Everyone knows that ballet, like opera and the symphony, is a stuffy affair. It’s the province of the wealthy — cordoned off from the general public by prohibitively expensive tickets and strict dress codes.
Except for when it can be viewed for free, from the couch, via a mobile device, and it’s set to Oh, Inverted World by The Shins.
Such is the case with the latest installment of the Hump Day Ballet series from Smuin Contemporary Ballet. Running from April 29 through May 1, Oh, Inverted World transforms the seminal 2001 album by the Albuquerque indie darlings into a celebration of sound and movement.
All this, and you don’t even have to wear a tuxedo or evening gown. Hell… you don’t even have to wear pants.
The critically acclaimed ballet by Trey McIntyre was commissioned in 2010 by Ceilia Fushille. At the time of its premiere, the Chronicle praised the work’s “witty physicality” and the New York Times rejoiced in the “surprises it springs.”
The Shins’ album itself was also lauded upon its release. It achieved a level of popular success thanks in no small part to its placement in Garden State; and it garnered plenty of love from both the old guard rock and roll press (Rolling Stone described the record as a “gorgeous blur”), as well as a then-upstart blog called Pitchfork, which gave James Mercer and Co. a coveted 8.0 out of 10.
Created to share the inspirational power of dance during the novel coronavirus pandemic, Smuin uses its Hump Day Ballet program to present a different program from its repertoire every Wednesday.