Gears are switched dramatically for Joshua Peugh‘s Little Story. Performed by Tulsa Ballet II (the transition space for dancers who train with both the highest level of the school as well as the company), the narrative is inspired by the bits and pieces of E. T. A. Hoffman’s and Alexander Dumas’ Nutcracker tales that have perhaps been overlooked by the ballet version of The Nutcracker that we are familiar with.
Intellectually, it’s a great study. The juxtaposition between our perceptions of what Nutcracker should be and the visual, audio, and sensory experience Peugh’s creation provokes is mirrored and accentuated by the genre of the score – klezmer.
At first I’m a little overwhelmed by the intensity and speed of it all but gradually find myself entranced in the fervor. Although I catch what are the more obvious references to the traditional ballet, a second – or third – viewing would be necessary to appreciate all of the nuances. I am impressed with the capacity of these young dancers to excel at such a cerebral work.