September 24, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Nashville, TN) What does Nashville Ballet have in common with The Rolling Stones? Gerald Marks, renown 3-D artist who directed music videos for the Rolling Stones, has created 3-D artistry for Nashville Ballet's season-opening presentation of The Bell Witch. It is believed to be the first ballet ever to include 3-D effects.
A one-act story ballet presented in conjunction with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, The Bell Witch recounts the legend of a supernatural visitation at the Bell home in Adams, Tennessee, in the early 1800s. Marks' 3-D effects will complement choreography by Ann Marie De Angelo and an original score by Conni Ellisor of the Nashville Chamber Orchestra.
The Bell Witch, along with another original ballet, Ouroboros, will be performed October 17- 19 at the James K. Polk Theater at TPAC. NCO and Nashville Ballet Music Director Paul Gambill will conduct the orchestra.
DeAngelo said the idea for 3-D in ballet stems from her interest in collaborating with other creative professionals, including choreographers, directors, illustrators, painters, writers, musicians and even circus artists. "I love to integrate new elements into my work, especially those that we traditionally do not feature in the ballet," she said.
DeAngelo first met Marks at a party in New York. "Ann Marie spoke about her vision of the future of ballet, involving new technology and computer imagery," said Marks. "A few weeks later, she visited my studio and I showed her the three 3-D music videos I had directed for The Rolling Stones during the Steel Wheels tour."
The 3-D effects will be artistically woven into the ballet's story. The audience will have hand-held 3-D glasses, which they can choose to use during key moments. "This effect will dimensionalize the story, as if you are going into an altered reality," De Angelo said. "And it will make it a bit more fun, too."
The ballet will feature other special effects including a chair that rocks by itself, a door that slams closed, and sheets that are ripped off a bed.
Marks created the stereoscopic photography for The Bell Witch using a 50-year-old camera that is a 35mm version of the glass-plate stereo cameras used in the 1800s to produce the popular stereo views of the day. For The Bell Witch production, Marks uses digital data projectors connected to a dual-processor G4 Macintosh computer. The slide transitions and animations are generated in real time on the video card by Apple's Keynote 1.1 software. He used Adobe Photoshop 7.0.1 to create or modify the 3-D images.
The 3-D effects are not as extensive as those found in movies like Spy Kids -3-D or at theme park attractions. They will be integrated into the story in an artistic way and at moments to enhance or comment on the action.› The first effect is introduced right away in the first scene so the audience can feel comfortable with 3-D from the start.› An icon will prompt the audience to hold up the glasses.
In addition to The Bell Witch, Nashville Ballet will premiere Artistic Director Paul Vasterling's newest ballet, Ouroboros with music composed by NCO Composer in Residence J. Mark Scearce. Ouroboros is inspired by serpents, a pervasive symbol in all religions throughout the ages. Three short segments representing renewal, temptation and redemption are based on scripture from the Biblical Books of Genesis and Mark, as well as the practice of snake handling in East Tennessee churches.
Performance Dates, Times and Ticket Information:
The Bell Witch
Footnotes, a pre-show chat led by Paul Vasterling, will take place at 7:40 pm in the lobby.
Founded in 1981 as a civic dance company, Nashville Ballet became Middle Tennessee s only professional ballet company in 1986. Nashville Ballet presents a varied repertoire of classical pieces and contemporary works by noted choreographers, as well as original works by Artistic Director Paul Vasterling, which are performed worldwide. Through performances and education/outreach programs, Nashville Ballet reaches more than 50,000 adults and children annually.
Nashville Ballet's 18 company dancers and apprentices will perform four series during the 2003-2004 season ů The Bell Witch, Oct. 17-19; Nutcracker, Dec. 12-21; Bluebird Caf» at the Ballet, Feb. 13-15; and Romeo and Juliet, April 30-May 2.
The Nashville Chamber Orchestra is enjoying a period of dramatic growth as it celebrates its 13th season of ambitious and innovative programming creating Music Without Boundaries. Under the leadership of music director and founder Paul Gambill, the orchestra has developed a national profile for the way their programming is attracting audiences and challenging people's perception of what a chamber orchestra can be. Recognition of the orchestra' s success at attracting new audiences to the concert hall has come in the form of a national award for adventurous programming from ASCAP, feature length profiles in SYMPHONY Magazine and Eastman Notes magazines, and broadcasts on National Public Radio's flagship classical music show, Performance Today. In November 2002, the NCO's CD featuring the music of Aaron Copland was released on the Naxos label. ClassicsToday gave the CD its first national review, bestowing its highest rating with a 10 for Artistic Quality and a 10 for Sound Qualitycalling it "a disc that is practically perfect from just about any perspective."
Nashville Ballet and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra are funded in part from grants made available through Metro Nashville Arts Commission and the Tennessee Arts Commission.