By Kathi E.B. Ellis for WFPL
July 30, 2018
This year’s Louisville Ballet entry into the summer-long Kentucky Shakespeare Festival’s season in Central Park is an adaptation of “The Tempest.” Choreographer Roger Creel and composer Scott Moore reunite for their third collaboration. Both are excited with the boundaries they’re pushing with this production.
“The Tempest” brings with it certain tropes and expectations. It is Shakespeare’s last play, it is one of the so-called Romance plays, either it’s brilliant or Shakespeare’s liberties with dramatic structure suggest he’s lost his edge. Creel is very aware of some of this freight. He leaves Louisville Ballet at the end of this production; will this be his last choreography with the company? He has cast Producing and Artistic Director Robert Curran as Prospero, who finally comes to terms with giving up his “rough magic.” Curran has only in recent years made the transition from dancer to administrator, giving up his own brand of magic; and this is only the second time that Louisville audiences will have seen him dance since taking the helm of Louisville Ballet.
After a recent rehearsal, Creel shared some of the practical challenges that he and his collaborators are embracing.
In an outdoor setting in full daylight, creating a tempest is one of those challenges. Creel also speaks of the different ways in which words and movement create meaning. To solve and embrace this conundrum, he turned to successful Step choreographers Chris Malone and Antae Dickerson. Creel acknowledged that being invited to judge a sorority step competition at the University of Louisville last fall was his first introduction to this dance form. And, that he knew this could be a theatrical answer for his vision of “The Tempest.”