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California Ballet's 'The Great Gatsby'


  • WHEN Multiple dates from Oct 23 - Oct 25, 2015[days & times]
  • WHERE San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Avenue, San Diego
    Map | Website
  • AGES 8+
  • COST $25 - $110

California Ballet presents the West Coast premiere of Septime Webre's "The Great Gatsby" at the San Diego Civic Theatre October 23 to 25, 2015.

Webre's contemporary ballet adaptation fuses live music, narration, singing, contemporary and classical dance, tap and more to bring to life F. Scott Fitzgerald's iconic story of obsession, wealth and excess.

The show features live music by Boston jazz band Billy Novick and the Blue Syncopators.

Editor's Take: California Ballet's "The Great Gatsby" is a gorgeous production with everything you'd expect from a retelling of Fitzgerald’s classic American story.

You have bejeweled flapper dresses that beautifully move with the dancers, a narrator to tell the story from Nick Carraway’s perspective, and a phenomenal live jazz band playing on a stage that rises from the pit to occasionally join Gatsby's lavish parties.
There’s even a gratuitous tap number by Vincent Padilla that doesn’t have anything to do with the story, but somehow just helps seal the feeling of wealth and excess.

Though it sounds like a departure from a classical dance performance - and maybe a chance to attract new audiences - at its heart “Gatsby” is a traditional ballet. The ubiquitous Charleston is done in pointe shoes, and though they’re dressed in form-fitting suits, the men are still executing big jumps and turns.

The feel-good Roaring Twenties atmosphere does forgive some technical missteps, however, like dancers not always staying in sync, and labored partner work between most of the couples with the exception of Gatsby (Jared Nelson) and Daisy (Kirsten Bloom Allen).

Nelson is a strong, beautiful dancer who is able to bring emotion to a show that’s mostly light and bubbly. Other standouts are Ana Da Costa as the tortured mistress, Myrtle, and Justin Flores as Myrtle’s working-class husband, George.

Choreographer Septime Webre’s version of “The Great Gatsby” is an exciting production, and a strong representative of ballet’s changing landscape.

- Nina Garin, KPBS/Arts Calendar Editor

Dates and times of events are subject to change without notice. Always check the event organizer's website for the most updated schedule before attending.

Promotional photo for California Ballet's "The Great Gats...

Above: Promotional photo for California Ballet's "The Great Gatsby."


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