“Gershwin and Gatsby” captures era

Local News

Get ready to step back into the Roaring Twenties as the New York State Ballet brings a night of live music and dance in Gershwin and Gatsby this Friday and Saturday at the Hochstein School of Music & Dance in Rochester.

Ballet Master Robert Royce and Madison Cole, who will perform the role of Daisy from The Great Gatsby, discussed the upcoming performances Tuesday during News 8 at Noon.

“It’s been quite a joy to put this program together,” said Royce. “The best part for me is finding these iconic pieces that we will have performed live on stage with the Jazz Band and Jared Chase, our Conductor, and seeing how I can create these pieces of music in dance, being able to push the dancers in neo-classical and classical ways for the first half of our program, and then really diving into these really fun dances of the Twenties for our whole Gatsby party that we throw at the end.”

For Cole, preparing for this show has been challenging and rewarding. “It’s been such a great process throughout the entire time from when we first started,” she said. “I’m dancing Myrtle in the second act when we do our Gatsby ball, so it’s been really exciting to try to dig into her character, because she’s a little complicated, her whole relationship with Tom and Daisy and all of that.”

Her focus will be tested. “Especially with the Gatsby section, since I am one of the lead characters, I’m on stage the whole time so stamina wise it’s a lot. We do the Charleston, we Romp, we do all of the different Twenties dances, so putting that in on top of our classical dancing, all of our training beforehand has definitely prepared me for that. We rehearse for six hours, so it’s a little bit easier.”

Jessica Best will provide live vocals with the Jazz Band creating a singular experience. “One of the great things about what we get to do as artists is that there is only ever one show,” Royce observed. “When the audience walks in that night that show exists, and I feel that with jazz music that’s exactly the same way. It’s never the same way twice. That night it’s all going to be laid out on stage and it’s all there for the audience to just revel in.”

For tickets to Gershwin and Gatsby call 1 (800) 838-3006 or visit NewYorkStateBallet.org.

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