Braving The New World (2010)
As Americans face the possibility of airport staff looking straight through our clothes, debate the extent of government control in our financial and healthcare institutions, and surrender our privacy to an enveloping online world, classics like “Brave New World” and “1984” have never been more relevant. In the world premiere of its contemporary ballet Braving the New World, based on the imagined worlds of authors like Aldous Huxley and George Orwell, the Rebecca Davis Dance Company explores these issues of societal control vs. individual freedom.
Braving the New World is performed in the same acclaimed style as GREED: The Tale of Enron. Critics called GREED “powerfully innovative” and “incredibly beautiful, celebratory, and powerful,” and audiences quickly realized that no-one in Philadelphia uses narrative dance the way Rebecca Davis does. With that same passion and force, Davis’s new ballet brings a totalitarian future to the stage, asking “Do we have the ability to escape overwhelming forces that could determine a chilling human future?”
In the ballet’s fictional future world, one which seems more and more plausible, human beings are not born, but grown to conform in every way to a destiny that has already been engineered by an omnipresent “Big Brother.” When one man refuses to surrender his individuality and emotions, what can he do to rescue a true human connection and find real freedom? This is the dilemma that Artistic Director and Choreographer Rebecca Davis strives to show on stage: “There is only one individual that emerges from the mass population, one person who fights against the establishment and the pressures of conformity.”
The Braving the New World production team includes Costume Designers Francine Baughman and Janet Connors, with Lighting by the Barrymore Award-winning Joshua Schulman, whose work includes designs for the Wilma, Theatre Exile, Flashpoint Theatre Company, Luna Theatre Company, and many others. Sound Designer Nick Kourtides, a regular at Pig Iron Theatre Company and the Walnut Street Theatre’s main stage, joins the Company for the fifth time.
Philadelphia theatre patrons may expect the unexpected when it comes to discovering which stories choreographer and entrepreneur Rebecca Davis will bring to the stage, but those who have followed the Rebecca Davis Dance Company into its fourth successful season know they’re watching the blossoming career of one of the industry’s most dynamic and creative companies. Braving the New World promises to deliver both the visceral thrill and thought-provoking ideas that Rebecca Davis’ audiences have grown to count on.
– Written by Alaina Mabaso