As darkness overtook the city last night, the Sacramento Ballet studio was transformed into a modern-day speakeasy. It was as if the white-washed block building on the northeast corner of K and 17th streets in midtown Sacramento was in a time warp; Feb. 1, 2013 had become Feb. 1, 1923.
Inside, prohibition-style cocktails were served up to patrons. Some were dressed as if they jumped off the pages of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel, “The Great Gatsby.” Others came in their casual Friday work attire as they assembled to see yet another splendid display of talent and beauty – excerpts from the upcoming premiere of “The Great Gatsby.”
In a different era, Prohibition, that corner building, due to the locale, might have been mistaken for a “blind pig.” But Ron Cunningham and his amazing staff working together behind the scenes pulled off a class act with “A Night in the Roaring 20’s” – a preface to the Sacramento Ballet’s World Premiere of “The Great Gatsby.”
Arts and entertainment reporters Arlene Barshinger and Oscar Benjamin were on hand asking guests and dancers their thoughts on the upcoming production.
Dr. Bill Branston, a retired physician, and Lisa Levering, subscribers to the Sacramento Ballet, were at the event, both in “Gatsby” period attire.
Branston, an organizer of media and arts for high school kids, said, “The Sacramento Ballet is world class. We have been all over the world and seen ballet, and there is nothing, nothing better than this Ballet. It is premiere.”
“I’m really excited about seeing the ‘Gatsby’ because when Ron puts his hands on something, it’s going to be phenomenal,” Branston added.
Levering said that she was rereading the novel and was looking forward to the ballet’s production.
Stefan Calka, one of Sacramento Ballet’s international dancers, plays “Gatsby.” When the Polish-Ukrainian performing artist was asked if a part of him was a great “Gatsby,” he said, “I think there is a piece of all of us that is a great ‘Gatsby’.”
And throughout the evening that statement by Calka seemed to ring true.
That era – that period of time in American history – was sexy, alluring, and there was an appeal to being bad.
As guests sipped their cocktails and watched the amazing dancers turn, and lift, and move with ease, the night could have very well been back in the Roaring 20’s. The difference – the dimly lit boisterous atmosphere of the speakeasies was replaced by bright lights and the hush of the crowd as they were hypnotically absorbed.
Don’t miss the upcoming World Premier of Ron Cunningham’s interpretation of “The Great Gatsby” performed by the Sacramento Ballet at the Sacramento Community Theater, Feb.7 through Feb. 10, 2013. Tickets can be purchased through the Sacramento Ballet website.
When the lights gone down, the heart rates are bound to go up as the dancers move to the jazz music of a live orchestra – Roaring 20’s style!
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