Joseph Hernandez

World Premiere

Jun / 2023

Lighting Design

Jeff Forbes


Sara Estrella, Joseph Hernandez, Kelly O’Connor

With his epic theater-inspired Petrushka: A Contemporary Fantasia on Classical Themes, Associate Choreographer Joseph Hernandez faces the classical ballet's problematic past in an unflinching, unapologetic, and even absurdist manner.
"Lucia Tozzi paces the stage in a shimmering emerald cocktail dress. She looks ready to share something important. And she does: this is not a traditional staging of Stravinsky’s iconic ballet about a love triangle involving three puppets brought to life, Tozzi informs us. That story would be too boring and, frankly, in 2023, too problematic...The show kicks off as the ensemble flurries across the stage to the opening lines of Stravinsky’s score...As Tozzi narrates, Ingrid Ferdinand portrays Petrushka’s lovesick desperation. Her movements are frantic and uncertain, as if she has just awakened from a deep slumber, discovering her extraordinary dance abilities...The narration, a blend of Hernandez’s writing and Tozzi’s improvisation, often strays from the storyline...In the midst of this interlude, dancer Alejandra Preciado joyfully
twerks and shimmies, creating a ludicrous, yet comically effective, contrast between the history lesson and exuberant dance. It’s refreshing to see the production doesn’t take itself too seriously." — Oregon ArtsWatch - read the full review HERE.