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Carolina Ballet will present "The Nutcracker" on Nov. 28-30 at the Durham Performing Arts Center, on Dec. 6th and 7th in UNC-Chapel Hill's Memorial Hall, and on Dec. 19-23 and 26-28 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium (photo by Chris Walt Photography)

Carolina Ballet’s “Nutcracker” Dazzles and Delights

In the ballet world, the Christmas season doesn’t begin until the first performance of The Nutcracker, so let the reveling begin, because the Carolina Ballet’s performance of the traditional holiday ballet delighted the full house last weekend at the Durham Performing Arts Center and started the season in great style. With sumptuously gorgeous sets, a… Read More ›

Marcelo Martinez, shown here in the 2010 production with Lilyan Vigo, reprises his role as Count Dracula in Lynne Taylor-Corbett's version of Bram Stoker's "Dracula" (photo by Chris Walt Photography)

Lynne Taylor-Corbett Skillfully Stages Carolina Ballet’s Elegant and Eerie Version of “Dracula”

On Thursday, Oct. 9th, Carolina Ballet ushered in the season of ghosts and ghouls with its elegant and eerie production of Dracula, presented in the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in downtown Raleigh, NC. Skillfully choreographed by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, the ballet features J. Mark Scearce’s suspenseful score, David Heuvel’s always-luscious costume designs, impressive lighting effects by… Read More ›

Margaret Severin-Hansen and Marcelo Martinez star in "Dracula" (photo by Chris Walt Photography)

“Dracula” Swoops in Dramatically to the Carolina Ballet

On Oct. 9th, plague and vampires came to the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in Raleigh via the guise of the Carolina Ballet, and they will stay to seduce audiences and produce passionate performances until Oct. 26th. The two ballets, based on classic horror stories written by Edgar Allan Poe (The Masque of the Red Death)… Read More ›

Carolina Ballet’s “Firebird” Sizzled at Raleigh’s A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater on Sept. 11-28

From Sept. 11th to 28th, the Carolina Ballet offered three balletic jewels to enraptured audiences in the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in Raleigh, NC. Few realize the true gem Raleigh has under Robert Weiss’ artistic direction. With 17 years at the helm of the Carolina Ballet, one would believe that he would be slowing down… Read More ›

Carolina Performing Arts will present Dorrance Dance in "The Blues Project" 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 26th, in Memorial Hall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“The Blues Project” by Dorrance Dance Is a Great Evening of Music and Dance at UNC-Chapel Hill

Dorrance Dance, headed by Chapel Hill native Michelle Dorrance, brought down the house on Sept. 25th at the University of North Carolina’s Memorial Hall with The Blues Project, a 60-minute work created by Dorrance, co-choreographers Derick K. Grant and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, and blues musician/composer Toshi Reagon. Presented as part of the Carolina Performing Arts series,… Read More ›

Marcelo Martinez (left) and Richard Krusch will star in Carolina Ballet's production of "Firebird," on Sept. 11-28 in the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in Raleigh (photo by Chris Walt Photography)

Carolina Ballet’s Production of “The Firebird” Was Very Pleasing to Watch and Very Beautifully Danced

Carolina Ballet opened its 2014-15 season with a mixed repertory evening anchored by Firebird, set to Igor Stravinsky’s iconic score of the same name. The performance, presented at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in downtown Raleigh, also featured two new ballets: a Brahms piece choreographed by Carolina Ballet’s new choreographer-in-residence, Zalman Raffael, and another Stravinsky… Read More ›

Two choreographers complement and contrast at Carolina Ballet’s “Firebird”

Carolina Ballet is opening their 17th season with a fabulous mixed bill: a beautifully diverse program that shows the company’s range. The show opens with a ballet by newly appointed choreographer in residence, Zalman Raffael, followed by a new piece by Artistic Director Dr. Robert Weiss, and finishes flamboyantly with the headliner, Firebird, also choreographed… Read More ›

ADF will present "Footprints" on July 24-26 in Duke University's R.J. Reynolds Industries Theater

ADF’s “Footprints” Features World Premieres by Carl Flink, Leonie McDonagh, and Netta Yerushalmy

Footprints, the final performance of the 2014 American Dance Festival season, featured the work of three emerging choreographers performed by students from the ADF Six-Week School, which has been educating young dancers since its beginning summer in 1934. Performed on July 24-26 in the R.J. Reynolds Industries Theater in the Bryan Center on Duke University’s… Read More ›

The Four Soloists of ADF’s “On Their Bodies” Use Their Bodies to Show Us Their Souls at DPAC

