I am so glad to be back to Chicago after our month-long tour and to be working on the major production of "Othello", in which I play the lead. This role has been a huge experience in my career because of the multiple challenges it presents...both physically and mentally.
1) It is a three-act ballet and requires a great deal of stamina to perform the multiple solos and duets (pas de deux) with many lifts of my ballerina partner. The ballet is "raw" when it comes to the movements. The creator Lar Lubovitch's choreography is based on circular shapes and body movement that is aggressive and impulsive, reflecting the changing moods of Othello. The dancing is very realistic and athletic and requires extraordinary strength for lifting Desdemona and keeping her elevated, as well as interacting with other characters in the drama.
2) The acting required in this ballet is much more extensive than in most, since it is based in large part on the Shakespeare play. The character of Othello is a complex role with multiple facets of his persona to express: "the love and tenderness" to his beloved Desdemona , "the suspicions" created from his untrusting and gullible personality leading to "his rage and madness" when he believes Desdemona is unfaithful.
3) The character of Othello is a general in the Venetian army. It was brought to my intention that those who have seen me dance over the years realize that my body changes for this role, and is more muscular. Well, I work I very hard at building up and toning my body for this role. The beauty of being a ballet dancer is that we have the opportunity to embody different characters. I do not believe a costume or make-up is the only way to look like a certain character; it helps of course. Ultimately, I believe the spirit, the mind and the physical aspects of a dancer's body all work together to become a character, especially one this multi-layered.
So bottom line, this is my definition of being a dancer: an actor who can beautifully dance and perform.
Hope to see you there at the joffrey ballet Othello For dates and times, visit www.joffrey.org
. I will post my performance dates on Facebook soon at www.fabricecalmels.com
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