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GO! Contemporary Dance Works

A Swashbuckling Ballet: The Barbarosa

The Story of the Legendary Pirate Anne Bonny

Join GO! Contemporary Dance Works and set sail to the high seas in a spectacular ballet performance of swinging pirates, mesmerizing mermaids, and clashing swords in The Barbarosa on February 11 and 12 at the Bijou Theatre.

The Barbarosa, both dangerous and grandiose, is an insightful look into the life of the legendary pirate Anne Bonny.

“Historians don’t really know that much about Anne,” said Lisa Hall McKee, director. “She actually only shows up in history for about three years, yet she is one of the most recognized pirates known today. Act one will explore Anne on her father’s North Carolina plantation. I assume she wreaked havoc everywhere she went on that plantation, which gave us a lot of opportunity for light-hearted, playful, even comedic choreography. I also assumed she was haunted by her unconventional past. That premise led to darker, emotional works that are heartbreaking and moving.”

Act two takes a large turn, with Anne as a pirate on The Barbarosa. Dances with swords, knives, and treasure chests will depict the day-to-day pirate life and include expansive aerial work.  

“GO! is known for incorporating aerial into our story lines, and this ballet almost demands it to create a realistic, larger than life feel of a pirate ship,” said McKee. “Amidst all the excitement of treasure checking and sword play will also be tragedy and conflict. While she is an exciting historical figure, she is also a tragic figure.”

The role of Anne will be danced by Harper Addison, a San Francisco dancer who recently located to Knoxville.

“Harper is really absorbing the grit of Anne,” said McKee. “She is lovely and very diverse. She is very dynamic and emotional in this role. Knoxville is going to love her!”

GO! Contemporary Dance Works is known for its edgy choreography that extends way beyond the average dance goer. A 501(c)(3) organization, GO! serves its community through outreach and partnerships with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville Opera, and Knox County Schools, as well as other local non-profit organizations.

Tickets are available at www.gocontemporarydance.com or by calling 865-539-2475. Advance tickets are $27 and $22. At-the-door prices are $30 and $25. There’s a $5 discount for seniors, students, and children. This performance is brought in part by the Tennessee Arts Commission, Scripps Howard, Cathey Co., 91.9 Radio, Red Arrow Industries, Gables & Gates, Sheri Good Realtor, and Studio Arts for Dancers.

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