By Pei-San Brown, Community Education Director
1. William Shakespeare’s The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is over 400 years old, more than 4,000 words long, and takes over 4 hours to deliver.
2. The first ballet version of Hamlet was choreographed by Francesco Clerico in Venice in 1788.
3. The most famous ballet version of the play in the 1900s was choreographed by Bronislava Nijinska, who also danced the title role in her Hamlet in 1934 at the Paris Opera Ballet.
4. Stephen Mills was inspired to choreograph a contemporary ballet version of Hamlet by Franco Zeffirelli’s 1990 movie version of the play.
5. In his version of the ballet, Stephen originated the role of the Ghost in 2000, reprised it in 2009, and will once again dance it in 2015.
6. Company dancer Frank Shott originated the role of Laertes in Mills’ Hamlet, and is responsible for coaching fellow dancers in the fencing sequences each time the ballet is staged.
7. After dancing the role of Laertes in Mills’ Hamlet in 2000 and 2004, Frank was cast in the title role of Hamlet in 2009 and will dance that role again in 2015.
8. Frank’s wife, company dancer Jaime Lynn Witts, is dancing the role of Ophelia for the first time in 2015; however, her Hamlet will be fellow company member Paul Michael Bloodgood.
9. The first time Paul was cast as Ballet Austin’s Hamlet in 2009, his onstage love, Ophelia, was danced by his wife, Anne Marie Melendez.
10. Ballet Austin’s Hamlet will feature live musical accompaniment by the Austin Symphony Orchestra for the very first time in 2015.
Join us for Hamlet September 4-6!