|SAVE THE LAST DANCE: Lucas Priolo says he’s spent by Requiem’s end.
photography courtesy of Texas Ballet Theater
A former member of the Houston Ballet, Lucas Priolo was trained in California and came to the Texas Ballet Theater with artistic director Ben Stevenson. “I really had to go with him. There was still so much for me to learn from Ben,” Priolo says. This month, his mentor gives Priolo perhaps the biggest challenge of his career: a 55-minute piece choreographed solely for male dancers.
Priolo was taken aback when he heard what Stevenson was planning, a piece called Mozart’s Requiem: Ghosts of War (Requiem), after the Mozart music to which it is choreographed. “I thought, ‘No way. We’re going to die in the middle of that.’”
Although it’s not likely that Requiem will be Priolo’s demise, performing it will be far different from dancing in Stevenson’s story ballets. “It’s an emotional piece, and it’s really hard endurance-wise. You’re spent at the end,” Priolo says.
The selection, which makes up one half of the program for TBT’s “Mozart at the Majestic,” is unmistakably contemporary. And yet the evening will begin with Act II of Swan Lake, which Priolo calls “quintessential classical ballet. You can’t get a more exciting evening than that.”
That Requiem is a “triple threat” doesn’t hurt either. It’s a world premiere. The costumes are by world-renowned designer Desmond Heeley. And, Priolo says, “Requiem is one of the most famous and most beautiful pieces of music ever. Ben was so inspired by the music. There’s something very spiritual about it. There’s such an electricity. And that’s what’s great about working with someone on a roll.”
Requiem will be performed March 30 and 31 at 8 pm and April 1 at 2 pm at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas. For ticket information go to www.texasballettheater.com.