$10 Tuesday student tix available for ‘Jehanne’ ballet

Betsy PickleOur Town Arts

One of history’s most famous teenagers will shine her spirit in downtown Knoxville next week, but on Tuesday, students can get a break on admission to one of the performances.

GO! Contemporary Dance Works will conclude its 14th season with “Jehanne … the Story of Joan of Arc,” a full-length contemporary ballet, Feb. 23-24 at the Bijou Theatre.

“Jehanne” is offering student tickets for $10 on Tuesday, Feb. 12.

“A large creative effort with over 60 dancers, five choreographers and an expansive creative team, this one-of-a-kind ballet will capture the intensity, conflict and resolve of this medieval teenager who was both maiden and warrior during a time of spiritual and political upheaval,” says the GO! press release.

Ticket prices range from $17 to $27, but on Tuesday, Feb. 12, students may purchase Tier 2 tickets for $10. Tickets must be purchased in person at the studio, 1234 Rocky Hill Road. Studio hours are 12-9:30 p.m.

“Jehanne” is the 15th-century spelling of Joan. Joan of Arc was a peasant girl in France who had divine visions that she was to lead the French Army to victory over the English during the Hundred Years’ War. She was later tried and burned at the stake as a heretic by the English and their French collaborators.

The portrayal of Joan’s death will be “abstract,” GO! artistic director Lisa Hall McKee says in the press release.

“I designed the performance so all age groups could attend. The final scene will be directed to joy and hope in celebration of her life.”

McKee says she asked Dr. Anne-Helene Miller, assistant professor of French medieval culture and literature at the University of Tennessee, to join the team to ensure that Joan’s story was accurate.

“I wanted to tell it correctly, as there is so much myth woven into truth about her,” says McKee. “Professor Miller has given us such details that we have incorporated into the ballet. She is still attending rehearsals, coaching the dancers and choreographers on motivations of the medieval time period as well as Joan’s attributes. She is helping us bring a true Joan to the stage.”

“Jehanne” is designed to be appropriate for all ages.

Miller, an expert on the Hundred Years’ War, is also a former dancer.

“Joan is one of the most fascinating and complex historical figures,” she says. “She was depicted as so stiff and upright, not of flexible nature, so it is quite a challenge to make a ballet about her.

“I am there to make sure the historical facts or interpretations about Joan are accurate and help bring to the stage the charisma she may have had, which contributed to her legend and her legacy. I believe the audience will see their Joan, learn something about history and be inspired by the power of the will and strength of a woman of exception.”

Show times are 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24. Pre-show Medieval Banquets will be held prior to the Saturday evening and Sunday matinee performances and include a sweet and savory feast with live medieval entertainment and an opportunity to meet Joan and the cast.

GO! is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Tickets may be purchased by calling (865) 539-2475 or online.

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