A story about a young man who suddenly wakes up to find himself transformed into a giant insect doesn't sound like it would easily translate to ballet. But when choreographer Arthur Pita approached Royal Ballet principal Edward Watson about starring in a ballet version of Franz Kafka's novella The Metamorphosis, Watson immediately agreed. It was his former ballet teacher Patricia Linton at The Royal Ballet's Lower School, who first introduced him to Kafka's famous book.
"Patricia gave me the book when I was 18 and told me to read it--she said it was a really important piece of literature. She may have been my ballet teacher, but she was insistent that her students know about literature, paintings and music. She inspired me to go see plays and concerts and read books to enrich myself as a dancer. I remember her saying this story would make an amazing ballet one day. Every time I do this show, I think of her."
Watson is dancing The Metamorphosis at The Joyce Theater in New York City through September 29. www.joyce.org
Photo by Tristam Kenton/ROH