Inside “Sunset, o639 Hours” with Francesca Forcella

In preparation for Fall Series, dancer Francesca Forcella shares her thoughts on the remount of this timeless tale. Read on for her take on performing a new role, working with new company members, and more.

BalletX alum Chloe Perkes originally performed in the role you’re in now. How has it been transitioning into this lead role?
Chloe is such a force. She set the bar high and I wanted to do her and the part justice. While I was coming into this role we talked on the phone and even went over the role in person too, which was great to get her insight on the character. 

You and other dancers were a part of the 2014 performance – how does this year’s performance compare?
A lot is different for me this time around. In this performance I’m portraying Captain Edwick Musick’s wife, which is a much more emotional journey than just being part of the shapeshifters in the back as I have been before. The entire performance in this role has a lot of changing variables, but the last few minutes of the show are where I really feel that emotion come to life. 

Does the historic aspect of “Sunset, o639 Hours” make this performance different for you?
Zach [Kapeluck] has done a lot of research based on articles and shared them with some of the team. Seeing the real letters and the photos reminds me it’s real life. As much as you want to “Hollywood-ize” it, it doesn’t need it. It’s just as beautiful as its truth. 

What are you most excited for the audience to see in this reimagined performance?
It’s a powerful piece for those that know it. It’ll still be different for those who are already familiar with the piece, but in a good way with combining live music and instruments created out of nowhere. 

How is it performing with live band members on stage?
It’s great! I find it keeps everything really flexible, as the musicians are able to follow us and our musicality. Especially with the new instruments they created, it keeps the whole show in sync. I feel fresh and in the moment with that energy. 

With new dancers joining the team, how has it been incorporating them into this performance?
Everyone is so smart. We didn’t have a lot of time, but it was a much longer process than we normally would have. Going from 6-8 weeks to 2 weeks to put it all together, everyone just dove in feet first. People are starting to explore as we’ve performed it twice now, which will only help us as we continue performing.  

How has the pandemic impacted your life as a dancer?
I hate Zoom! The pandemic brought on new challenges, especially trying to hold Zoom rehearsals. It definitely was frustrating on both sides for dancers and choreographers trying to communicate. However, I recently settled into a new house with my husband during the pandemic which has been positive during this! 

Thank you so much for your time! Lastly, what inspires you to keep dancing?
The pandemic has really put things into perspective for me. I’ve really missed that feeling of sharing something with the audience, but also with the people around me. I remember the first time being able to partner together again I was ecstatic. Chasing those feelings keeps me dancing.

See Francesca perform “Sunset, o639 Hours” at Fall Series 2021, Sep. 9-12 at The Suzanne Roberts Theatre!

September 04, 2021