Arts & Culture

Carolina Ballet takes on the haunted with ‘Sleepy Hollow’ debut

Carolina Ballet's Lara O’Brien, front center, as Katrina Van Tassel, rehearses with the company Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, for their production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”
Carolina Ballet's Lara O’Brien, front center, as Katrina Van Tassel, rehearses with the company Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, for their production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” jleonard@newsobserver.com

For Halloween, Carolina Ballet presents its version of Washington Irving’s short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” not only with Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman but also with two ghosts, two witches and haunted townspeople from the hollow itself.

Co-artistic director Zalman Raffael, creator of the piece making its Carolina Ballet debut, said ballet-goers had asked the Raleigh company to do its own version of the classic. Besides, he added, “Since I was a child, my mother always thought it would be a great ballet. That stuck out for me.”

“The most dominant spirit is the Headless Horseman,” he said in a phone interview. “The town is haunted. There are ghostly things going on.”

As for Ichabod, he said, the hapless fellow gets “most of the hauntings.”

Raffael said he aimed for a psychological profile: Is what Ichabod experiences real or thought up? He adds that the piece is geared mainly for adults.

He drew on the imaginative language in Irving’s story for his ballet, set to classical music. Costumes and staging are true to the historical period when Irving wrote his story.

Marcelo Martinez is set to appear as the Headless Horseman, Yevgeny Shlapko as Ichabod and Lara O’Brien as Katrina Van Tassel, the young woman with whom Ichabod is smitten.

Other featured pieces are interpretations by longtime artistic director Robert Weiss of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” and the urban legend “The Lady in the White Veil.”

Details

What: “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” & Other Haunted Tales

When: Oct. 12-29. Shows are 8 p.m. or 2 p.m., depending on the day.

Where: Fletcher Opera Theater in Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St, Raleigh.

Cost: Tickets start at $37 and vary based on time.

Info: carolinaballet.com

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