THE WASHINGTON BALLET ANNOUNCES CASTING FOR THE WORLD PREMIERE OF SEPTIME WEBRE’S

April 20, 2013

Press Releases

THE WASHINGTON BALLET ANNOUNCES CASTING FOR THE WORLD PREMIERE OF SEPTIME WEBRE’S
HEMINGWAY: THE SUN ALSO RISES

Special guest artists E. Faye Butler, Edwin Aparicio, and  Ari Shapiro join production

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Ballet’s (TWB) releases casting for the world premiere of Artistic Director Septime Webre’s Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises. TWB company dancers Jared Nelson, Sona Kharatian, Brooklyn Mack and Jonathan Jordan create the roles of Jake Barnes, Lady Brett Ashley, Pedro Romero, the matador, and Bill Gorton respectively.  Joining the cast as special guest artists are E. Fay Butler, who will perform songs made famous by Josephine Baker; Edwin Aparicio, whose flamenco dancing and ensemble will lend authenticity to the festivities in Pamplona; and Ari Shapiro, who will perform, Valentine, a song made famous by French singer, Maurice Chevalier.  Based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway, Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises opens with a preview May 8 and runs May 9-12, 2013 at The John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center Eisenhower Theater.

 

“Casting for Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises was very easy, stated Artistic Director, Septime Webre.  “The characters in the book seem so right for interpretation by TWB’s company members. Sona Kharatian, the essentially ‘modern’ woman, thin-hipped and strong for Lady Brett; Jared Nelson, complex, masculine but sensitive to those around him as the writer Jake Barnes, who is a man’s man, but has been injured by war; Brooklyn Mack, macho and virtuosic as the bullfighter; Jonathan Jordan, who like Bill Gorton, is affable, reflective and comfortable in any situation; and Corey Landolt as the scrappy boxer.”

 

“Getting the music right is half the battle,” stated Webre.  “The guest artists, not only help tell the story but create the mood and atmosphere of the time period. E. Faye Butler and Ari Shapiro will represent the famous French vocalists, Josephine Baker and Maurice Chevalier.  To evoke the Spanish fiesta, Flamenco dancer, Edwin Aparicio’s, hot-blooded flamenco dance will mimic that of the bullfighter with its beautiful macho grace.”

 

Casting

Jake Barnes, an American journalist                    Jared Nelson

Lady Brett Ashley, an Englishwoman                  Sona Kharatian

Robert Cohn, Princeton educated writer              Corey Landolt

            and former boxer

Frances, Cohn’s girlfriend                                       Emily Ellis

Georgette, a French prostitute                               Maki Onuki

Count Mippipopolous, a Greek Aristocrat           Luis R. Torres

Bill Gorton, Jake’s war buddy                                Jonathan Jordan

Mike Campbell, Brett’s Scottish fiancé                Melih Mertel

Pedro Romero, the Celebrated Bullfighter               Brooklyn Mack

 

Special guest artists:

E. FAYE BUTLER (Vocalist) performed with The Washington Ballet in Blue until June and The Great Gatsby. Her theater credits include: Arena Stage: Trouble In Mind, Oklahoma, Crowns, Ain’t Misbehavin, Polk County, Dinah Was; Signature Theatre: Saving Amiee, Gospel According To Fishman; Baltimore Centerstage: Trouble In Mind, Caroline or Change, Ma Rainey, Once On This Island; Strathmore Music Center: Take Joy; Broadway Playhouse; Goodman Theatre: Crowns, Purlie, A Christmas Carol; Steppenwolf Theatre: Crumbs From The Table of Joy; Northlight Theatre: Black Pearl Sings; Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre: Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors, The Wiz; Phildelphia Theatre Company: Ma Rainey, Dinah Was; Pasadena Playhouse: Purlie; Could It Be Magic; Sacramento Music Theatre: Showboat; Chicago Shakespeare: Suessical the Musical; Drury Lane: Sophisticated Ladies, Hot Mikado, Hello Dolly; Dallas Theatre Center: Ella, Dinah Was; National and Regional Tours include: Mamma Mia, Dinah Was, Nunsense, Nunsense2, Ain’t Misbehavin. Ms. Butler has won two Helen Hayes Awards, a Sarah Siddons Award, six Joseph Jefferson Awards, three Black Theatre Alliance Awards, John Barrymore Awards, RAMI Awards, Excellence in the Arts Ovation Award. She has recently released CD, A Circle of Firsts.

 

ARI SHAPIRO (Vocalist) , NPR White House correspondent, moonlights as a guest-singer with the Portland, Oregon-based “little orchestra,” Pink Martini. He made his debut with them at the Hollywood Bowl in 2009. Since then, he has performed internationally in London, Paris, Dublin, Istanbul, Athens, Monte Carlo, and more. Domestically, he has joined Pink Martini at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, Disney Hall in Los Angeles, and many other storied venues. He has also sung with many of the country’s leading symphony orchestras.  He appears on the Pink Martini albums Splendor in the Grass and Joy to the World. The band is known for its international repertoire, and Shapiro has performed songs with them in Greek, Spanish, Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish, Italian, French, Hindi, and Ladino. Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises marks his debut with The Washington Ballet.

