Robin Gilbert and Carlos Fittante in "Tigerlily and the Dragonfly". Photo: Julie Lemberger

BALAM to Perform in the Scottish Highlands of Verismo Opera's Lucia di Lammermoor

BALAM Dance Theatre will grace the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's stage in the company's new production of Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.   Under Verismo Opera's Artistic Director Lucine Amara, BALAM will perform in Donizetti's famous tragic opera on Sunday, October 18, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. at the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), located at 30 North Van Brunt Street in Englewood, New Jersey.

BALAM was selected to perform for a second time in a Verismo Opera production because of its extensive knowledge of period dancing and experience choreographing dance scenes in opera.  "The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera is delighted to have BALAM Dance Theatre on our stage again.  Their professionalism and dance talent cannot be overstated," said Stage Director Evelyn La Quaif.

This past April, BALAM's Artistic Director and Choreographer Carlos Fittante and Resident Spanish
Photo Credit: Marilyn Monsanto
Dance Specialist Barbara Romero debuted performing as gypsies in Verismo Opera's production of Georges Bizet's Carmen.  In the new production, BALAM will transport the audience to a completely different landscape, Scotland, performing as
courtiers invited to perform in the wedding party at the beginning of Act Two.           

Both organizations share an aesthetic bond.  "We are presenting the splendors of the classics for the entertainment and enrichment of the community.  Ms. Romero and I are delighted to dance once again for the discerning Verismo Opera audience.  They graciously received our performance in Carmen," said Fittante.

Understanding the Period

Barbara Romero and Carlos Fittante
Donizetti's decision to set Lucia di Lammermoor in Scotland was not a coincidence.  At the time, the land known for its hearty, fast growing heather was the rage in Europe.  "In 1832, the world's first toe ballet, La Sylphide featuring Marie Taglioni, came to the stage.   That was followed in 1835 with Donizetti's premiere of Lucia di Lammermoor.  Both works were inspired by a European fascination with Scotland and part of the Romantic Era," explained Fittante. 

Researching the movement vocabulary and the aesthetic conventions of the times, provided insight and inspiration to create the choreography for BALAM's new dance in Lucia di Lammermoor.  "As dancers brought to celebrate Lucia's betrothal, Ms. Romero and I selected buoyant period dance steps that compliment Gaetano Donizetti's musical fanfare incorporating hand holding, partnered dance figures," he explained.

Fittante added that the creative process also took into account the voluminous, heavy period costumes to be worn.  "Calculating the time needed for a velvet skirt and full-length petticoat to unfurl and settle with a flair was a fun part of the process.  Our costumes' weight provides elegant gravitas to the dance.  Other period dance touches include crafting the choreography to reflect Donizetti's music," he said.


Carlos Fittante

A choreographer and dance artist of remarkable diversity performing Ballet, Spanish Escuela Bolera,
Photo: Carlos Fittante  Photo Credit: Neil Sapienza
Baroque, Balinese and other movement styles, Fittante has performed throughout the world in Japan, Korea, Indonesia, England, Germany, Spain, Mexico, and the United States.
  As a Baroque choreographer and dancer, he has performed with several leading period companies such as the acclaimed Boston Early Music Festival, where he is a resident co-choreographer, and Apollo’s Fire, Cleveland’s period music orchestra. 

Fittante has also performed with the New York City Opera, Bilbao Opera, Four Nations Ensemble, Sinfonia New York, Teatro Lirico D.C., The Bishop’s Band, and others.  His new period choreography for George Frideric Handel's operas Almira and Acis and Galatea enjoyed critical praise.


Barbara Romero

Barbara Romero
Romero has studied a variety of dance forms, including ballet, modern, flamenco, escuela bolero, neoclassical, and jota, under a litany of master teachers in the United States and Spain.  For six seasons, Romero toured the United States with the Boston Flamenco Ballet under the direction of "El Naranjito" (Simon Blasco), where she choreographed and performed a new production annually.  Among her period work, she co-choreographed and performed with BALAM a suite of 16th century Spanish Renaissance dances at the Lladró Museum & Collectors Society in New York City.




Tickets may be purchased online, at bergenPAC's box office located at 30 North Van Brunt Street in Englewood, New Jersey, and by calling (201) 227-1030 or toll-free at 1-888-PACSHOW.  Senior citizens receive a 10% discount.  The company is offering a reduced rate of $10 on all tickets for children, ages 12 and under.  Special senior citizen and children’s discount ticket rates are available at the box office only and must be requested before the purchase.  For special rates for group sales only, call (201) 224-2809.  Discount tickets are not available for purchase online.