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The Story of Bella Luna by Peter Davison

Bella Luna is a ballet in one act, inspired by the traditional characters and situations of the Commedia dell’Arte – a popular form of theatre created in Italy and spread throughout Europe beginning in the 16th century. This “Tristan and Isolde” tale of tragic love plays out under the glow of the beautiful moon as Izzy and Arlo’s love proves to be no match for tradition and deceit.

Izzy_Chp 1CHAPTER ONE: Our story begins in the tiny home of Izzy and her father Panto. Izzy is a very happy, spirited young woman who loves to dance. She dances for her father as he reads his paper every day, playing jokes on him and distracting him from his reading. Izzy’s father, however, is very worried about their future.

This morning he has arranged for Izzy to meet a rich suitor in town, Scarache, who would like her hand in marriage. Scarache introduces himself in a slimy fashion, showing off his gold necklaces, shiny shoes, and perfect, tailored suit. Izzy is not fond of the fellow, however is literally pulled into dancing with him as Panto dreams of all the fortune in his future.

Arlo_AlleyCats_Chp 2CHAPTER TWO: On the other side of town, Arlo is just waking up in his home – a trash can. He rolls out of the alley and straightens his collar then calls out to his friend to get the other Alley Cats. Slowly, one-by-one, the Alley Cats come out into the day light, nodding hello to each other as they pass.

Soon Ina, the fritte vendor, arrives on the street. The smell of the fresh, warm frittes makes the Alley Cats realize how hungry they have been since yesterday and they pounce on poor Ina. Arlo stops them right in time and goes to help the flustered and scared fritte vendor.

Panto and Izzy arrive on the scene, searching for Ina to purchase some of her delicious frittes. Panto has one goal: eating frittes. Izzy on the other hand is a little apprehensive about spending so much time around the very hungry the Alley Cats. Just as Panto reaches to eat a succulent fritte, a cunning Alley Cat asks for the time. He turns his wrist to check and instantly all of Panto’s frittes fall to the ground along with Izzy who is pushed forward as the Alley Cats fight for breakfast.

Ina_Chp 3CHAPTER THREE: As the Alley Cats continue to fight over the spilled frittes, Arlo helps Izzy up from the ground, disgusted at how rude all of his friends had been. The instant their eyes meet, Izzy and Arlo fall deeply in love. All of the chaos around them melts to nothing, they only have eyes for one another.

Panto comes bursting through them, demanding a new order of frittes from Ina. She insists that he must pay her again. Infuriated, Panto throws a coin at Ina, takes his frittes, and grabs Izzy to take her home.

The Alley Cats hold Arlo back from going after Izzy, but he already has plans to see her again.

Arlo_Izzy_Chp 4CHAPTER FOUR: Later that evening, Arlo sneaks up to the window of Izzy’s house. He tells her to come outside. After checking that her father Panto is too busy reading his paper to notice her, Izzy tip toes out to meet Arlo.

Arlo takes Izzy on a magical bike ride in the moonlight. They joke with one another, dancing in circles. Then they make their way to the local café.

Capitano_Scarahe_Chp 5CHAPTER FIVE: Scarache, the rich suitor, gets wind of Izzy’s love for Arlo. In order to have her hand in marriage he knows he has to separate the two love birds. So he hatches a plan with the Capitano of the army: draft Arlo into the war.

The Capitano and Scarache decide to meet. Scarache slyly compensates the Capitano in exchange for her service and then they go their separate ways.

Cafe Folk_Chp 6CHAPTER SIX: The café is buzzing as Arlo and Izzy make their way inside. Raga, the barista, is pouring everyone a drink and the locals are dancing with one another.

When Izzy and Arlo enter everyone stops; they had never seen Izzy before at the café. Arlo shows her off to his friends, stating that they are in love. As Arlo and Izzy start to dance together the rest of the café folk start dancing again. Izzy spots Ina in the corner alone and decides to give her the necklace that from Scarache to cheer up the shy fritte vendor. Soon everyone in the café, even Ina, is laughing and dancing together… until Panto enters.

Panto instantly sees Izzy’s necklace around Ina’s neck and demands to know where she found it. He gets very upset with Ina. Raga comes to Ina’s defense, insisting that the necklace was a gift. In the corner of his eye, Panto notices his daughter Izzy hiding behind Arlo. He forgets all about the necklace and grabs Izzy to take her home. Arlo trys to stop him, but Panto pushes him away and carries Izzy out of the café.

Soldiers_Chp 7CHAPTER SEVEN: Sad and alone having lost Izzy, Arlo finds his way back to his trash can. Ina the fritte vendor tries to comfort him, but Arlo is not in the mood to be coddled.

Soon the Capitano arrives, trying to convince Arlo that he should join the army and leave his heartbreak behind. The soldiers of the Capitano’s army join them, dancing around Arlo as he tries to ignore the entire situation. The Capitano finally lifts Arlo off of his trash can and commands the soldiers to change him into his new uniform.

The soldiers march Arlo into the war where he is believed to be killed.

Izzy_Scarache_Chp 8CHAPTER EIGHT: After much mourning over Arlo’s disappearance, Izzy finally gives in to her father’s wish and agrees to marry Scarache. Panto is handed his compensation as Scarche pulls Izzy into his arms. Izzy knows she will never love him.

Panto is consumed by counting the bills that Scarache gave him, he doesn’t even notice when Scarache leaves with Izzy until it is too late. Feeling lost, Panto wanders around the city streets not knowing where to go or what to do next. He stumbles upon some locals who try to comfort him. Raga the barista wants Panto to know that he can change his life, but she sees no motivation in his eyes.

Weeks pass and Arlo still has not returned to town. Izzy has done her best to be happy with Scarache but does not want to be in his world filled with greed and false emotion. Izzy decides to give her soul to the moon to hide it from Scarache and keep it safe.

Arlo_Ina_Chp 9CHAPTER NINE: The moon suddenly becomes full with Izzy’s soul within it. Locals from all over town come outside to gaze at the moon, knowing what its fullness means. Ina feels Izzy’s presence and is drawn close to the moon. Frustrated with the harshness of the world, Ina tries to make sense of all of this tragedy. Arlo disappearing, Izzy giving up her soul, Panto living out the rest of his life alone…why?

Then Ina hears someone walking towards her. She turns to see a moonlit Arlo home from war. They sit together, holding hands, watching the moon.

The Alley Cats catch wind of Arlo’s return and come to see him. One Alley Cat even brings him his old bike. Arlo is filled with joy at the sight of his bike and invites Ina to hop on the handle bars. They ride off together in the moonlight.

October 2, 2015 at 7:30pm
The O’Shaughnessy
2004 Randolph Ave | St Paul, MN 55105 | 651.690.6700

Peter_for-bio2015About Peter Davison

Peter Davison brings over 38 years of diverse performing experience. In 1982 Peter became a founding member of the trio Airjazz with which he appeared at venues such as the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, New Zealand International Festival of the Arts, BAM, and the Hong Kong Arts Festival. He has also been a member of David Taylor Dance Theater, Jan Justis Dance Company, Kim Robards Dance, and 3rd Law Dance/Theater, and has performed principal roles with Boulder Ballet since 1987. Peter has received the Arts Innovation Award from the Colorado Federation of the Arts and the Performance Fellowship from the Colorado Council on the Arts. He has choreographed works for several Colorado-based companies, and he is a recipient of the 2009 Ballet Builders Award for Choreography, from New Choreographers on Pointe in New York City.