Innovative Works is Charlotte Ballet‘s yearly production that brings groundbreaking and diverse productions to the company’s regional audiences. This year, Stephanie Martinez and Peter Chu challenged Shakespeare norms in Shakespeare Reinvented. The choreographers teamed up with Shakespeare professor Andrew Hartley and UNC Charlotte Department of Theatre department chair Lynne Conner to capture the well-known characters and stories within an innovative twist on the celebrated playwright’s works.
A review for Broadway World wrote:
Martinez and Coleman [costume designer] definitely set the women free from their traditional moorings, particularly James as Lady M and Amelia Sturt-Dilley as Kate. If you’ve seen or studied Macbeth, you’re likely aware that the “unsex me here” quote comes from a Lady M soliloquy where she is steeling herself to commit regicide with her husband and seize the throne of Scotland. Perhaps less familiar is the quote gleaned from The Taming of the Shrew, “If I be waspish, best beware my sting.” It comes from early in the first dialogue that Katherine has with Petruchio, shortly after he has obtained her father’s consent to take her hand in marriage – with a sizable dowry to go along with the prize.
Later in the article, entitled “BWW Review: UNC Doctors Do No Harm in Charlotte Ballet’s SHAKESPEARE REINVENTED,” Perry Tannenbaum writes of Martinez’ work, “Clocking in at an expansive 44+ minutes, Unsex Me Here was richly enjoyable and never struck me as an academic or PC rehab of these familiar men and women. Yes, it’s true that the guys – even Bottom – were deemphasized, but there was no detectable condemnation or belittlement.”
Watch Martinez’ Unsex Me Here below. The production was performed from January 25th to February 16th, 2019 in Charlotte. Martinez’ score design was by the choreographer herself, Ethan Kirschbaum, Johnny Nevin, and Peter de Klerk with music by Vivaldi, Bach, Handel, Sasseth, and a voice over of Lady Macbeth’s speech by Kate Fleetwood.
Read the Broadway World article here.
Read more about Stephanie Martinez here.