F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great American novel of lavish lifestyles and unfulfilled love in the Jazz Age dances from the page to the stage. Jay Gatsby and his love for Daisy Buchanan is a mystical, timeless story of deceit and redemption. Choreographed by BalletMet dancer and Princess Grace Award winner Jimmy Orrante, you’ll experience the decadence and despair of the Roaring 20’s in this audience favorite.
This ballet is a full length. Meaning, one ballet with intermissions, similar to a book with chapters.
Jimmy Orrante began his dance training at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts under Don Hewitt; studying later at the North Carolina School of the Arts. After 22 years as a professional dancer, the Los Angeles native ultimately retired from BalletMet. During his tenure there, he choreographed more than 15 premieres for the company, including his highly successful full-length ballet, “The Great Gatsby,” which was recently reprised in BalletMet’s 2014-2015 season.
In 2005, Jimmy received the 2005 inaugural Princess Grace Choreographic Fellowship. In spring 2011, he was honored with the National Choreographic Recognition Award for Regional Dance America and was selected in the fall of that year as Choreographer In Residence at Denison University. He received the Special Project Grant from the Princess Grace Foundation, as well as a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts to collaborate with the Ohio State University’s Center for Computer Art and Design and multimedia composer, Sean Beeson. The grant’s collaboration resulted in the “Illuminated Tapestry,” which premiered in April 2012 and utilized the Xbox Kinect’s motion-capture technology.
In March 2014, Jimmy created “Ya Me Fue” as one of three finalists in Ballet Austin’s New American Talent Choreographic Competition and later created “Balanced” on Motion Dance Theatre in Asheville, North Carolina.
Recently, Jimmy was awarded his third grant from the Princess Grace Foundation, the Choreography Mentorship Co-Commission (CMCC) award, as well as choreographing “Threads of Color” as part of Ballet Austin’s 2015 Director’s Choice Program.
“‘The Great Gatsby’ would make F. Scott Fitzgerald proud.”
Scene 1: Jay Gatsby is a romantic idealist and believes that by amassing great wealth, he will win back his former beaux, Daisy, and make all of his dreams come true. Narrator Nick Carraway reflects on Gatsby’s memory of Daisy before the war, and before she was married to Tom Buchanan.
Daisy is the incarnation of Gatsby’s dream and lives with her husband Tom in East Egg, known for its fashionable “old” money.
Scene 2: Gatsby establishes his wealth across the bay from Tom and Daisy in West Egg, known for its “new” money.
Scene 3: Tom represents the extravagance, brutality and moral carelessness of the established rich and he flaunts his wealth by buying Daisy everything she desires.
Scene 4: Nick, Gatsby’s new neighbor, pays a visit to his distant cousin Daisy at her home across the bay. While he is visiting, it becomes clear that Daisy’s husband Tom has a mistress.
Scene 5: Nick receives an invitation to a party at Gatsby’s mansion and later witnesses his neighbor Gatsby reaching out across the bay to the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock in East Egg.
Scene 6: Gatsby throws one of many lavish parties at his mansion in anticipation of an appearance by Daisy. Nick’s love interest, Daisy’s friend Jordan, introduces Nick to Gatsby for the first time.
Scene 7: On a trip into New York City, Tom and Nick first pass George’s gas station in the “valley of ashes.” Tom introduces Nick to his mistress, George’s disgruntled wife, Myrtle.
Scene 8: Tom takes Nick to a party for Myrtle at an apartment in New York City. During the course of the evening, Tom becomes annoyed with Myrtle and lashes out.
Scene 9: Upon Gatsby’s request, Nick arranges to hold tea at his bungalow so that Daisy and Gatsby may “accidentally” bump into one another. During their re-acquaintance, Gatsby reveals his home and newly acquired wealth to Daisy.
Scene 10: On hot summer nights, the parties remain endless and exuberant on Gatsby’s lawn.
Scene 1: One evening, Tom and Daisy attend Gatsby’s decadent festivities.
Scene 2: Time passes among the main characters and suspicions slowly begin to surface.
Scene 3: As Gatsby and Daisy spend more time together, their affection grows and the parties at Gatsby’s mansion begin to dwindle.
Scene 4: To escape the heat one afternoon, Tom, Daisy, Jordan, Nick and Gatsby decide to travel to a hotel in the city. Tom insists on switching cars with Gatsby and, when Gatsby obliges, Daisy quickly jumps in with him. Once in the city, Tom confronts Gatsby about his feelings for Daisy. Gatsby angrily retaliates and proclaims that Daisy never loved Tom. When Daisy is forced to admit her lack of love for her husband, she becomes flustered and runs out to the car. Gatsby follows.
Scene 5: At the gas station, George and his wife Myrtle argue. He suspects she might be having an affair. She runs into the street to stop a car that she thinks is Tom’s. She is struck and instantly killed.
Scene 6: George is sick over his wife’s death when Tom, Jordan and Nick arrive at the gas station. When confronted by George’s suspicion of an affair, Tom blames Gatsby for everything, including the car accident that took Myrtle’s life.
Scene 7: George travels to Gatsby’s home. Meanwhile, Gatsby waits for Daisy to come to him. Instead, Tom and Daisy retreat back into the comfort of their wealth and marriage. George finds Gatsby at his home and murders him.
Scene 8: Nick is left to reflect on Gatsby’s dream of Daisy.
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.
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.
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.
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