Preview: Columbus Dance Theatre’s “Cleopatra”

By Columbus Alive
From the January 17, 2013 edition

The seed for Columbus Dance Theatre’s performance “Cleopatra” is, itself, rooted in a love story.

Tim Veach, the theater’s artistic director and founder, said the idea for the show started when he and his wife, Christina Kirk, were talking about more ways to work together. Kirk is an actress and a theater professor at Otterbein University.

Their answer was a multimedia production, presented in part by the PNC Arts Alive program, that put a new spin on William Shakespeare's tragedy "Antony and Cleopatra."

Using only scenes from the original play in which the two tormented lovers are present, Kirk and Veach speak as Antony and Cleopatra; meanwhile, the dance company's professional dancers perform simultaneously as those characters and others to an original score by Charles Wetherbee of Carpe Diem String Quartet.

“We’ve created a landscape that’s very European dance theater. It’s been challenging to make certain that all the aspects are given their full value — that we didn’t water down the text or the movement,” Veach said. “It has been an incredible process.”

Photo by Meghan Ralston