Hamlet is the first full-length ballet produced by Stephen Mills following his appointment to artistic director at Ballet Austin in 2000. The production is Ballet Austin's most-licensed and travelled work, having been performed in six U.S. cities, while making its international debut in Augsburg, Germany in October 2015. A contemporary ballet, Mills' Hamlet is based on the classic Shakespearean story of a young man and his incredible family drama. It features lush sets, costumes inspired by designer Giorgio Armani, and an emotionally driving score by American composer Philip Glass.
CHOREOGRAPHY: Stephen Mills | MUSIC: Philip Glass
Leave it to Austin, proud purveyor of indie rock and artsy ideas,
to become the country’s leading exporter of literary story ballets."
Watching the production — beautifully and starkly danced in a modernistic set — is to get to the heart of the story, without necessarily getting the full effect of the layered, dense meaning within the play.
Stripped of words, danced by a high-energy cast and jet-fueled by the music of Glass, the play becomes something of a staged action movie."
How did it feel? A bolt of pleasure belted the heart like a big swig of tequila.
Philip Glass' music melted the senses. Lisa Washburn walked on water, dancing with superhuman fluidity. Around her an effluvium of rose light created an atmosphere of dying beauty.”
...It’s just so human and real, and it’s a really great way to see the juxtaposition of a human being,
from being so held and poised, to losing it all at once. It’s so moving."
...Ballet Austin’s “Hamlet” is a dark, sumptuous journey through Shakespeare’s tale, bending and at times breaking the original narrative to create moments of intriguing texture and fiery emotion.
Ballet, by its very nature, is dramatic. It’s pure emotion given form through movement, light, and music. This makes “Hamlet”, perhaps the most dramatic of Shakespeare’s plays, a perfect choice for a ballet, as Stephen Mills has proven through his world-renowned production.”