Not the Same Old Song and Dance

With innovative Love Songs, choreographer David Roussve steps way past the tried and true

Rousseve uses the great, soul-wrenching love arias from Tannhauser, Tristan and Isolde and Samson and Delilah both for their overwhelming beauty and for parody. In an open field one night, the slave Sarah, played by Charmaine Warren, sees the Flying Africans. One comes down to her as a black male Venus in an ante-bellum wig and hoop skirt. Venus gives Sarah a golden chalice filled with a love potion, instructs her to save it for the one she wants to be her love and then says, "I can't stay long because I have my Act III Tannhäuser cameo."

When the master brings Sarah's destined lover, John, to the plantation, she quickly gives John the chalice. They fall in love and, proverbially, that's when the real trouble begins.

Rousseve mixes gender and number, casting two or more dancers in the same role. He has Steven Washington dance John, for the most part, and alternately, Terri Hollis. Sheldon and Egland dance the master. Julie Tolentino and Egland play the part of Rebecca.

But don't be confused by the casting--just follow the costumes.

REALITY is scheduled to perform Love Songs at 8 p.m. Saturday, November 7, at Gammage Auditorium, located at Mill and Apache in Tempe.

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