginative, hard-working group of artists with some very carefully thought out ideas.” Ballet 5:8’s passion for telling captivating stories - such as those from classic literature - using ballet, other artistic disciplines, and a 21st century perspective comes from the company’s mission: to engage audiences in conversation of life and faith through innovative storytelling and breathtaking dance.

Ballet 5:8 Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer Julianna Rubio Slager is co-founder of the six-year old company and brings a wealth of experience to her work. Slager’s choreography has been performed at festivals and events across the Midwest: Dance Chicago, Project Dance, Chicago International Arts Festival, Detroit City Dance Festival. Beginning in 2014, Ballet 5:8 began touring nationally, bringing Slager's critically acclaimed ballets such as Scarlet, The Stor(ies) of You and Me, and Compass to audiences across the nation. Slager is also a groundbreaking figure within the field, as one of the few female Artistic Directors and Resident Choreographers of professional ballet companies in the world. As a woman with Hispanic heritage, she hopes that her leadership and creative work at Ballet 5:8 will pave the way for other women and minorities in professional ballet.

ABOUT BALLET 5:8 - Founded in 2012, Ballet 5:8 a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization based just outside of Chicago, IL. The mission of Ballet 5:8 is to engage communities in Chicago, the Midwest and across the nation in conversation of life and faith through innovative storytelling and breathtaking dance. Ballet 5:8 performs over 40 times throughout Chicago and across the nation each year, in settings ranging from school gyms and professional theaters, in addition to teaching workshops and master classes. Ballet 5:8’s dance education center serves over 200 students each year through a wide range of dance classes, nationally-recognized advanced classical ballet training programs, and a five-week summer intensive.