For the first time in more than a decade, Atlanta Ballet will redefine the limits of dance with its return of Stephen Mills’ Hamlet, a haunting and modern portrayal of the Shakespearean classic April 11 – 13 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
The second Shakespearean piece of the 13-14 season comes from Ballet Austin’s acclaimed artistic director Stephen Mills, whose version of Hamlet blends traditional ballet with contemporary staging to paint a striking picture of murder, betrayal and madness. The product is a startlingly original story ballet that has mesmerized audiences and critics around the world.
Mills says the main reason he was initially intrigued with the concept of developing a ballet based on the play was being able to work with the music of Philip Glass. “It’s really dance-inspiring,” Mills said. The score for Hamlet was drawn from the following works composed by Glass: Anima Mundi, The Civil Wars, Mishima, In the Upper Room, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra.
The performance opens with Hamlet on his deathbed after his fatal duel with Laertes. As he lies dying, Hamlet recalls the events that have led to his death. The audience experiences Hamlet’s emotional roller coaster, following him through his grief - over his father’s death; his despair - over the his mother’s hasty marriage to his uncle; his madness – after seeing his father’s ghost; and his broken heart – after the death of Ophelia; and ultimately his own death.
“Hamlet is a poignant and moving story,” said John McFall, Atlanta Ballet’s artistic director. “It is a story of a young person coming of age, experiencing life and death, and ultimately avenging the tragedy of his family.”
Atlanta arts publication ArtsATL said about Hamlet, “Set to Philip Glass compositions and first performed by Ballet Austin, it’s a sleek and sophisticated take on the Bard’s tale of intrigue, revenge and power. “
The role of Hamlet will be played once again by Atlanta Ballet company dancer John Welker, who was originally cast in the coveted role in 2003.
Atlanta Ballet’s Hamlet opens Friday, April 11 and runs for four performances at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre (2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339). Tickets start as low as $20 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit www.atlantaballet.com or call 404-892-3303. For groups of ten or more, call Atlanta Ballet Group Sales at 404-873-5811, ext. 207.
Contributed by Atlanta Ballet