Pensacola, Florida
Saturday October 25th 2014

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Clue Us In

There are a couple of things that may come to mind when someone brings up the ballet. Elegance. Beauty. Timelessness.

Ballet Pensacola is looking to add a new word to your mental thesaurus: comedy.

Ballet Pensacola will be performing “Clue,” as an adaptation of the classic board game and movie in a repertory performance featuring four other ballets.

“Clue’s” cast of characters will include many familiar faces, like that of Professor Plum, Miss Scarlett and Colonel Mustard.

“There aren’t a lot of ballets out there that are made to be funny,” Artistic Director Richard Steinert said. “It’s a strange animal, it uses slapstick comedy, and it’s fast-moving.”

Throughout the ballet, a portrait of Mr. Body, the person who is killed, will be hanging on the wall. However, the portrait is animated and will be trying to give clues to the occasionally oblivious characters.

“One of the funny bits is that the artistic director is the person who is killed,” Steinert said. “So they’re kind of dragging my body around the stage, almost like ‘Weekend At Bernie’s’ style.”

Being dragged around the stage here and there leaves Steinert a little bruised and battered, but it’s all for the enjoyment of the show.

“I think people will react well to it, because it’s so fun,” Steinert said. “Sometimes it just takes the audience a little while to realize they can laugh.”

Although Ballet Pensacola performs many traditional works a year, their goal is to be something bigger than the average ballet company of a semi-small town.

“Our goal is to constantly reinvent ourselves and try to produce new things,” Steinert said. “I thought it was time to put something funny on the stage, which we haven’t done as long as I’ve been with the company.”

Steinert, who danced in a variation of “Clue” in Hartford, Conn. over 10 years ago, has choreographed the entire work himself.

“This is definitely an updated version of the work I performed in years ago,” Steinert said. “It’s new from top to bottom.”

Some of the other ballets featured in the repertory evening will include “Bones,” a modern piece featuring music by Grateful Dead drummer Mikey Hart, and “Pococourante,”a more traditional ballet with a slight Spanish flair. Both “Bones” and “Pococourante” were choreographed by Christine Duhon, the head Ballet Mistress at Ballet Pensacola.

Ray Mercer’s “Bradhurst Avenue” will also see its world premiere during Ballet Pensacola’s repertory performance.

“Ray Mercer is currently performing in ‘The Lion King’ on Broadway,” Steinert said. “We’re excited to be premiering ‘Bradhurst Avenue’ here in Pensacola.”

Mercer was also the winner of Ballet Pensacola’s International Choreography Competition.

Whether you’d like to see something modern, traditional, brand-new or reinvented, mysterious or humorous, the repertory evening at Ballet Pensacola has something you’ll enjoy.

The variety of choreographers, musical choices, and costume and light designs should make for a plethora of enjoyable experiences. And don’t forget, you’re allowed to laugh when they’re dragging Steinert around the stage.

“With some of the heavier works earlier in the evening, I think people will appreciate ‘Clue’ at the end,” Steinert said. “It really is a rompish laugh-fest.”

And those are two words almost no one likes to turn down.

BALLET PENSACOLA REPERATORY PERFORMANCE
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24
WHERE: Pensacola Cultural Center
COST: $18-$30
DETAILS: balletpensacola.com or 432-2042