Choreographer Brian Enos Takes on Ebenezer Scrooge

"A Christmas Carol" by Grand Rapids Ballet. Choreographed by Brian Enos.

Choreographer Brian Enos took on the classic Christmas tale, “A Christmas Carol,” for the first time this year and he is excited for audiences to see the final product, which debuts Thursday evening with a benefit performance for Ronald McDonald House.

Enos just watched the first technical rehearsal and he said seeing the sets, costumes and lighting elements come together “was really magical.”

“Having been so focused on the choreography for the last few months, it was so cool to finally see all the production elements come together,” he said.

He thinks audiences will enjoy every facet of the production, which also includes the Grand Rapids Symphony.

“It’s always a treat to perform with live musicians,” Enos said. “Brendan Hollins has done a great job of putting together and arranging the score. It really adds a whole other dimension to the production. And I love that the musicians will be onstage with the other performers rather than hidden in an orchestra pit. So they really are a part of the story.”

Catch Grand Rapids Ballet's performance of "A Christmas Carol" this weekend.
Catch Grand Rapids Ballet’s performance of “A Christmas Carol” this weekend.

Enos said choreographing for the ballet is similar to translating a book into a movie.

“In adapting a book into a ballet you really have to distill the story down to its essence,” he said. “If we tried to include everything from the book we’d end up with a four-hour ballet!

“So the biggest challenge was focusing on the key aspects of the story and making sure we were able to move the story along while keeping it clear and engaging for audiences of all ages.”

Enos is no stranger to choreographing beloved tales. Earlier this year he choreographed the Grand Rapids Ballet production of “Alice in Wonderland.”

“I feel the dancers and I have developed a great working relationship, which has really added to the experience of creating this ballet,” he said.

Enos said he will finish out the 2017-2018 season with The Big Muddy Dance Company in St. Louis, for which he is the artistic director, but he will be back in Grand Rapids in the spring helping Grand Rapids Ballet remount “Alice in Wonderland.”

“A Christmas Carol” takes place Dec. 22 and 23 at the Peter Martin Wege Theatre, 341 Ellsworth Ave. SW. A special performance benefiting Ronald McDonald House takes place Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m.

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