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Nashville Ballet's Julia Eisen and Jon Upleger in A Streetcar Named Desire. MA2LA, Courtesy Nashville Ballet.

In December 1947, Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire rocked audiences with its brutal portrayal of a young southern widow's tragic life. At the Broadway premiere, the theater fell utterly silent after the curtain closed, before the audience erupted into a 30-minute ovation.

Since its creation, Streetcar has won numerous awards and provided inspiration for a plethora of adaptations. Now, choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's balletic version is making its U.S. company debut at Nashville Ballet November 1–3. As a female choreographer with an interest in telling women's stories, Ochoa is championing a new era of narrative ballet, and she wants audiences familiar with Williams' story to see the protagonist's arc in a new light.

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Photo by Karolina Kuras, Courtesy NBoC

John Neumeier's 1983 ballet A Streetcar Named Desire is having its Canadian premiere this week. National Ballet of Canada's principal dancer Sonia Rodriguez will dance the iconic lead role of troubled southern belle, Blanche DuBois. Though based on Tennessee Williams' famous play, Neumeier takes a new approach, beginning his retelling of the story after the play ends. We caught up with Rodriguez in the midst of a busy rehearsal day to hear about how she embodies this challenging role.

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