Moravec: Hauntingly Original

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Margaret Severin-Hansen and Pablo Javier Perez in Robert Weiss’ Tempest Fantasy ballet. Courtesy: Carolina Ballet

From March 3 – 20, the Carolina Ballet revives artistic director Robert Weiss’ setting of Paul Moravec’s Pulitzer Prize-winning score Tempest Fantasy.

Weiss’ ballet originally premiered in 2006, and this is Carolina Ballet’s third reprisal. This season’s production is part of the company’s “Shakespeare Festival” commemorating the quadricentennial of The Bard’s death. Weiss was introduced to Tempest Fantasy by music/theater/dance critic Terry Teachout (who is also Moravec’s collaborator on several opera librettos), and was inspired by the score to create a ballet.

Weiss describes his ballet as “a meditation on Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest…[While the entire complexity of the story] cannot be told through dance, I have tried to flush out and show some of it through Paul’s very beautiful, haunting music.” All of Shakespeare’s characters come to life in the ballet – Calaban, Prospero, Ariel, Miranda, Ferdinand, etc.; and Weiss tells the gist of the plot in a very compact mMoravec TempFan Carolina Ballet 1anner, leaving the fourth movement of the score for an extended pas de deux between the lovers Miranda and Ferdinand. Weiss adds, “…the fourth movement is my favorite part. The music is especially poignant and hauntingly original, with wonderful sonorities. I was very inspired by it.”

Performances of Tempest Fantasy take place at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, NC.