Carmen Ballet- Telling a Complex Narrative Without Saying a Word

Photo : Fotograf_Erik_Berg_Den_Norske_Opera_og_Ballett_2015 Carmen ballet in the Norwegian Opera and Ballet.


One of the most played operas in the world, Carmen has been interpreted as a ballet choreographed by Liam Scarlett In the Norwegian Opera House. The tragic love story is expressed through dances that vary from aggressive and violent to romantic and soft. 

Taking place in 1930s’ Spain, Carmen as a ballet is sensual and elegant. The characters are expressive in their movements, telling a complex narrative without saying a word. 

Carmen, the femme fatale gypsy girl played by Julie Gardette is true to her character. She is bold and flirtatious but also a bit fragile. 

The high point of her performance was in Act II when Carmen and Don Jose found themselves alone in a passionate romance.

Also notably talented was Whitney Jensen who played the innocent and cute Micaela. The audience easily gained sympathy for this character.

The costumes exemplify a Spanish stereotype from the era they represent, but are nonetheless beautiful and vibrant.

The costumes worn during the toreador dance in Act III were exceptionally eye-catching. However, the dance itself was less impressive, giving the toreador, whom is supposed to be a macho womanizing character a feminine quality. 

The music from Carmen was slightly different from the classics. George Bizet’s familiar tunes were suddenly exuberant and refreshing without straying too far from the recognizable.