Thursday, November 1, 2012

Newcomb Dance Company Presents Gogol's Waltzes

Guest director Lev Shulman arrives from St. Petersburg to lead the student choreographers, Delia Constantino, Shea Donovan, Jessie Kardos, Natsumi Sugiyama, and Anna Tan, in the physical theatre piece, Gogol’s Waltzes.The Newcomb Dance Company will be working with Shulman and movement director Melissa Ellberger to create pieces based on five of Nikolai Gogol’s Petersburg Tales: Nevsky Prospekt, The Nose, The Portrait, The Overcoat, and Diary of a Madman.  

Nevsky Prospekt tells the story of two different men who each follow a woman who has caught their eye down the Nevsky Prospekt, the central avenue in St. Petersburg. Both men are foils to one another: one being sentimental and romantic, the other crude and realistic.

Set in three parts, The Nose is about a barber who wakes to find a nose in his breakfast. Elsewhere, a major wakes up to find his nose is missing; as he searches for his nose, the major finds his nose is pretending to be human.  In the third part, the major wakes to find his nose is reattached and the barber is shaving him.

The Portrait is about a struggling, young artist who finds a lifelike portrait in an art shop.  He purchases the art, only to find thousands of gold rubles in the frame.  The artist opts to live a fortunate life, abandoning artistic pursuit in favor of artistic fame. Late in life, he regrets his decision seeing the artistic genius of a contemporary.  The portrait is set to be auctioned off; the portrait’s provenance has been discovered and, as it is set to be destroyed, it disappears.

The Overcoat centers on the life and death of an impoverished government clerk and copyist who is mercilessly teased for the shameful condition of his overcoat. After he purchases a new coat, he is robbed and left in the snow— sans coat.  In an effort to retrieve his coat, he appeals to the “Very Important Person,” who berates him to the extent that the clerk later falls to his death.  The clerk’s ghost begins to haunt St. Petersburg, stealing the coats from people, including the VIP.

Diary of a Madman, considered Gogol’s greatest story, recounts the story of a low-level civil servant who falls in love with the beautiful daughter of a high-ranking official. Through his diaries, we discover that he is slowly going insane, and only in his insanity does he finally achieve greatness.

Gogol's Waltzes runs November 15-17 at 8 pm, and November 18 at 2 pm.

Tickets are available through the Lupin Theater Box Office, Monday through Friday, 10-4 pm, or online: