NCDT preforms “Othello” and “Forgotten Land”

Arts / Article

NCDT’s 2009 production of “Othello.” Photography by Peter Zay

Tonight the North Carolina Dance Theatre revives a dramatic ballet from its repertoire: Dwight Rhoden’s adaptation of “Othello.” Full of deception, desire and tragedy, “Othello” has not been performed by NCDT since 2009. Done in a musical theater style with original music by David Rozenblatt and featuring saxophone soloist Arun Luthra, “Othello” brings Shakespeare’s characters into a 21st-century, rock-and-roll atmosphere. “Othello” will be performed April 24, 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Knight Theater.

By and large remaining true to Shakespeare’s plot line, Rhoden’s “Othello” switches the drama of the military for the drama of the limelight and a seemingly innocuous handkerchief as a love token for a beautiful necklace. But avid Shakespeare lovers will be happy to know that Rhoden’s “Othello” is still a tragedy in the vein of “Hamlet” and “Macbeth” with Iago plotting the downfall of Othello, using the beautiful Desdemona to achieve his ends. Othello will be danced by Pete Leo Walker, while Anna Gerberich will perform Desdemona and Naseeb Culpepper will dance Iago’s part.

“Othello” will be preceded by “Forgotten Land,” a ballet choreographed by Jiri Kylian, performed for the first time by NCDT. Created in 1981, “Forgotten Land,” is a somber and soulful work drawing inspiration from the cultural importance of land as a basis and center of human existence. In particular, John Macfarlane’s painterly scenic design and Kylian’s movements suggest the ebb and flow of the sea as it intrudes upon and consequently diminishes the coastline.

Tickets can be purchased online for $25 to $85 or by calling 704-372-1000.