Creating a Ballet Based on Camino Real with Choreographer Helen Pickett

"Kazan's intention was to move Williams's poetic drama in the direction of dance; the choreography, he felt, would lift the every day into the ritualistic."

- John Lahr, Tennessee Williams Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, W.W. Norton & Company (2014), p. 271

A prophetic statement, in my humble opinion. I thought, wow. I said thank you, again, to my Dad.

As I stepped back from my first month of studio work with Atlanta Ballet, I realized we were well on our way. At this point on our journey, we had a very good idea of the lay of the land - 68 minutes, as a matter of fact.

Now with a few days of breath, I muse about the details of the story. In truth, Camino does not really leave me, it hangs out with me and takes either the driver’s seat, the passenger seat or the back seat, and that correlates to my proximity to the studio. If I know I can get in there and work with the dancers or with one of the designers, Camino is not patient. It pushes itself to front and center. But if Camino knows it is just me and it, at home, then it will give me more space, space to see other aspects in my life!!! It is fine with me that Camino is so persistent; I like the demanding nature of this extraordinary play. This play makes me ask questions, makes me look again and again at the pages.

My well traveled, dog eared copy of Camino…. For 5 years it has been with me, on very journey, every city, on every bedside table. And no, it is not an e copy. No way!

This play, actually Mr.Tennessee Williams, told me what to do:

“Take journeys. Attempt them. There is no other way.”

- Helen

Click here to learn more about the world premiere of A Ballet Based on Camino Real by Tennessee Williams in March 2015.

Photo by Tatiana Wills.