Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre Presents Joan of Arc

“Joan of Arc” will feature dancers portraying the different aspects of the life of the classical French heroine. (Submitted photo)
“Joan of Arc” will feature dancers portraying the different aspects of the life of the classical French heroine. (Submitted photo)

By Jessica Fox

The Gregory Hancock Dance theatre hopes to enlighten and inspire its audiences with its interpretation of the classic tale of “Joan of Arc” at the Tarkington Theatre on July 27 and 28.

It’s a dance performance that will be presented in the spirit of Joan of Arc – inspired by the ideal of the misunderstood, uncompromising heroine who remains true to her inner voice and vision.

Gregory Hancock said that “Joan of Arc” will feature a group of eight dancers that each represent her voices, her soldiers, her supporters, her accusers and her fire.

“‘Joan of Arc’ is one of Gregory’s signature pieces. Steeped in nuance and poetry. Having three dancers poetry the facets of her (the servant, soldier and saint) is brilliance. This is a company and audience favorite,” said company dancer Martin Casanova.

The dance company rehearses five days a week and typically prepare for performances six to eight weeks in advance.

And along with the “Joan of Arc” performance the company will perform two other pieces.

“As a dancer of GHDT, I can’t wait for our audience members to see our upcoming concert. With the beautifully epic piece, ‘Joan of Arc,’ the simplicity of ‘The Sari’ and the world premiere of ‘Until There Is No More…’ the concert conveys a mixture of strength and frailty,” said Assistant Director and Dancer Melanie Eakman.

“The Sari” performance portrays the balance and coexistence of tradition and progress. It’s a performance that is more specifically about this coexistence in India.

“’The Sari’ is a mesmerizing work. There is great beauty in its simplicity, and dancers feel a special connectedness in the precise unison of the piece,” said Dancer Heather King.

In this performance 10 women are dressed in traditional saris while one woman will be dressed in contemporary clothing. The 10 dancers’ choreography is more grounded and simple while the other dancer presents contemporary and abstract choreography.

“This is an audience favorite piece and is mesmerizing, poignant and beautiful,” Hancock said.

“Until There Is No More…” is a personal piece that was inspired by reoccurring themes in Hancock’s work.

“The concept of being caught somewhere between Heaven and Earth, the challenges in this life, the memories of where we came from and the constant search for answers of where we go after this human life. While it has very personal significance to me, I have chosen to present the piece in a way where audiences can create their own interpretation,” Hancock said.

Gregory Hancock’s “Joan of Arc” ● The Tarkington Theatre at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel ● 7 p.m. June 27 and 28 ● Tickets start at $38.50 ● For more information call 843-3800 or visit