‘I’ve never played a bad guy before,” Garrett Groat says, a laugh punctuating the statement. “It’s different. It’s kind of fun to find an evil place in yourself.”
The villain in question is the scowling Tybalt, the primary antagonist in Romeo and Juliet—sworn enemy of the former, and cousin to the star-crossed latter. Groat admits to identifying more with ol’ Romeo, but while playing up his nefarious side isn’t Groat’s usual MO—he admits that some of his notes from Alberta Ballet artistic director Jean Grand-Maître have been to be meaner, more evil, in rehearsal—but he’s finding the way to convey those directives in his movements.
“I think we all have a darker side, and it’s kind of nice to be able to explore it within the character of Tybalt,” he says. “He’s not a very soft guy. [The movement’s] a lot more rigid, uptight, kind of pissed-off.”
Conveying the timeless tale through the nuances of the body is, after all, paramount: this is Shakespeare’s most enduring and tragic love story as told en pointe, favouring movement over iambic pentameter. Noted as one of Grand-Maître’s favourites, it’s certainly popped up its fair share of times in the company’s history, last in 2009.
This is Groat’s first go-around with the adaptation, after six seasons in the Alberta Ballet corps. He’s no stranger to the music, though: this will mark the first time he’s danced it with the company, but Sergei Prokofiev’s score is one he’s very familiar with.
“The score by Prokofiev has always been one of my favourite ballet musical scores,” Groat offers. “It’s amazing to be dancing to that music. … It just depicts the story so well.”
Fri, Mar 18 & Sat, Mar 19
Jubilee Auditorium, $20 – $95