H-CENTRAL COAST

Apr 4, 2013 1:08 PM by Dan Shadwell

"Robin Hood" steals the show at the PAC

Hundreds of years after the tale was first told, of the bandit who steals from the rich and gives to the poor, it's still one of the most popular stories of all time.
The mischievous man in green tights has appeared in print, song, film, on TV and now a ballet that's taking the stage this weekend at the PAC.
In today's Local Spotlight, the ace archer and his merry men... and women,... marry mischief, mayhem, and music in Ballet Theatre San Luis Obispo's production of "Robin Hood."
While the graceful, athletic steps are staples in any ballet, this production weaves the literary thread, too.
Ballet Director, Theresa Slobodnik says it's a comprehensive story line told through physical gesture.
"There are hilarious characters, romance, honor, redemption, revenge..." she says. "There's everything in this ballet."
Pas de deuxs illustrate the love between Robin Hood and Maid Marian after she escapes an arranged marriage.
"She doesn't want to marry Sir Guy," explains Melissa Rasmussen, who dances the part of Marian. "But her father wants her to marry sir guy. So, she runs away and finds Robin Hood."
While romance can be easily portrayed in an intimate dance, Nottingham Forest's fabled bandit was also well known for his skill with weapons, and that's taken into consideration in this show, as well.
"A lot of ballets you'll see will have combat in them," says Julian Rossi, who plays the swashbuckling do-gooder. "But it'll be ballet, then it stops, and combat, and it stops, and then the ballet starts again. Theresa has done an amazing job of weaving the combat into the ballet. The fighting movements and the ballet movements have a lot of very similar characteristics and the precision of motion has to be right on and you can't mess anything up."
That was made clear just a few minutes later while rehearsing the quarter staff battle. Julian and fellow dancer, Zach Johnson, who plays Friar Tuck, were midway through their blocking when Zach's hand took a stinging blow.
"You know anytime you do stage combat, you have to stay focused," Zach said, shaking blood into his fingers. "You have to stay in the moment and if you miss one little move, that's when injuries happen."
It can be a delicate dance, but this cast and production have all the right moves.
"Robin Hood" plays at the PAC this weekend, for just three performances in Harmon Hall... one for students tomorrow morning at 11 and two others saturday and sunday nights.
For tickets and more information, just go to http://www.bt-slo.org/performances/

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