Orpheus and Euridice will feature four dancers, who will serve as a Greek Chorus for the opera, playing roles such as furies, townspeople, and gods. VTOP was lucky to engage a fantastic team of dancers to play these parts. Today we will introduce our first of four dancers: Ben Delony.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I've lived in New York City for almost three years now, which follows a year in Tennessee and two years in Colorado after graduating college. I'm a dancer at the Metropolitan Opera as well as an occasional freelance artist for regional musical theater. The hustle remains real in NYC and I maintain several teaching and "real people" jobs to tap into from time to time in order to keep myself busy.
What was appealing or exciting about coming to Vermont for Orpheus and Euridice?
I've worked with the Boston Early Music Festival before, and think the world of them as well as any company that involves both new work/early work. When my mentors at the Festival introduced me to VTOP, I was very excited to be a part of another community that fuses my main love, opera, with new ideas!
What is your favorite opera, musical, play, or dance?
Die Fledermaus holds a very near and dear part of my heart since it was my first opera to dance in, but other favorites are Carmen, Magic Flute, and Der Rosenkavalier as long as I can make it to the last trio.
I'm a bit of a Balanchine fanatic in the dance world having been able to dance his works in school, so anything that New York City Ballet does I try to go see!
How did you get your start as a dancer?
I owe my entire success to my absolutely and insanely supportive family, all of whom are artists in their own rights. My parents helped me realize that if I wanted to be a dancer professionally, I'd have to leave the South and pursue it rigorously, which led to being in college for ballet at Indiana University, two ballet companies, and then all of the experiences I've had leading up to now. I was inspired from a very early age to look at the world with a huge sense of wonder and excitement to be part of it.
Do you have a fun or funny performance anecdote to share?
The final performance of a run of Fiddler on the Roof, in which I was a bottle dancer. After the famous bottle-on-heads dance, the dancers then start a very fast ensemble number with stylized body whipping reminiscent of religious rapture. I was so tired at the end of an 8-show week, and so happy that our final bottle dance had gone well, that I gave our final body whips a lot of extra gusto and both my hat and wig went flying off! I've never laughed so hard in my entire life while being on stage, and I don't think my cast mates have either!