Matthew Murphy

James Whiteside Explores His Creepy Side As Arthur Pita's Haunted Tenant

When Arthur Pita brought his Metamorphosis to the Joyce in 2013, The Royal Ballet's Edward Watson played the man who becomes a cockroach in Franz Kafka's famous story. He was slithery, spiky and sticky, and the creepiness factor loomed large. It was like the performers and audience were trapped in this brilliantly bizarre nightmare together.

Known as "the David Lynch of dance," Arthur Pita brings his new work, The Tenant, to The Joyce from November 6–11. Based on the surrealist novel by Roland Topor and the subsequent 1976 film, Pita's Tenant stars American Ballet Theatre's James Whiteside. Readers of Dance Magazine know from Whiteside's cover story that he is a maverick who will try anything. In The Tenant, a young man moves into an apartment where the previous renter, a woman, jumped out the window to her death. He becomes obsessed with her and starts to transform into her. The woman is played by ABT soloist Cassandra Trenary, and a third character, a kind of guardian, is played by Kibrea Carmichael.

The Metamorphosis was unforgettable when it came to the Joyce five years ago, so we have high hopes for The Tenant.

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Courtesy Marcell

The Pre-Performance Routine That Will Get You Into Character

It's the day of the show. You've rehearsed countless hours and meticulously developed your character, and you're ready to make it count. It's time to get into the right headspace without "getting in your head." Time to transform naturally without overthinking it. For all the artistry that leads to this moment, getting into character can be an art form in itself, unique to each dancer but resting on some common principles.

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January 2021