Hello and welcome back to Game of Thoughts, our sweaty, breathless recaps and discussion of everyone’s favorite fantasy TV Show, Game of Thrones! Now we’re down in it, the end is in sight, so grab your House Banner and hold you smallfolk tight, it’s gonna be a long night! As always, spoilers will appear behind the cut, because I WILL NOT be that person.
Are you sitting comfortably? Are your neighborhood dogs barking because of all the yelling coming from your house like mine are? Then let’s begin.
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms was a character and story-driven episode with no action to speak of, and yet it was one of the strongest episodes because of all the fantastic performances. Functioning as a ‘calm before the storm’ installment, it gave several characters time to bond, to smooth over rough history, and to have poignant and important meetings. There were also several salient book references: Jenny of Oldstones is sung, and Brienne of Tarth’s lineage is reference right there in the title.
There were a few small surprises but mostly a lot of big, emotional payoffs that have been years in the making.
Interestingly, all the action centered in Winterfell and we saw no other locations. Fitting, and reminiscent of Season 4’s “The Watchers On the Wall,” which was also centered completely at Castle Black.
Last Thanksgiving, I saw an avant garde video installation at Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnhof. It was installed in the large, dark, open space behind the reception desk where the trains used to pull up to the platforms. The space has been a museum for a while now, housing carefully and sparsely displayed modern art (think, a can of Pepsi sitting on a white plinth) — but in this case less is just right, it really takes a lot of brain power to pour some of that stuff into my head.
On Wednesday, you got to know a little about the Artistic Director of Orlando Ballet, Mr. Robert Hill. Today, please get to know the Executive Director of Orlando Ballet, Shane Jewell.
Jen Bradley: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us, first of all!
Shane Jewell: My pleasure.
JB: Let’s jump right in. You came to Orlando from Oklahoma City and have a degree in Film Theory. How did you come to be involved with ballet?
SJ: Well I’ve been involved in the arts my entire life and in musical theater, went to college on a musical theater scholarship. Then decided I wanted a more marketable degree so I went for film theory. After college I worked for this one company that presented national touring Broadway shows for tent cities in the Midwest, and I became Executive Director of a Classical Music Festival and then Executive Director of Oklahoma City Ballet. As someone who’s on the business side, going to the ballet I fell in love. It’s one of the few performing arts organizations where your performers and talent is in the studio Monday through Friday, just as I or you are. You take them into the office and go sit in on rehearsals and be close to the art they’ve created. Most times, even with regional theaters with rehearsals or tours or concerts, the artist comes in, they perform and they leave. You don’t get to know them or know their stories, watch them create this beautiful piece. So I really fell in love with being able to observe the process.
On Monday, Jen was again presented with the opportunity to chat with Orlando Ballet’s Artistic Director Robert Hill. We discussed a little of the past and a lot of the future for the company after the success of Bailamos!, a celebration of Latin Dance, which was a big hit with Central Florida’s diverse population.
JB:The recent production Bailamos! was a big success for Orlando Ballet. It was comprised of many different choreographical and musical styles. What was the most challenging aspect of its product?
RH: The most challenging… I don’t know, it’s a lot of variety in the program so I think when you have a show like that — where there are so many costume changes and its so fast-paced, and then if anybody gets injured and you have to replace somebody then it’s kind of a domino effect for such a small company– I think that that’s probably the most challenging thing: being sure that anybody that has to go out because of any injury. Although that said, I think the company really shined bright. I’m really proud of it.