OMAHA — May 5, 2018 — As a founding member of Ballet Nebraska, Bret Samson has been through it all. She has experienced the blood, sweat and tears — literally and figuratively, as well as the joy, laughter and merriment.
Many things have changed since the first crop of Ballet Nebraska dancers hit the rehearsal studios, but one thing remains the same: eight seasons later, Bret Samson is as feisty, fierce and fascinating as ever.
Bret takes the stage this weekend, reprising the role of Moth in Oscar Antunez’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Orpheum Theater.
You have been with the company since the very beginning…
I have! The company has really grown and evolved since then. I look at our company photo from Ballet Nebraska’s first season and have to chuckle because there are so many of us now!
It is pretty special to see how far we have come since our very first performance of Swing Swing Swing!
Tell us a little bit about Titania’s fairies.
It is a blast dancing as one of Titania’s fairies with Kelsey [Schwenker], Anna [Swenson], and Katherine [Eppink]! I love working with them and growing in the role with them by my side. We always have a good time. They are fun to joke around with, easy to work with – and they are each such beautiful dancers.
Recreating the role of Moth and getting to relive this experience is a joy!
What did you find to be different when recreating this role the second time around – a full seven seasons later?
When we began Midsummer rehearsals, some of the choreography seemed so comfortable and familiar, but some of it was very foreign – [laughs] I must have blocked it out over the years! Moth is a challenging role with lots of jumping. As I was re-learning the choreography, I realized quickly how much stamina and strength this role requires. Midsummer has always been one of my favorite ballets that I performed with Ballet Nebraska. I am so excited to be doing it again!
How have you evolved as a dancer these past eight years with the company?
My time with the ballet has allowed me the opportunity to dance in a lot of different genres. It has pushed me to train hard and perform in styles of dance that I wouldn’t have thought to do on my own.
What has been your favorite part of this season?
[Momentum: In the Style of] Fosse. For sure. I love the way Ann [Reinking] and Gary [Chryst] coached us and pushed us. I would work with them every day if I could!
What are you looking forward to next season?
I am looking forward to seeing what Season 9’s Momentum has in store for us! It is always one of my favorite productions.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I want to dance as long as my body will let me. Some days, I think “I can do this forever!” And some days it’s “How am I even going to make it through the day?” But I know ballet will always be part of my life!
Bret performs as the fairy, Moth, as Ballet Nebraska brings Oskar Antunez’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream to life May 5 and 6 at the Orpheum Theater.