ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — This coming weekend the New York State Ballet will perform “Three Tales of the Big Bad Wolf” in Rochester.
Two performances, October 4th and 6th, will be at Hochstein Musical Hall, and a third performance, on October 5, will be at the Cobblestone Art Center.
Ballet Master Robert Royce, along with performers Jesse Tidquist and David Morton, swung by the News 8 studio to tell us more.
Mark Gruba: Tell us the idea behind this latest ballet?
Robert Royce: As we talked about creating this ballet and creating these three tales, I really wanted it to be a cartoon. I wanted it to go back to my childhood, a lot of our childhoods, and do these like Looney Tunes characters, do it in the tales but make it something that all the kids would laugh at and enjoy and see incredible dancing on top of the fact that the parents will sit there and have that nostalgia moment and go back to when they were kids and watching these cartoons in the morning — and on top of all of that, the difficulty of the dancing — so that you get that balance, you know, really great art and really great fun.
MG: Jesse, talk about pulling that balance off as a dancer and then as a performer, as Little Red Riding Hood, right?
Jesse Tidquist: It’s been a challenge to create a character that is so large, try to be a caricature almost, but also still maintain the technical aspect of the ballet. But it’s not just myself. We have the Three Little Pigs and Peter and the Wolf as well. So there’s a lot of dancers putting the show together and we’re all working really hard.
MG: Of course at the center of this is this guy back here, David. We get a sense of that campiness that Robert was alluding to. There’s got to be some fun to bring that out and maybe explore that side of your ability as a dancer, huh?
David Morton: Oh, it’s great! Like Rob said, it needs to be campy. It needs to be that fun, that almost nostalgic feeling. Sometimes doing a ballet can be a little bit more serious, a little bit more intense. And this is just a great, almost opposite side of that, that you can just pull out and make it just fun both for us and for the audience.
MG: The layman’s question here in the conversation, any danger of the Wolf coming off the top of your head amidst all of this?
DM: Honestly, it’s pretty on there tight.
MG: Did it surprise you in terms of trying to bring this character life, what it brought out in your abilities?
DM: Every role kind of brings out something else in you. So this is just another aspect that it’s pulling me out. It’s pushing me to go further and further, to be odder and odder, I guess as well. And just say, why not?
MG: And a little bit bad along the way too right?
DM: Just a little bit.
A couple of resources for you:
- New York State Ballet — more information about the organization.
- Cobble Stone Art Center — purchase tickets online