In this classic saga of love, lust and revenge Carmen Sweet, choreographed by Expression Dance Company’s Natalie Weir, is the contemporary dance adaptation of Carmen.

Set to Rodion Shchedrin’s, Carmen Suite, the enthralling score has guileless Don José as the solider who falls in love with the passionate Gypsy Carmen. He tries to subdue her wild, roving ways but only ends up driving her into the arms of Escamillo, the famed matador. The three become embroiled in a traitorous love triangle of jealousy, revenge and murder.

Natalie Weir's Carmen Sweet. Pictured EDC's Jack Ziesing, Elise May, Riannon McLean, Samantha Mitchell. Image by Dylan Evans

Natalie Weir’s Carmen Sweet. Pictured EDC’s Jack Ziesing, Elise May, Riannon McLean, Samantha Mitchell. Image by Dylan Evans

Journeying along this spirited performance Carmen is a capricious bohemian portrayed by three dancers at various stages of her perilous life. Rebecca Hall is the young, flirtatious Carmen; Michelle Barnett dances as the unattainable Carmen; and Elise May is a matriarchal, knowledgeable Carmen. Her fiery triangle is offset by Jack Ziesling who dances as the solider, Don José and Benjamin Chapman as the matador Escamillo who seduces Carmen from her solider. Daryl Brandwood dances a dramatic tale as the Fortune Teller who predicts Carmen’s demise.

Artistic Director Natalie Weir first devised Carmen Sweet as a commission for the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. It was so well received she cultivated it for as a touring piece for the Expression Dance Company and it has since been seen at the 2013 Ballet Under the Stars for the Singaporean Dance Theatre and the Noosa Long Weekend Festival. It is now on a ten week tour to seventeen different venues across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

What sets Expression Dance Company apart from other companies is their ‘Community Section’. Natalie Weir will select ten young local dancers to accompany the cast on stage. They become the retinue for Escamillo carrying a single rose each with a playful nod to a popular television show. The cast describe Carmen Sweet as “a bit of passion, revenge, murder and a lot of fun”, certainly a new take on a beloved story.

Fans of Bizet’s traditional opera Carmen need not be up in arms, we suggest you listen carefully for glimpses throughout Shchedrin’s heart-thumping score and embrace this thrilling, sexy performance. It will be showing at Parramatta’s Riverside Theatre on November 10th and November 11th.

When: 8pm on 10th November and 11th November

Tickets: Adult $42 / Conc $37 / 30 and Under $28

Bookings: From the Box Office (02) 8839 3399 or www.riversideparramatta.com.au

Venue: Riverside Theatres – Corner of Church and Market Streets, Parramatta

*Carmen Sweet will only have one other performance in Sydney, at Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre on Friday 13 November at 8pm. For more information and bookings, please visit http://thejoan.com.au/whats-on/carmen-sweet/

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Local Sydney girl who enjoys popping out for a drink or dropping by the theatre or a night around town, then coming home to write all about it!

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