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Carmen’ ballet brings love, longing and loss to Columbus stage

30 p.m.

The Spanish love story, “Carmen,” brings jealousy, betrayal and death in the form of contemporary opera and ballet.

It is scheduled to be performed at the Riffe Center’s Capitol Theatre Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The show debuted on Nov. 4 and will continue through Nov. 12 with performances at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Italian choreographer, Amedeo Amodio, adapted the classical ballet to music written by French composer Georges Bizets. The ballet opera will be performed by the dance company, BalletMet Columbus.

Cheri Mitchell, BalletMet Columbus executive director, said the last time “Carmen” was performed by the company was in 1997 and he is excited to have Amodio illustrate the passionate love story through his movement.

“It is a very theatrical production, so you have the dancing, but the dancers have to be great actors as well to really convey the story and the characters,” Mitchell said.

Set in the early 19th century in Spain, “Carmen” is about a woman, Carmen, who finds herself in the midst of a love affair between her lover Don Jose, an army soldier, and Escamillo, a bullfighter. The affair leads to an aggressive attack by Don Jose and her tragic death.

Amodio’s interpretation of the ballet will begin where the life of Carmen ends.

The opera and orchestral version of “Carmen” has just ended. The orchestra transforms into characters that will be introduced in Amodio’s readapation. Parts of the show will be revealed to the audience from an invisible screen placed on the stage that will allow them to see the dancers and stage hands scrambling to get ready for the real show.

 

Here is where Carmen and Don Jose will meet and where the ballet version of “Carmen” begins.

Annie Mallonee, a professional dancer for BalletMet, will interpret the role of Carmen on Friday and Saturday, and also alternate with the role of another character in the show as Micaela.

“The only difference with his (Amodio’s) story is it starts off as the opera ‘Carmen’ and it’s like a show within a show,” Mallonee said. “‘Carmen’ is such a fantastic show and I love his interpretation of it.”

The role of Carmen will also be alternated between contemporary dancers Adrienne Benz and Olivia Clark. The role of Don Jose will be rotated among dancers Andres Esteves, Jimmy Orrante and Jackson Sarver.

Amodio traveled from Italy with his assistant dancer and choreographer, Stefania Brunolini, to help direct the piece and incorporate different movement styles of contemporary ballet.

“In some of the scenes, the dancers are en pointe, other scenes they are in their bare feet, and in other scenes in their ballet slippers,” Mitchell said, “and you have a wide range of movement style, depending on who the characters are.”

For Mallonee, working with the choreographers has been an experience in itself.

“It was an interesting process for us and there were moments where there was a little bit of a language barrier, so that made it very interesting trying to read their body language and interpret what they were saying without really knowing what they were saying,” Mallonee said.

Gabby Phillips, a third-year in industrial design, would like to attend “Carmen.

“It’s something I would go see with my friends,” she said.

Student tickets are $15. Tickets can be purchased through Tickemaster and CAPA Box Office. The Capitol Theatre is located on 77 S. High St.

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