Passion of Christ will be told through dance

By Terri Spilman

The Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre’s original production of “Superhero: The Story of a Man Called Jesus” has ascended as a not-to-be-missed Easter tradition running April 4 and 5 at the Tarkington Theatre at The Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.

“I just felt like I wanted to do a danced version of the Passion,” said Artistic Director Gregory Hancock. “There have been many movies made of the Passion, I don’t think there’s been too many danced versions. It is such a compelling story and so interesting, with a lot of interesting characters so I decided to create my version of it.”

This critically acclaimed, full-length modern ballet follows the last week of the life of Jesus as told through the perspective of Jesus and the women surrounding him, and his complicated relationships with Judas Iscariot.

Even the cast is predominately female with only two males out of 60 cast members.

“The piece kind of starts out with a rock concert feel, people are sometimes just a little surprised or taken aback, but there is this evolution that happens and by the end it feels very classical and beautiful.” Hancock created the contemporary soundtrack from a variety of music sources that includes pop music from artists such as U2 and Rob Thomas as well as some music from film.

Hancock uses bright colors and costume influences from many places in the world.

“We are all kind of programmed that Jesus needs to be dressed in a white robe but I don’t know why. That’s the beauty of art. We can kind of add our feelings or our impressions of things to it. It’s a very personal piece for me as most of my work is.”

Superhero features Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre veteran dancers Martin Casanova as Jesus, Heather Helene King as Mother Mary, Melanie Eakman as Mary Magdalene and guest artist Liang Fu as Judas.

“Superhero: The Story of a Man Called Jesus” ● Presented by Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre ● 7 p.m. April 4 and 5 ● Tarkington Theatre in Carmel at the Center for the Performing Arts ● Tickets start at $38.50 ● For more information call 843-3800 or visit www.thecenterfortheperformingarts.org.

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