- Cerberus (the three-headed dog who guards the gates of Hades; in Dante, he sits in the Third Circle and punishes those whose main sin was gluttony);
- the Minotaur (in Dante, the bull-headed man is at the gate of the Seventh Circle, punishing those whose sins were violent);
- giant bat wings rising from the orchestra pit, representing one aspect of Satan at the entrance to the Ninth circle of the Inferno; and
- A three-headed figure in Limbo, before the actual Inferno, representing three of the great Pagan philosophers who were virtuous but not allowed to enter Paradise because they were not Christian or in the Old Testament.
A favorite mask, the green Medusa head. [Photo, TWCarns]
Inferno masks, juxtaposed with flowers for the companion ballet, Demeter and Persephone, and someone’s glasses (part of a modern-day means of seeing the world differently). [TWCarns photo]
A mug in the office area with an appropriate slogan for The Inferno. [TWCarns photo.]
Cerberus in the making (February 16). Shoresh Araundi, the creator of Cerberus, built a structure from foam, tubing, black plastic, and other materials. The brown “fur” is wool, felted over the framework and stitched to give depth and character. [TW Carns photo.]
Two of the three virtuous philosophers in Limbo with whom Dante talks, waiting for their cue to enter. [TW Carns photo.]
Jim in his demon mask (chosen in part because it was the only one that would fit over his glasses). [TW Carns photo.]
Jim’s partner in the Inferno was 5-year-old Maya Huling, daughter of Tim Huling, the composer for Demeter and Persephone, one of the companion ballets. I never managed to get a picture of Maya in her Inferno costume and mask, so she is shown here with Persephone waiting to rehearse that dance. [TWCarns photo]
Maya and Persephone (Megan Horton) in performance [Photo, Fred Burmer]
February 15, Ballet Bellevue rehearsal space, the tech line up. The rehearsal floor is open and free of clutter, but the sidelines were packed with people with computers (e.g., Anthea, to the right in the mid-distance), creatures under construction, and an organized tangle of cords and gear.
More tech — the sound and light engineers. [TWCarns photo]
Whole lot of waiting going on during rehearsals. The younger dancers did homework. [TWCarns photo]
Temporarily at rest, but feet still gracefully placed. [TWCarns photo]
Shoresh Araundi works on Cerberus (he is attaching felt, for the fur, to the understructure) while dancers wait for their cues. [TWCarns photo]
Ronn Tice (main choreographer for Inferno, on stage to the left), leads warmups in the theater while Gordon looks on. (February 20) [TWCarns photo]
The transformation, from rehearsal to stage
One of the things that struck me most about the experience was the transformation that the dancers and the story underwent between the rehearsal hall and the stage. The dancers were beautiful, in motion or at rest, in the rehearsal hall. On stage, with the music, the costumes, the lights and sets, they gained a dimension of magic.
The Furies in the rehearsal hall; Shane Tice (Dante) at the back of the room. [TWCarns photo]
The Furies onstage, barring Dante’s entrance to the Inferno. [Fred Burmer photo]
Dante ( Shane Tice) in rehearsal. [TWCarns photo]
Dante (Shane Tice) lifting Cleopatra (Megan Horton), in the first circle of Hell, the carnal sins. [Fred Burmer photo]
Fire dancers in rehearsal. [TWCarns photo]
Fire dancers in production. [Fred Burmer photo].
Opening night, February 21, Green Room. Mark Burmer, Glenna’s son, Glenna, and Anthea work on masks that will be sold to benefit Ballet Bellevue. [TWCarns photo]
Masks for sale to benefit Ballet Bellevue. The leather masks, some of which were for sale here, were created by well-known mask-makers across the country, including River Gypsy Arts, Merimask, Misfit Leather, MaskEra, Morgan, Kmickel, Mr.Hydes Leather, Squirrel Creek Creations, Oddfae, and Vincent Cantillon. [TWCarns photo]
Pre-matinee warm-up in the company of Satan
(created by Timothy Stephens) , February 22.
Kyra Stewart, (in red, center front) celebrated her birthday at the Saturday evening show, bringing a dozen or so friends, and outfitting them with masks (by the Tacoma artist Morgan) from her company “A Masquerade” costume and mask store in Bellevue). [TWCarns photo]
Scenes from the show
The Three Furies. [Fred Burmer photo]
Demons (masks created by Glenna Burmer).[Andrew Ness photo]
The Fire Dance. [Fred Burmer photo]
Cerberus. [Fred Burmer photo]
Satan in the Ninth Circle. [Fred Burmer photo]
Dante (Shane Tice) returns from the Inferno to earth on the dawn of Easter Sunday, dances with the three Graces (Ashley Zimmerman, Megan Horton, Alyssa Gold). [Fred Burmer photo]
Jim is back in Anchorage contemplating his next adventure, which is unlikely to involve ballet. Demons are a different question.