The American Dance Festival’s On Their Bodies features four new solos (three of them world premieres) by four of the top modern dance choreographers working today. Ronald K. Brown, Stephen Petronio, Doug Varone, and Shen Wei — all of whom have their own companies — stepped back into the role of dancer for this special… Read More ›

“Empty moves” at ADF Is Abstract Choreography — Pure Movement, Without Context or Narrative

The American Dance Festival (ADF), thanks to the generosity of Samuel H. Scripps, has presented the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement since 1981. The award — which has been presented to, among others, Martha Graham, Paul Taylor, and Twyla Tharp — comes with a prize of $50,000. This year’s Scripps… Read More ›

ADF presented the North Carolina premiere of John Jasperse Projects' "Within between," on July 7th and 8th

In “Within between,” John Jasperse Projects Creates a Playful Landscape of Movement and Space at ADF

John Jasperse Projects opened the fourth week of the American Dance Festival (ADF) in Durham with three performances (July 7-9) of an ADF-commissioned work, Within between, in the R.J. Reynolds Industries Theater on Duke University’s West Campus. The evening-length piece is one of 12 new works commissioned by the American Dance Festival this season. The… Read More ›

ADF presented Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet on July 5th and 6th at the Durham Performing Arts Center (photo by Julieta Cervantes)

New York City’s Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet Wowed ADF Audiences on July 5th and 6th at DPAC

I’ve heard good things about Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in recent years, and I was looking forward to seeing them perform at the American Dance Festival. However, I wasn’t prepared for the exquisite dancing that I witnessed on July 6th at the Durham Performing Arts Center. The performance opened with Violet Kid (2011) by Hofesh… Read More ›

Dances with Buckets

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet presented world premiere Ida ? by Emanuel Gat over the weekend. This “playful contemplation on the nature of human relations” sent me running to Urban Dictionary for a new definition of “bucket.” There were two red buckets featured prominently and their only function seemed to be to upstage the dancers. The stage… Read More ›

Obviously Born to Dance, Derek and Julianne Hough Dazzled at DPAC Yesterday with “Move Live on Tour”

Fans of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” (DWTS) packed the Durham Performing Arts Center at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 29th, to see two of the show’s professional ballroom dancers, siblings Derek Hough and Julianne Hough, do their thing in Move Live on Tour. Joined by 10 backup dancers, the pair, who have been ballroom… Read More ›

Local Performers at ADF

One of my favorite concerts at the American Dance Festival is NC Dances. For the second year local choreographers were selected and included on the ADF calendar. On Wednesday, June 18 four North Carolina based choreographers performed at Duke’s Reynold’s Industries Theater as part of the almost century old festival known for bringing companies from… Read More ›

The American Dance Festival will present Pilobolus June 27th and 28th at the Durham Performing Arts Center (photo by Grant Halverson)

Pilobolus Does What It Does Best: Make Us Laugh, Think, and Look at the Human Body Differently

American Dance Festival (ADF) audience favorite Pilobolus opened a three-performance run at the Durham Performing Arts Centeron June 26th. The opening-night performance, which featured the debut of two ADF-commissioned works, earned a standing ovation from the crowd, which was liberally populated with dancers from the ADF Six-Week School. (Having the dancers in the audience always… Read More ›

“The Best Tap Show Ever” Highlighted the 15th Annual North Carolina Rhythm Tap Festival

While the modern dance community was settling in for the American Dance Festival over in Durham, a small but dedicated group of tap dancers were assembling in Chapel Hill. The occasion was the North Carolina Rhythm Tap Festival; three days of classes with an all-star lineup of tap professionals, all of whom performed in The… Read More ›

Vertigo Dance Company’s arresting historical collage at ADF

Vertigo Dance Company of Israel opened the 81st season of the American Dance Festival with U.S. premiere “Vertigo 20.” Choreographer and Artistic Director Noa Wertheim connected dances from the company’s past 20 years to create a single surreal moving memory book. I’d never seen any of the earlier works that fed into “Vertigo 20” but… Read More ›

Israel’s Vertigo Dance Company Opens the American Dance Festival on a High Note with “Vertigo 20”

The American Dance Festival (ADF) opened its 81st season at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 12th, at the Durham Performing Arts Center with the first of two performances by Vertigo Dance Company. Based in Israel’s Elah Valley, the company also appeared at ADF in 2012. Israeli dancers Noa Wertheim and Adi Sha’al founded Vertigo Dance… Read More ›

Carolina Ballet Ends Big with “Sleeping Beauty”

