Behind The Mask: Carlos Fittante

The Catskill Mountain Foundation, Prattsville Art Center, Zadock Pratt Museum, and Greene county Council on the Arts organizations have come together to put on American Masquerade, a multi-disciplinary project spanning an entire year, with exciting presentations from each organization. A major contribution from CMF will be Acis and Galatea, a baroque opera by Handel, featuring live music, dance, and opera from some of the best soloists the US has to offer. So, is it enough to simply put on an opera? Of course not! Each artist has a different perspective on the performance, and we aim to show you all of them.

Ballet Santa Barbara, Fall Repertory dress rehearsal November 10, 2006, Marjorie Luke Theatre

Carlos Fittante at Marjorie Luke Theatre

First up is Carlos Fittante, from BALAM Dance Theatre.

What is your part in this project, and what are you taking away from it?

As the artistic director of BALAM Dance Theatre (BALAM), I am combining my extensive experience as a Baroque dance specialist and choreographer with my recent inquiries into Contemporary Performance Practice. Guided by the vision of the directorial team of Andrew Appel and Steven Hamilton, my new Baroque choreography for Handel’s opera Acis and Galatea will use Improvised Scores, ideas from Somatic Studies, and Authentic Movement. I hope this combination of ornamented beauty and physical vitality will please our audience in the Catskill Mountain area.

From this project, I have the satisfaction of bringing Baroque dance to a new audience and fulfilling BALAM’s mission to entertain and inspire diverse communities at the grassroots level.

What about this project do you look forward to?

As in all new projects I work on, I look forward to performance!  There is something magical that happens in the performance experience which cannot be replicated in rehearsal.  I think it has to do with the presence of the audience.  There is an unspoken understanding between audience and artist who come together as a community to embark on a journey as co-creators.  The energy and feeling of the audience provides the vibrational field in which the characters live.

Caroline Copeland & Carlos Fittante in Boston Early Music Fetivals Niobe Photo Andre Constantini

Caroline Copeland & Carlos Fittante

What about a mask or masquerade is appealing to you?

I love masks and think they create a portal for the imagination.  The mask is a fascinating paradox, as it both conceals and reveals.  The audience is able to fill in the blanks when viewing a masked performer, but there is also an air of mystery.  Who or what is before our eyes?  In Bali, the masked dancer presents a sophisticated symbol where an inanimate object becomes animate.  This for the Balinese affirms the essential relationship between spirit and body.

What do you hope to accomplish with this project?

I hope to introduce a new audience to the magnificent music, dance, and singing of Handel and the Baroque period.

Acis and Galatea will be performed on September 6th at 7:30PM in the Orpheum Film & Performing Arts Center. Call our ticket line (518-263-2063) or go to our ticketing website to reserve your seats today!

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