Conceived and choreographed by Robert
Musical arrangements by Jon Magnussen,
based on works by Ernest Chausson,
Robert Schumann and Frederic
Scenery and costumes by Zack Brown
Lighting by Brad Fields
World Premiere: City Center, New York, 10/30/03
As Basil Hallward artfully put the final touches on his full-length
portrait of Dorian Gray, an extraordinarily beautiful young man, Lord
Henry Wotton enters. He admires the painting and desires to meet Dorian.
The artist objects, as Dorian is the artist’s ideal of purity
and Lord Henry can have a poisonous influence.
Dorian enters and meets Lord Henry. Dorian is captivated by Lord Henry’s
presence and conversation. Seeing the portrait for the first time, Dorian
gasps at his own beauty. Lord Henry compliments Dorian with the virtues
of beauty and youth and expresses his sadness that youth must fade into
the cruelty of age. Dorian plummets into sadness. He laments that Lord
Henry is right, the picture would mock his entire life and that youth
is the only thing worth having. Basil is alarmed and attempts to destroy
the picture but Dorian stops him and takes the painting.
Dorian and Lord Henry became fast friends floating through society.
Dorian meets and falls madly in love with Sibyl Vane, a beautiful and
talented dance/actress. Lord Henry’s poisonous influence manipulates
Dorian into believing that Sibyl is second rate and not worthy of him.
Dorian returns to Sibyl’s dressing room and rejects her cruelly.
The next day Henry brings Dorian a gift and then tells him the news
of Sibyl Vane’s suicide. Dorian is stunned and horrified. Later,
he notices that his picture has changed with evident signs of cruelty
and cynicism. He now realizes that his wish is coming true and he quickly
hides the picture.
Years go by and Dorian lives a life of debauchery. Basil, hearing society
gossip, is concerned and visits Dorian. He asks to see the painting.
Dorian reveals the hidden picture with all of its horrific changes and,
acting on what seems to be the prompting of this picture, Dorian stabs
Basil to death.
Dorian, desperately trying to hide behind his unchanged façade
of youth and beauty, finally
loses control and tries to destroy the picture but dies as the picture
resumes its original image.