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The dancers in both Actéon and Pygmalion play real characters in the dramatic unfolding of the stories. That they are fully integrated into the piece is in keeping with the original intent of the operatic genre as envisioned by a group of enlightened Italians at the end of the 16th century. In an attempt to recreate Ancient Greek Theatre, the new art form was to combine all of the arts to tell a story. The word opera is the plural of opus – meaning “works”.

The dances in both operas are based on period notation and have names such as Minuet, Sarabande, Gavotte, Rigaudon, and many others which are known today primarily as musical forms. The choreography is original to this production however. Opera Atelier’s mandate is to employ the aesthetics of ancient art forms in the creation of a new piece of theatre for modern audiences. The inclusion of a fully contemporary dance* to contemporary music for Love (Eros/Amour) to appear as the controlling force in the lives of the human characters brings together old and new in a new dimension of integration: that of blending dances from different time periods to create a unified dramatic experience.

                                                                                                            Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg

 

*Choreographed and performed by Tyler Gledhill

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