Martha Clarke's Chéri
featuring Alessandra Ferri, Herman Cornejo, and Amy Irving
with Sarah Rothenberg, piano
"Hypnotic visual beauty"--The New York Times
"A voluptuous dream!"--The Star Ledger
Adapted from controversial French author Colette's infamous 1920 novella, Martha Clarke's Chéri offers an inventive approach to this passionate tale of forbidden love between a young man and an older woman. In Belle Époque Paris, Chéri (American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Herman Cornejo) and Lea (prima ballerina assoluta Alessandra Ferri) enjoy a blissful affair, even under the scornful glances of Chéri's disapproving mother (Academy Award nominee Amy Irving). Only once they're separated by war do they realize all their innocent fun was actually true love. But after six agonizing months apart, is it too late to reignite their old romance?
A world-renowned visionary of movement, drama, and design, Martha Clarke's work was last seen at the Kennedy Center more than a decade ago, in 2003, with her cross-genre masterpiece Vienna: Lusthaus. Says New York Magazine: "She specializes in wordless lyric theater, setting a blend of mime and dance to music in pursuit of heady, evocative atmosphere." Clarke now brings this heartbreaking love story to life through a rapturous hybrid of dance and theater, featuring text by acclaimed playwright Tina Howe and the music of Debussy, Mompou, Ravel, and Poulenc played live onstage by pianist Sarah Rothenberg. The Daily News calls powerhouse dancers Cornejo and Ferri "a whirl of sensuality [and] grace," while the New York Times raves: "For dance aficionados, Chéri offers an irresistible chance to encounter beloved performers in a new context and to view their artistry with a new intimacy."
Please note: this performance contains mature themes and content.
Free Explore the Arts Post-Performance Discussion
Wednesday, October 1
Performance Timing: 65 minutes, with no intermission.