The Honor in Wearing the Othello Costume

As the rehearsal process comes to an end and we put our hard work on display tomorrow night for our Chicago audiences, I admit I've been thinking about what this performance, this role, and this time in my life means to me.  It is a real honor to be chosen to dance the role of Othello and adorn the Othello costume.  As a dancer, and an artist in general, it is an incredible honor to perform such a classic, integral piece of English literature, let alone perform its leading role

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I started dancing at age 3 and through this 26 year journey as a dancer, I never imagined dancing such an important work.  Othello is a massive production and a huge challenge to me as a dancer.  The challenge is not only in being able to execute a combination of steps with grace, as I have trained my entire life to do, but also to be able to connect to the audience on a visceral level using modern dance movements.  We are all aware of the story of Othello, and it is quite clear that this production will not be your ordinary Nutcracker draped in the magical world of candy canes and sugarplums.  The story itself and the choreography that is used to tell Othello's story elicit the raw emotions we all share the capacity for as humans.  It is dramatic and real, a story of love, jealousy, treason, and hatred.  This kind of work no longer tests only my technical abilities as a dancer, but it will expose me as an actor.  It is my acting skills and my ability to find ultimate, raw passion in my body language that will translate from stage to audience.  Rather than my dancing skills, it is my acting that will be judged.  In the end, this responsibility weighs heavy on my mind.  I hope that I do not disappoint the Chicago audiences and that I do William Shakespeare's infamous writing the justice it so rightfully deserves.

I was born in France from a French father and an Eastern Caribbean mother from Guadaloupe, so somehow I find myself as a new breed of Othello.  I hope to see you all there, old and new faces, lovers of ballet, Shakespeare, and drama alike.  If by any chance you happen to attend the same performance as my mother and sister who are flying in from France, please say hi to them and send love to my sister, a new mother, and my 4 month old niece!
Thank you all....

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  • I wish I could have seen you in Othello but seeing you as the Nutcracker Prince convinces me that you can become a character as well as be a beautiful dancer.

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