“Some say that the place was bewitched by a High German doctor, during the early days of the settlement; others, that an old Indian chief, the prophet or wizard of his tribe, held his powwows there before the country was discovered by Master Hendrick Hudson. Certain it is, the place still continues under the sway of some witching power, that holds a spell over the minds of the good people, causing them to walk in a continual reverie.”
The Washington Ballet invited viewers to enter just such a reverie during a production of “Sleepy Hollow” that had its world premiere—and a run of only seven performances—at the Kennedy Centre last week. Billed as an “atmospheric thriller”, the work adapts Irving’s short story to the language of ballet. With its crude passions and supernatural imaginings, the tale is ripe for reinterpretation in other art forms. This particular reinterpretation offers an answer to an intriguing question: what happens when you translate narrative prose into dance?