I Need a Cold Shower After That One

Carmen - NC Dance Theatre

Striking, angry workers and sultry ill-fated passion are the backbone of Carmen, a North Carolina Dane Theatre production in Charlotte this week. I’ve left the ballet filled with awe plenty of times before, but I never left feeling like I needed to take a cold shower. Carmen is hot, hot, hot!

Mill workers, who are underpaid and overworked, decide to go on strike. National Guardsmen are called in to quell any potential threats. Carmen, the instigator of the strike movement, rallies the crowd against the Mill Owner and Guardsmen. She notices the handsome young Guardsmen, Joe, and is instantly attracted to him. He tries to ignore her teasing approaches, but he falls for her seductions. The Mill Owner sees this and has Joe arrested. As the strike movement progresses, mill workers gather on Carmen’s porch. A party atmosphere develops and Miller, a baseball star, enters; he is immediately smitten by Carmen. With two potential lovers, Carmen dances her way around both of them creating emanate disaster.

Carmen, danced by Melissa Anduiza, and Joe, danced by Naseeb Culpepper, had Carmen - NC Dance Theatreundeniable chemistry and the way she gracefully, yet provocatively, moved around him made me feel like I was about to witness something dirty. It was enthralling, yet I still focused on her precision and control. The elegance of her movements made even the most sultry scenes absolutely beautiful. She flung her leg around his neck and I saw her calf muscle flex… thinking about her perfectly pointed toes and her agile legs. I couldn’t see her as a seducer.  It was like she was too beautiful to be bad.

Carmen and Miller, danced by Pete Leo Walker, were so darn sensual, though, that I’d forgotten that I was at the ballet. Rather than being dancers, they were two lovers on the stage. It was almost sinful, but in the most desirable way. It was like eating an entire double chocolate cake when you’ve been on a diet for a month.

I had to look at the artists page several times and go back to the cast page to make sure I had the name right when I saw Melissa’s profile picture in the program. A 4th season dancer with NC Dance Theatre, Melissa looks sweet and innocent but on stage she was such a fire-cracker that I won’t have believed it was her. It was an Oscar worthy performance.

I’d seen Pete Leo Walker perform before and I was, and am, always mesmerized by his dancing ability. As Peter Pan or Romeo, his dancing talent is remarkable. He is quite possibly the best male dancer I’ve ever seen perform, but it was his role-taking ability that stood out in Carmen. He matched Melissa’s performance and left me wanting more.

The only thing I was disappointed with this evening was that the show had to end at some point. I could have watched them for hours, never to sigh or look at my watch. It was enchanting. This one is definitely not for kids, but I can guarantee there wasn’t a wandering eye in the building regardless of gender.

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18 thoughts on “I Need a Cold Shower After That One

  1. Wow, that sounded like one amazing ballet! I loved your description of it, sounded incredibly sexy and steamy! As I live in the city where the original opera/novella was set, Seville in Spain, I love reading about new interpretations/modern settings for it – the mill/strike and basketballer player sound perfect. A bit more relevant to today’s audience than tobacco factory and bullfighter! Have you seen the opera, performed as set in Seville?

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  2. Nice review. I have a wordpress blog and was concerned when I saw the notice that my readers might see ads on my blog. On your post they put a Corona Beer commercial video with coach Chucky Gruden. I guess all of us wordpress blog writers are going to have to pay the yearly ransom to stop the ads or suffer with the commercials.

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  3. Pingback: I Need a Cold Shower After That One « donniebishop

  4. I read the book at school and later the school took us to Lincoln Center in NYC as a field trop to see the opera.

    I think the opening to the opera is probably one of the most famous pieces of music ever. You probably would recognize it too–it’s a bit impossible to forget once you’ve heard it!

    This interpretation sounded like fun! And yes, the story of Carmen is not exactly meant for little children!

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