Davidson Theatre, Columbus, OH

You will recognize the music

CARMEN.maquia performance photo
CARMEN.maquia performance photo

Dancer, Karen Wing named outstanding performer of the year for Carmen.maquia

CARMEN.maquia performance photo
CARMEN.maquia performance photo
CARMEN.maquia Performance Photo
CARMEN.maquia Performance Photo

A Contemporary ballet

CARMEN.maquia performance photo
CARMEN.maquia performance photo

Show Details

Run Time Approximately 1 hour 28 minutes
Approximately 1 hour 28 minutes

This ballet is a full length. Meaning, one ballet with intermissions, similar to a book with chapters.

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

Choreography Gustavo Ramirez Sansano
Gustavo Ramirez Sansano

Learn more about Gustavo Ramirez Sansano in our video below

Music Georges Bizet
Georges Bizet

More information coming soon.

Image of Company Dancer Rachael Parini
See what people are saying

“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

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.

Davidson Theatre

Get Directions
CARMEN.maquia performance photo

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.

Read the Blog


Where do I park?

There are parking garages near the Ohio and the Capitol theatres, as well as limited metered street parking (most of which is free after 6 pm and on Sundays).

Ohio Statehouse Parking Garage
$5 during events
Enter from westbound Broad Street or Third Street.

Riffe Center Parking Garage
$5 during events
Enter from Front Street. Take the elevators to the third floor and proceed along the hall to the Davidson Theatre. (For the Box Office or Will Call, descend the escalators to the first floor.)

Downtown traffic can be heavy, so please plan ahead. We recommend arriving 20-30 minutes early to park, find your seat, explore the program and relax before the performance. Audience members who arrive late may not be seated until intermission.

What do I wear?

This is our most-asked question, and the answer is: You probably won’t feel out of place no matter what you wear. If you want to wear jeans, go for it—we promise you won’t be alone. If you want to dress up, feel free. Many others do, too. We don’t see as much formal-wear in the theater as we once did, though it wouldn’t be unusual to see a tux or a gown at a performance. Basically, anything goes.

Do the dancers talk?

No, dancers express the story or meaning through the movement. In some story ballets, dancers will use pantomime (exaggerated movements) to help you understand what’s happening. If you see a ballet with pantomime, head to the lobby, where we’ll have more information and guidance. If you ever struggle to follow along, feel free to chat with a BalletMet staff member in the lobby who will happily answer any questions you have.

When do I clap?

If you are wowed by something you just saw, please do applaud. At BalletMet, we love to hear clapping. It’s uplifting to those performing, as they can often feel your excitement and energy on stage. So applaud whenever you see fit! Note: Not every ballet company feels this way, so keep that in mind if you happen to be at another company’s performance.

Images by Jennifer Zmuda