By Johannes Habsburg
What comes to heart and mind when you think about a year of your life? There’s so much that can happen: love, loss, ecstasy, fulfillment, longing, contemplation, fear, and overcoming obstacles. All of these feelings, and more, are part of the journey that is Odyssey, which was performed on Friday, January 14th at The El Portal Theatre. It’s contemporary classical music with modern and aerial dance that takes the audience on a journey through each month of the year, in one evening, in one hour.
To experience the work of pianist/composer Jeremy Weinglass is to connect to your deepest feelings, whatever they may be. His idyllic and profound work is that of a modern day classical luminary. Weinglass is joined by the equally brilliant Chris Woods on violin, whose performance is powerfully moving, sensual and dynamic.
Their musical bravado guides the story, in which Ben Sayles plays the protagonist who embarks on a voyage to discover himself. He falls in love with the spectacular Michelle “Star” LaVon, who also choreographed the piece. The two continue on their own and meet a number of mesmerizing creatures that include the exquisite aerialist Queen, Sunny Soriano, the dark warrior Michael Tam Wood, and the magnificently enchanted tree, John Pedone, who maneuvers on stilts with grace and ease. Director Stephen Hues (Wagner’s Ring Cycle at LA Opera, Hair), weaves it all together helping to make Odyssey an awakening voyage through the senses that leaves the audience forever changed through a series of magical, heartfelt transformations.
For more on Jeremy Weinglass, visit www.jeremyweinglass.com