'Carmen' told as an opera dance

Image by 20081004carmen.jpg "Carmen" is a display of fiery passion charged by Lynn Seymour.

One of the world's most-performed operas will be presented with Royal Ballet’s Lynn Seymour infusing much Spanish dance and movement, spicing up the 1875 love story.

Charleston Ballet expands:
Set in the gritty back streets of a Spanish factory town, Carmen follows the exploits of the titular man-eating heroine as she makes her way through a bevy of unsavory men, taunting, teasing, and shamelessly flirting along the way. She is, according to creator and Resident Choreographer Jill Eathorne Bahr,"a gypsy and a free spirit, possessed of a wild and rebellious nature combined with a charismatic appeal for the opposite sex." Carmen is not a love story as much as a journey of fate and unbridled passion. From the moment they meet in a factory fight, Carmen and Don Jose realize a dynamic electricity is building between them. Don Jose’s desire to possess the unwitting Carmen serves as the crux of this sexy and sensuous balletic story. Obsession and envy lead to murder and sends the fate of Carmen into an endless but enigmatic downward spiral in the fashion of the greatest of tragic love stories.

Bahr’s balletic interpretation of Carmen highlights the Spanish atmosphere of the story while separating itself from the opera of the same name. "It is important not to expect to see the opera danced on pointe." states Bahr,"...I feel that dance is a very good way to get to the Spanish heart of Carmen, as it is in dance that the Spanish people have found a true form of self-expression.” Bahr makes much use of the Spanish dance styles and technique while adapting them to fit in with the classsical ballet idiom. The result promises to be an unforgettable night of breathtaking, truly carnal ballet filled with enough romance, passion and ferocity to bring audiences hanging onto the edge of their seats.

The Charleston Ballet is putting the show through the weekend: October 3, 4, 5. Check out their site for the specific times.

It's at the Black Box Theatre at 477 King Street downtown.

Buy tickets online for around $30.