The Creation of Gatsby – Meet Daisy and Gatsby

The Creation of Gatsby – Meet Daisy and Gatsby

RESERVE YOUR SEATS FOR GATSBY

An Interview with Daisy and Gatsby

By Rebekah Levin

 

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Daisy and Gatsby! Or rather, the dancers that portray them– Jessica Dandine and Tyveze Littlejohn!

*applause, please*

Daisy, one of the main characters in Gatsby, is played by the charming Jessica Dandine. “Just how charming?” you ask. Well, she’s French AND bakes muffins (which are often for sale in the studio lobby). Additionally, the ballet mistress once said “Jessica could tell me that she was going to steal my car, and I’d be ok with it because she would say it so politely.” Hmmm… *brief pause while I lock up my valuables and slowly increase the distance between us*

 

—Where are you from? How many years with Ballet Palm Beach?

 Jessica- I am from Toulouse, France, and this is my first season with BPB.

— What got you interested in ballet in the first place?

 Jessica- When I was little, I would dance (or kind of!) whenever I heard music, so my mom must have thought I would like ballet. I began when I was 6. My best friend was starting ballet lessons, so I followed her!

When and why did you choose ballet as a career?

Jessica-When I was 10, ballet started to be one of the most important thing in my life. I was totally addicted to it. A day without dancing was really painful for me. That was when I chose it as a career.

What is the hardest thing for you about being a ballet dancer?

 Jessica- Sometimes being a ballet dancer may involve being away from friends and missing important family moments. This is the hardest thing for me because I am really close to my family.

— If you had the opportunity to dance any role from a ballet, what would it be?

 Jessica- I would love to perform the role of Giselle!

What is something people might not know about you?

 Jessica- That at least once a day I do something stupid without meaning to!

—What Jessica is perhaps too humble to mention is that she also is extremely dedicated! When she first moved here from France, she rode her bike every day to and from the studio because she hadn’t gotten car yet! Now, let’s talk a bit about your role in Gatsby. Describe your character (Daisy) in a few words

Jessica- Sad, in love, complex

—Is there anything about Daisy that you like or dislike?

 Jessica- I like all the complex and different feelings Daisy has. I like how she can be so emotional because this is close to my personality, but I don’t like how she betrays Gatsby at the end to save her reputation.

—What is your favorite scene so far?

Jessica- My favorite scene so far is the pas de deux with Gatsby and Daisy. This is a really emotional moment and I love it!

Thank you, Jessica! As Jessica/Daisy breezes into rehearsals, we turn our attention to Gatsby!

“Make wayyy… for the great Gatsbyyyy!… Oh, the Great Gatsby, fabulous he!…” Yes, the one with a strange propensity towards staring at green lights– Try your best to stay calm, folks. His name is actually Tyveze Littlejohn. And, other than having an infectious smile and the company’s longest legs, Tyveze is… a real person! That’s the answer to the frequent question among our young audiences when he played the Wolf in Peter and the Wolf. (And, no he didn’t actually eat the Duck… she’s still swimming contentedly on her pond). Hope that cleared it up for you!

—Where are you from? How many years with Ballet Palm Beach?

Tyveze- I’m from Jacksonville Florida, and this is my first season with BPB.

— What got you interested in ballet in the first place and why choose ballet as a career?

Tyveze- Well, I went to an art middle and high school; that’s where I found dance. I made it my career because I could not see myself doing anything but dancing.

— What is the hardest thing for you about being a ballet dancer?

Tyveze- The hardest part is wishing dancers got paid a lot more.

— If you had the opportunity to turn any movie, play, or book into a ballet and dance in it, what you pick?

Tyveze- Lion King

— What is something people might not know about you?

Tyveze- I also love to choreograph and teach as much as I love to dance.

If you could meet Gatsby in person, what would you tell him?

Tyveze- Go for what you want; I don’t blame you. Life is too short!

What is your favorite scene so far?

Tyveze- My favorite scene so far is the pas de deux when Daisy sees how she should have chosen Gatsby.

As Tyveze waltzes away on those stilts of his, I must remind you to see him, Jessica, and their colleagues “up close and personal” at “Uncorked” February 25th and on the big stage at the Eissey Campus Theatre March 19th and 20th!

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