PETRUSHKA: A Contemporary Fantasia on Classical Themes 

"The creation of this piece was incredibly personal to me.  Taking on the racist history of much of classical ballet in the context of the Portland dance scene felt stimulating and terrifying. The piece focuses on how memory and violence intersect, and what it means to dream about a future free from fascism, racism, and disaffection.  I am very thankful to the dancers of the Northwest Dance Project for their creativity and commitment to these complicated topics, and for their enduring commitment to the creation of joy."  

-Joseph Hernandez 

"Lucia Tozzi paces the stage in a shimmering emerald cocktail dress. She looks ready to share something important. And she does: this is not a traditional staging of Stravinsky’s iconic ballet about a love triangle involving three puppets brought to life, Tozzi informs us. That story would be too boring and, frankly, in 2023, too problematic...The show kicks off as the ensemble flurries across the stage to the opening lines of Stravinsky’s score...As Tozzi narrates, Ingrid Ferdinand portrays Petrushka’s lovesick desperation. Her movements are frantic and uncertain, as if she has just awakened from a deep slumber, discovering her extraordinary dance abilities...The narration, a blend of Hernandez’s writing and Tozzi’s improvisation, often strays from the storyline...In the midst of this interlude, dancer Alejandra Preciado joyfully twerks and shimmies, creating a ludicrous, yet comically effective, contrast between the history lesson and exuberant dance. It’s refreshing to see the production doesn’t take itself too seriously." 

-Oregon Arts Watch 


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