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 for a regional and national tour after the successful Chicago premiere. The 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. The single Elgin 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. On the cutting edge of multidisciplinary art, the production weaves the visual strength of the 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. 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.
Ballet 5:8’s passion for retelling stories from the classic literature using neoclassical and contemporary ballet and a 21st-century perspective is inspired by the company’s mission: to engage audiences in a conversation of life and faith through innovative storytelling and breathtaking dance. The unique Chicago-based nonprofit has sustained incredible growth during its first five years.
The company, along with its 12 current professional dancers, will perform in cities including New York, San Antonio, Albuquerque, and Las Cruces this season in addition to its regional tour through Chicago, Grand Rapids, Elgin, Peoria, and Anderson. Ballet 5:8’s Scarlet draws from themes in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel that is surprisingly relatable to the present day. Ultimately, Scarlet invites audiences to consider the hypocrisy within each of us and, as Slager puts it, “our human tendency to chase what destroys us.” The story of Scarlet is difficult, but that is what makes redemption shine so brightly.
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 a 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.