Interview: Orlando Ballet Director Robert Hill’s quest to keep the passion going in Carmina Burana

This past week, we were given a second opportunity to interview Orlando Ballet director Robert Hill during a rehearsal for Dies, nox et omnia (Day, night, and everything), one of his dances for the upcoming Carmina Burana.

We sat in the relocated rehearsal space of Orlando Ballet (more about this exciting news below) and looked on as prima ballerina Kate-Lynn Robichaux learned her dance by 21st century means: watching her 2013-era self perform it on a video monitor. “I’m much more chill about this dance today than I was back then,” Robichaux said. “It’s probably because you just got married,” Mr. Hill responded, and Robichaux grinned as she raised her left hand to show off her ring.

Mr. Hill bounced between chatting with us and leaping up to help form the dance in front of us, explaining to the dancers that the theme of this piece was the male dancer’s exploration of his passion — his reaching within to find emotion, reaching back out to share it with the world. Robichaux performs the embodiment of his dream, allowing her body to be contorted and moved and carried in a complex series of lifts as she lives out the melancholy of male dancer’s imagination.

We pulled up the lyrics to this one while we watched, and Mr. Hill chuckled, explaining that some of the lyrics were impossible to interpret literally. But in this one, the male soloist sings themes that are timeless enough to still be top-40 fodder, and the dance seems to interpret the lyrics well: “Your fair face makes me weep a thousand times, but your heart is ice; to restore me, immediately would I return to life with one kiss.”

How to explain this ballet? Mr. Hill debuted it with Orlando Ballet in 2013, in collaboration with Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra conductor John Sinclair. They were looking for an interesting piece that could combine choral, orchestral, and dance elements to make a dynamic impact on audiences, and struck gold when they decided on Carmina Burana. The music, composed by Carl Orff in 1936, has a lot in common sound-wise with Igor Stravinsky, and is based on medieval yet surprisingly relevant poetry.

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A Wednesday Pick Me Up

Aren’t you tired?

Wait, check that –

Aren’t you EXHAUSTED? 

Fighting the good fight requires energy, and none of us have an inexhaustible supply. We need a break now and then. Sometimes a break as little as seven minutes can be life-saving.

Please enjoy this supercut of people dancing from over 300 movies. Groove, rock, get up and dance if you can, but take these seven minutes to rejuvenate yourself.

Feel better?

Good.

Now let’s get back to fighting the good fight.

In Theaters Now: Black Panther – Five Delightful Things

My auto-correct is trying inform me that Afrofuturism isn’t a word, and it’s wrong because it is and this movie is it.

BlackPanther_suit

Last night I actually left the house and stayed up past my bedtime to go see Black Panther. Currently it sits at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, so you don’t need me to do an actual serious review of it when there are much better critics out there singing its praises.

However, here are five things I found absolutely delightful and wanted to share.

Continue reading “In Theaters Now: Black Panther – Five Delightful Things”

Horror On the Horizon!

Next week is Netflix Indie Week, with such offerings as bro-heavy found footage frightfest V/H/S, and crummy council flat escapade The Forgotten.

Good morning! I hope this post finds you well-rested and ready to face whatever this day shall bring!

For the last several years, I’ve dedicated the month of October to one of my great loves in life… horror movies. I’ve fallen off blogging a lot this year for various reasons, but I am dead set on keeping up with this tradition. I WON’T CRAP OUT AGAIN. It’s my intent that these reviews be at least, if not more, entertaining as the movies they cover.

So stay tuned! Next week is Netflix Indie Week, with such offerings as bro-heavy found footage frightfest V/H/S, and crummy council flat escapade The Forgotten. As always, I do my best to be both fair to the filmmakers AND entertaining in my reviews.

And to celebrate, please enjoy my favorite tweet ever from Pennywise Dancing, Numa Numa. This has been playing in my head nonstop since last week, and it’s kept me sane in the face of a severely depressing news cycle.

See you next week!