CARMEN.maquia | Davidson Theatre

Current performances postponed to 20/21 Season, dates are to be determined

Act I: 46 Minutes | Intermission: 20 Minutes | Act II: 22 Minutes

CARMEN.maquia is a full-length ballet. A full-length ballet is one ballet with intermissions, similar to a book with chapters.

“Sansano’s emotionally fierce, intensely sensual, brilliantly danced and stunningly designed 75-minute work is riveting from start to finish…destined to become an instant classic.”
– Chicago Sun-Times

“Can a ballet with spare scenery and no-frills costumes pack an emotional punch? On Friday night, the dancers of BalletMet Columbus answered with a resounding yes.
…In her first starring role with BalletMet, Karen Wing dazzles as Carmen, a calculating Gypsy who has soldier Don Jose (Gabriel Gaffney Smith) in her crosshairs. Even if she wasn’t the only dancer dressed in black, Wing would stand out for her admirable technique and expressive acting.”
Columbus Dispatch

‘Sansano’s Carmen.maquia was a truly unique take on Mérimée’s tale. It will undoubtedly be a signature work for him. BalletMet’s entire cast was marvelous with its leads, especially Wing and Powers, adding luster to this now golden egg in BalletMet’s repertory.’
Arts Air

Read the full Arts Air review from our 2016 performance from dance critic, Steve Sucato.

Choreographer: Gustavo Ramirez Sansano
Composer: Georges Bizet

Why you’ll love this ballet

  • You will recognize the music
  • Dancer, Karen Wing named outstanding performer of the year for Carmen.maquia
  • A Contemporary ballet

Find out More!

Rehearsal Videos and Photos

Carmen.maquia performed by BalletMet Company Dancers

Choreographer Gustavo Ramirez Sansano on the making of ‘Carmen.maquia’

Carmen.maquia first premiered in Chicago in 2012 to rave reviews. It’s “emotionally fiece” and “riveting from start to finish,” wrote the Chicago Sun-Times. Read our blog to learn more about why Sansano used Cubism to inspire him, how he casts his Carmen and why he created the ballet in the first place.


The Story Behind the Ballet

Taking its cues from the 1845 novella by Prosper Merimee and the 1875 operaby Georges Bizet, Carmen.maquia weaves the drama filled story of Carmen, a spirited gypsy, and her love triangle with the doting Don Jose, an army officer, and Escamillo, a beloved bullfighter. Spanish choreographer Gustavo Ramirez Sansano choreographed Carmen.maquia in 2012 on Chicago company Luna Negra Dance Theater.

The title is derived from tauromaquia, Spanish for “the art of bullfighting.” Pablo Picasso often compared Carmen to an untamable bull, so Sansano removed “tauro” and inserted “Carmen.”

In his version, Sansano reimagines Carmen in a Picasso-inspired setting, with a white, canvas-like set and sculptural costumes made to evoke the inside of traditional flamenco attire. Bizet’s score remains the soundtrack, though in the form of various orchestral versions with no vocals.

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