GO! Contemporary Dance Works Premieres Cleopatra, the Last Pharaoh at the Bijou Theatre

February 26 • 2 & 7:30 pm

February 26 • 3 pm

GO! brings ancient Egyptian culture to life with its newest contemporary ballet, Cleopatra, the Last Pharaoh, on Saturday, February 25, and Sunday, February 26, at the Bijou Theatre. Deviating from Hollywood’s traditional portrayal of Cleopatra, GO! will explore the mysteries of this young woman and her political battles for dominance over the Ptolemaic Throne.

Intertwining Egyptian rituals, mysticism, and traditions, Cleopatra is a powerful spectacle with a documentary style storyline based on the rivalry between Cleopatra VII, her half-sister Arsinoe IV, and her younger brother, Ptolemy XIII. “The story of Cleopatra is fascinating,” said Lisa Hall McKee, director. “There is much information about her, but there is also much mystery. I did not want GO! to do the expected and tell her traditional story, so I dug around and discovered the other dangerous Ptolemaic Dynasty girl, Arsinoe. Truth or legend? We don’t know, but this is a captivating story and makes a very intriguing and educational narrative ballet!”

Written and directed by McKee, this epic, two-act inventive ballet travels between the ancient civilizations of Rome and Egypt and features 75 dancers including professionals, pre-professionals, and a youth cast.

Julie E. Cox will dance the role of the cunning and beautiful Cleopatra, and Jeanene Winston will dance the opposing role of the tormented younger sister, Arsinoe. Winston is a former principal dancer for a Graham based modern dance company, Buglisi Dance Theatre.

“As we are primarily a youth company, we are being very careful how we present this provocative and dangerous story,” said McKee. “It has moments of intensity, beauty, and danger, but we are mindful of our youth in the cast and the audience. It is an elaborate ballet about clashing empires, is very historical and is appropriate for all ages.” As part of their outreach, GO! will offer free Ancient Egypt educational packets to young audience members at the performances.

Tickets are available at GoContemporaryDance.com or by calling 865-539-2475. Discounted tickets are offered for students and seniors. On Tuesday, February 7, students can purchase a Tier 3 ticket for $12. GO! is a non-profit youth dance company in Knoxville and has presented more than 200 performances throughout East Tennessee since 2004.