I went to see Carolina Ballet‘s Sleeping Beauty on opening night Thursday, and I liked it so much I’m going back Saturday. Both the dancers and the orchestra had a few missteps Thursday, a refreshing reminder that these skilled and practiced artists are humans performing live. It was, overall, a remarkable performance of fast and… Read More ›

The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle is accompanying the Carolina Ballet's production of Tchaikovsky's "Sleeping Beauty" on May 15-18 (photo by Christ Walt Photography)

Every Aspect of Carolina Ballet’s Production of Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty” Is a Delight

Carolina Ballet is closing its 2013-14 season with its production of Sleeping Beauty, presented in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium with live accompaniment by the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle. Every aspect of the production was a delight, from the performances to the luscious costumes to Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score. Carolina Ballet artistic director Robert Weiss, although adding… Read More ›

Alvin Ailey Dance Troupe’s No-Holds-Barred Dancing Reaches Out and Grabs UNC-Chapel Hill Audience

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater had the audience at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Memorial Hall on its feet by the end of the performance on April 22nd. Presented by the Carolina Performing Arts series, the company, currently under the artistic direction of Robert Battle and here for its annual appearance in… Read More ›

"Songs of the Wanderers," performed by the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, wowed Carolina Performing Arts' patrons on April 2nd in Memorial Hall at UNC-Chapel Hill

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan’s “Songs of the Wanderers” at UNC-Chapel Hill Was a Visual Feast

Dance is, of course, a visual art; but some dance performances lift the audience experience above and beyond that of merely watching dancers move through space. Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan’s Songs of the Wanderers is just such a performance. Presented on April 2nd by Carolina Performing Arts in the University of North Carolina… Read More ›

There Is Only One Word for “STREB – FORCES!” at Carolina Performing Arts, and That is Wow!

As my companion and I were leaving the Thursday-night Carolina Performing Arts performance of STREB – FORCES! at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Memorial Hall, I joked that I could review the show using only one word: Wow! Seconds into the high-energy, “extreme action” performance (that’s Streb Lab for Action Mechanics’ (SLAM)… Read More ›

“LEO (The Anti-Gravity Show)” at NCSU Center Stage Is a Mind-Bending Physical-Theater Production

LEO (The Anti-Gravity Show), now play in the Titmus Theatre in Frank Thompson Hall as part of the N.C. State University Center Stage series, is a mind-bending “physical-theater” production. Performed by acrobat/dancer Julian Schulz, the hour-long performance literally turns your sense of physical reality on its ear. The curtain opened to reveal a large video… Read More ›

Dancers for Carolina Ballet's current production of "Romeo & Juliet," choreographed by Robert Weiss, include Adam Schiffer (left) and Marcelo Martinez (photo by Black Horse)

The Carolina Ballet’s Marcelo Martinez Is an Ardent Romeo and Lara O’Brien Is a Winsome Juliet

I had misgivings upon learning that Carolina Ballet’s production of Romeo & Juliet would be presented in the A. J. Fletcher Opera Theater instead of Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. After all, this is a full-length ballet, which typically calls for a large cast, multiple scene changes, and dancing on a grand scale. The choice of venue… Read More ›

Carolina Ballet’s “Romeo and Juliet”

Lara O’Brien is as light as a feather in her moving performance of Juliet in Carolina Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet, which opened tonight in Raleigh and runs through March 30.

Carolina Ballet’s Dynamic “Four Seasons” Premier

There’s no B side to the Carolina Ballet’s current program and double debut of original work.

Dancers for the "Summer" segment of the Carolina Ballet's world premiere of Robert Weiss' "Vivaldi's Four Seasons" include Ashley Hathaway, Cecilia Iliesiu, and Lindsay (photo by Armes Photography)

The World Premiere of Robert Weiss’ “Vivaldi’s Four Seasons” Is a Welcome Treat in the Snowy Triangle

After a day’s delay due to snow, Carolina Ballet opened its newest repertory program, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, in Raleigh’s A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater on Feb. 14th (I attended the matinee on the 16th) and brought a welcome treat for previously snowbound patrons. Corps de ballet member Zalman Raffael’s Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 was first… Read More ›

Duke Performances presented Urban Bush Women on Feb. 7th and 8th (photo by Michael Zirkle)

Joyful and Inspiring, Urban Dance Women Celebrate Dance and Story’s Ability to Inform and Transform

In 1984, dancer-choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar formed Urban Bush Women, a dance company that “weaves contemporary dance, music, and text with the history, culture, and spiritual traditions of the African Diaspora.” While this statement says a mouthful, it doesn’t even come close to describing the power and beauty of this company of dancing women…. Read More ›