 

EDWIN APARICIO (Flamenco Dancer) received his training in Madrid, Spain, from the world renowned flamenco artists Tomás de Madrid and “La Tati” and made his professional debut in Spain in 2001. In 2009, he was selected as one of  Dance Magazine’s “25 Best Dancers to Watch”. Mr. Aparicio is the director and choreographer of the Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company, which performs regularly throughout the Washington DC area and is at residence at GALA Hispanic Theatre. He is also on the faculty of The Washington School of Ballet and imparts flamenco classes throughout the nation.  Mr. Aparicio has performed with leading classical companies, including the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center under the direction of Plácido Domingo and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Marion Alsop. Mr. Aparicio directed and choreographed nationally acclaimed flamenco productions, including Íntimo, which featured Carmela Greco. He is also the resident coordinator and featured performer of GALA Hispanic Theatre’s annual Fuego Flamenco Festival.

 

The Story

Jake Barnes is a World War I veteran and US journalist living in 1920’s Paris.  Every day, Jake joins a cadre of expats and artists for drinks including his friend, Robert Cohn, a Jewish writer and former boxer, who is becoming disinterested in his girlfriend, Frances.  At one of many bars, Jake meets a Parisian prostitute named Georgette and the charismatic Greek Count Mippipopolous.  Jake also runs into the love of his life, Lady Brett Ashley, a twice-divorced socialite from England. Brett and Jake love each other but she will not commit to Jake because of a war injury that rendered him impotent. Much to Jake’s annoyance his friend, Robert Cohn falls for Brett.

 

After a night out, Jake falls into a fit-full sleep and dreams of the war where, Bill Gorton, an American GI, saves a wounded Jake. At the hospital, Jake meets a wartime nurse, Lady Brett Ashley.  Jake wakes up from his dream in despair, but shakes off the emotion and leaves for the day.

 

As Robert Cohn becomes more fixated on Brett, his girlfriend, Frances becomes distraught.  Jake meets Robert Cohn and their friendly boxing match turns ugly as Jake realizes Cohn’s plans to dump Frances and pursue Brett.  Later at his apartment, Jake struggles to write with no success. Brett and the Count stop by and convince Jake to go out.  At the Lido, Brett relishes being the center of male attention especially that of Robert Cohn. Brett sneaks away to San Sebastian with Cohn.

 

Bill Gorton comes to visit Jake in Paris with the plan of fishing. Mike Campbell, Lady Brett’s fiancé, arrives from Scotland, cutting short Brett’s little affair with Robert Cohn.

Jake and Bill have a peaceful couple of days fishing in Spain before meeting Brett, Mike, and third-wheel Robert Cohn in Pamplona for the Festival San Fermín and  the ‘running of the bulls’

 

In Pamplona, the group becomes increasingly hostile toward Robert Cohn. They watch in fascination the ‘running of the bulls’ and the bullfighting. Later, Pedro Romero, the most gifted and beautiful bull fighter in all of Spain, takes center ring. Everyone, especially Lady Brett Ashley, is captivated by the matador. Jake introduces Brett to Romero; she and Romero begin an affair.  Robert Cohn, mad with jealousy, beats Romero up the evening before the final bullfight.

 

The festival dissipates and Brett leaves with Romero for Madrid. Not long after, Jake gets a telegram from Brett asking for help.  Jake travels to Madrid and finds Brett crying and alone.

At that moment, Jake realizes he and Brett will always be alone.

 

Tickets for Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises, priced from $25 to $125, are available from The Washington Ballet’s website, by calling 202.467.4600, or at www.kennedy-center.org. The Kennedy Center is located at 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC.

 

Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises (2013)

(World Premiere)

As part of The Washington Ballet American Experience, TWB unveils a new ballet based on Ernest Hemingway’s American classic, The Sun Also Rises. Considered by many to be his finest novel, the story follows an American journalist, Jake Barnes, a member of the “lost generation” of 1920s American expatriates, from the seedy café life of Paris’ West bank to the thrilling “running of the bulls” at the Pamplona Festival. Through the extraordinary vision and choreography of Septime Webre, this newest exploration into the American literary canon will capture the imagination of dance lovers everywhere.

 

Wednesday, May 8, 7:30PM (Preview)

Thursday, May 9, 7:30PM (Opening)

Friday, May 10, 7:30PM

Saturday, May 11, 1:30PM & 7:30PM

Sunday, May 12, 1:30PM & 7:30PM

 

Music: Billy Novick with E.Faye Butler and Ari Shapiro

Choreography: Septime Webre

Dramaturge:  Karen Zacarías

Scenic Design:  Hugh Landwehr

Costume Design: Helen Q. Huang

Lighting Design: Clifton Taylor

Projection Design: Aaron Rhyne

Puppet Design: Eric Van Wyk

Flamenco Artists: Edwin Aparicio, Anna Menendez, Ricardo Marlow, Hector Jose Marquez

 

Performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Eisenhower Theater

 

ABOUT THE WASHINGTON BALLET

Originally founded as The Washington School of Ballet in 1944 by legendary ballet pioneer Mary Day and incorporated as a professional company in 1976, The Washington Ballet (TWB) is one of the pre-eminent ballet organizations in the United States.  TWB built an international reputation presenting bold works by choreographers from around the world, including Choo-San Goh, Christopher Wheeldon, Mark Morris, Twyla Tharp and Nacho Duato, as well as Neoclassical masterworks and fresh stagings of 19th century classics. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Septime Webre and Executive Director Peter M. Branch, TWB has embraced a three-part mission: ensuring excellence in its professional performance company; growing the next generation of dancers through its Washington School of Ballet; and serving the community in which it resides through robust community engagement programs.  

Amtrak is the official passenger rail service of The Washington Ballet.

This world premiere is made possible by the generosity of Bill and Eve Lilley.

This production is adapted from the novel by Ernest Hemingway and made by special arrangement with The Patrick and Carol Hemingway Revocable Living

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