Orpheus by Dana Genshaft

Orpheus by Dana Genshaft

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  • dance
  • 18 Mins

Choreographer Dana Genshaft explores the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in a new work created for The Washington Ballet. A light narrative follows the central figure of Orpheus as he revisits the painful moment he definitely loses Eurydice to the underworld. The ballet is a metaphor for the universal message of finding one’s way from darkness back to light. Reflecting on her inspiration, Genshaft says, “I thought about that limbo space, the one which we occupy in our own psyche, and what it takes to personally overcome trauma… to come to the decision to move on. The extraordinary process that brings us closer to reconciliation. The story of Orpheus to me is very human: he is a man that lost faith, and made a mistake.”Filmed against a dark backdrop that contrasts with stark lighting by Joseph Walls, and airy costuming by Mario Lopez, Orpheus features an original score by San Francisco-based composer Kamran Adib that melds La Femme “Vagues” and Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song.” The 16-minute piece takes inspiration from the ocean and draws on classical technique as well as more contemporary movement language to advance the narrative as the characters move from darkness to light. Just as Balanchine took on the Orpheus story in the wake of World War II, Genshaft’s work is of-the-moment, created against the backdrop of a global pandemic and with all the strictures of social distancing. “Loss of faith, hope… these are feelings we are holding onto this past year. Frustration, rage, and disappointment are brewing… I wanted to create something that reached out of the dark place to uplift. This is a COVID piece, but with boundaries, there is also creative opportunity.”

Cast & Crew

Katherine Barkman (Dancder), Rafael Bejarano, (Composer), Ayano Kimur, Adelaide Clauss, Abigail Graunlund, Andrea Allmon, Gilles Delellio, (Choreographer), (Director)