6ABC Loves The Arts
Handel's "The Messiah" brought to life
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - February 25, 2012 (WPVI) -- With the Easter season fast-approaching, the Pennsylvania Ballet is staging The Messiah&.Handel's world-famous libretto brought to life in an epic dance.
There is no explicit narrative in The Messiah but through powerful music and movement and stunning costumes and sets, the ballet conveys a dramatic interpretation of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
"I am the Messiah within the Messiah...," says Zachary Hench, Messiah.
This is Zachary Hench's second time dancing the role of the Messiah. While he says most people are drawn to the beautiful music, it's the sheer athleticism of the work that most appeals to him.
"it's actually very demanding. There's a lot of dancing, a lot of jumping, one of the harder male roles in ballet," said Hench.
The Messiah was choreographed by the ballet's former artistic director Robert Weiss. The Ballet's Orchestra is accompanied by the Philadelphia Singers and the story starts with the full choir on stage in a skeletal abstract church.
Hench added, "It's very theatrical. There's a couple of really cool affects that go with lighting and shadows and things like that. The very end of the ballet there's a really cool part where the Messiah ascends into heaven as he spins."
Described by critics as inspirational and pure, the Messiah covers the spectrum of emotions, from joy and passion to suffering and redemption.
"This ballet, there's so much for each person to find that I think there's something for everybody in it, religious, not religious, ballet fan, non ballet fan, you name it. I mean there's got to be something in there for everybody." said Hench.The Messiah opens at the Academy of Music on March 8th and runs through the 17th. For tickets and show times, go to Pennsylvania Ballet.
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