BalletMet's "Sin"-ful Premiere

Published in the April/May 2011 issue.

BalletMet rehearses "7 Deadly Sins"

Photo by Chelsea Young

BalletMet Columbus’s 7 Deadly Sins, with music by rock-oriented performance group Shadowbox Live, is right on trend: It’s the latest in a string of pop music-meets-ballet collaborations. But the partnership between the two troupes also seems fated. “I’ve been thinking for a while now that it would be great for our company to connect with Shadowbox, since they’re so innovative and popular,” says BMC artistic director Gerard Charles. “And when I called their director up, he said, ‘Oh, funny. I was just about to call you!’ ”


After powwowing, BalletMet and Shadowbox decided on a ballet with seven sections, one per sin, with each shaped by a different choreographer. (The choreographer roster includes some familiar names: James Kudelka tackled “Sloth,” and Tulsa Ballet’s Ma Cong did “Pride.”) Shadowbox’s score, tailored to the needs of each choreographer, is a patchwork of original compositions and cover songs, and will be performed live onstage. “Both Shadowbox and BalletMet are interested in presenting accessible art, something the public can grab on to, so we gelled well together,” Charles says. “And their musicians have a tremendous energy, which really helps our dancers. It’s even more of a charge than having an orchestra in the pit.”