Atlanta Ballet’s original production of Camino Real will return to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre from May 12-14. Created on the company in 2015 by choreographer in residence Helen Pickett, the work incorporates dance, spoken text, and Atlanta Ballet Orchestra’s live performance of a score by Peter Salem.
Inspired by Tennessee Williams’ 1953 play of the same name, the ballet follows the journey of the fictional former boxing champion Kilroy as he encounters love, desperation, and an eclectic mix of literary and historical characters in Camino Real, a surreal town controlled by a cruel hotelier named Gutman.
“Kilroy is a strong, humble, and loving character,” says Alexandre Barros, who is taking on the role. “He becomes everyone’s hope for a better life. From the very beginning, however, he is hated by Gutman, who wants the Camino Real to stay the same – hopeless and obedient. Kilroy has this alacrity in his heart and always wants the best for others, which Gutman completely despises.”
Barros says he loves what Pickett did with the ballet: “The play is very complicated to understand and yet Helen found a way to narrate the story so beautifully.”
Tara Lee will conclude her 21-season career with the company in the role of Esmeralda, a character derived from Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. “She’s a gypsy, trapped in the Camino like everyone else, but recognizes freedom when she meets Kilroy,” Lee says. “To me, she represents truth. In Helen’s production, reality is constantly shifting for the characters. A tragic scene can suddenly turn a switch and become a Vaudeville-like dance extravaganza. Beauty and poetry live beside ugliness and hopelessness. The audience decides which world they want to see.”
From Atlanta Ballet’s website: “Recommended for ages 12 and up.”
Tickets start at $25. Purchase here.