Ballet's Victoria Morgan reinterprets a Shakespearean classic
How and why did she decide to develop her own interpretation? Surely Balanchine was a tough act to follow. The imaginative setting, the charming, almost cartoonish characters and the musical score were all attractions for Morgan. She also likes the structure.
"It's actually a good piece for someone who has not seen very much dance," she points out, "because it very clearly tells a story."
Anyone attending this? Any thoughts or reactions?
Morgan says she is familiar with the Balanchine and other versions but has made her own choreographic and musical choices. Two of these choices seem especially intriguing.
One has to do with the music:
"Describing Balanchine's version with evident adoration and fond memories, Morgan cites several contrasts: His rendition contains many lovely divertissements and perhaps more additional tangents off the basic plot. She says he took a different approach. Although both versions share the rather short, 40-minute musical score composed by Felix Mendelssohn, Morgan had the freedom to incorporate additional music -- while avoiding Balanchine's musical choices. She stuck with Mendelssohn, opting for some of the composer's lush string symphonies and choral compositions. Calling his music "jubilant, yet sophisticated," she adds, "I really relate to him. He's got a lot of really fun rhythms and ideas in his music. You can pick up so many different kinds of accents ... this brings a lot of freedom to the choreography."
The other has to do with involving the dancers in choreographic decisions:
"Because the dancers had familiarized themselves with the characters they were to portray, Morgan often discussed characterizations and motivations instead of telling the dancers exactly what steps to do. Most enjoyed the freedom of interpreting their own characters through movement, based on material from the play. Since this is the second production of Morgan's version, she has enjoyed seeing how dancers in different casts can take the same information and move it in new directions.
"They are extremely entertaining and I was just so amazed at what came out."