If one had to select the work of a single twentieth-century playwright for translation from spoken language to dance, Tennessee Williams would likely top the list. Brooding, swaggering brutes, swooning waifs, sweltering, grimy back alleys: Williams’ plays seethe with a physicality that draws its characters’ inner life into a world of flesh and sweat. Scottish Ballet, the national ballet company of Scotland, commissioned theater and film director Nancy Meckler and the brilliant choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa as equal collaborators on an evening-length dance interpretation of “Streetcar” that comes to the Harris this May. Dancers learned characterization first and choreography second, building movement from deeply studied motivation. Lopez Ochoa—oft a purveyor of dreams, nightmares and the uncanny in her theatrical-but-abstract choreography—uses the thirty virtuosic dancers of Scottish Ballet to create jazzy, big-production scenes in New Orleans train stations, bowling alleys and nightclubs, but is the perfect choice to give Stanley Kowalski and Blanche DuBois’ complex, claustrophobic stew of lust, anger, disappointment and self-delusion a life in motion. This is one not to be missed. (Sharon Hoyer)
Scottish Ballet at the Harris Theater, 205 East Randolph, (312)334-7777. Thursday-Saturday, May 7-9 at 7:30pm. $10-$95.