Thursday, October 18, 2012

Alberta Ballet's Othello, to see or not to see

Men in tights. This is what I think of when I think about the ballet. That, and chicks dancing en pointe which is the most insane thing ever.

Othello is the current performance being presented by the Alberta Ballet. Men in tights? Check. Chicks dancing en pointe? Check. Then there is the story of Othello…which I don't remember AT ALL from high school English. My only point of reference was the terrible decade old movie 'O' with Julia Stiles, Mekhi Phifer and Josh Hartnett. Literally all I remember was Mekhi thinking Stiles cheated on him and then he killed her and Josh Hartnett sitting in a car looking extremely creepy. Clearly it made an impression. *Eye roll.

Imagine my surprise when I had no idea what was going on in the show. The only person I was sure of was the creepy guy in black who played Iago (which is the name of the bird on Aladdin, FYI) who was Josh Hartnett's character in O. Othello was played by a guy with long hair in the dress rehearsal. For the first 5 minutes I thought he was a chick…this is what happens when you are not sitting in the front section. Not impressed.

But what about the dancing you ask? Lucky for you, I brought my former dancer of a roommate who was able to tell me that the choreography was very contemporary and weird (which I totally agreed with…I just thought YOU would like a more expert opinion). She also mentioned that most ballets do not have scenes where people are getting wasted in a bar…which does happen in this show and was, obviously, one of my favourite scenes.

My absolute favourite part, however, was when Othello was suffocating Desdemona with a pillow (yes, this is how they do murder scenes in the ballet) and the little girl in front of us asked her mom frantically "Why is he doing that to her?!" Her mom just shushed her and I wanted to lean forward and say, "Because he thinks she is a HARLOT." But I didn't. The restraint I occasionally show is mind blowing.

Now we have come time for a verdict. Would I recommend that you go see this performance, or is your time better spent watching reruns of The Bachelor Canada? Well, I missed the Bach because I was at this ballet, and let me tell you, I wish I hadn't.



  1. "Because he thinks she is a HARLOT." LOL. Personally, I thought "O" was a great adaptation of Othello. The film even included willow symbolism. *English nerd alert*

  2. Then you would like the ballet...nerd.


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