Grand Rapids Ballet Company presents Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper was alive at the Devos Performance Hall for its opening weekend this Halloween season. I was lucky enough to be present opening night on Friday, October 30th. Jack the Ripper is a brand new world premiere by Gordon Pierce Schmidt.
Jack the Ripper tells the story that still remains a mystery to this day. Who murdered five women in the fall of 1888 in the White Chapel District of London? Suspects and evidence are still discussed and debated in the present, and the story has yet to die. The tale of Jack the Ripper has spawned films, graphic novels, and books for all ages, ranging from the factual to the fictional.
Jack the Ripper and his trail of murders has always been a fascination to me. I couldn’t believe that Jack the Ripper’s tale was going to be embodied through dance in a ballet. I was intrigued when I learned about the upcoming performance, excited about the music (Black Sabbath) and the subject matter.
And I was not disappointed! It was hauntingly beautiful, the subject matter is not typical for the medium of ballet but it was thrilling to me. The music and the fluid movements of the dancers was breathtaking and the violent acts of the murders were depicted with grace. Nothing prepared me to be so enthralled and I truly believe that I am ruined for any other ballet because Jack the Ripper was the first.