News

Carolina Ballet Theatre’s 2017-18 Season Seeks out Ballet Newbies

By Ariel Turner

On the heels of its most successful season in 45 years, Carolina Ballet Theatre’s 2017-18 season announcement reflects the company’s continued effort to appeal to a wider demographic than the traditional dance community.

“We are very interested in spreading the word and seeing dance elevated in Greenville,” says CBT board president Marie Blough. “Greenville is a little behind in interpreting dance, especially ballet. This season is a little something for everyone.”

The 2017-18 season includes three professional shows at the Peace Center: “Snow White: The Ballet,” “The Nutcracker: Once Upon a Time in Greenville,” and “The School of Hard Rocks,” along with several smaller vignettes that are fashioned around important causes, such as Black History Month, mental health reform, and cancer awareness.

To broaden its appeal in 2016-17, the CBT season included cameo appearances by former Clemson University quarterback Tajh Boyd and “The Voice” alum Delvin Choice, along with guest artists from prominent ballet companies. The result: multiple sold-out performances and a boost in ticket sales from the previous year.

And that increased revenue has allowed the company to employ three full-time dancers for the 2017-18 season, Martin Justo-Bernardez, Laura Mortimer, and Meghan Loman.

Blough says this is the first time CBT has been financially able to employ full-time dancers, which will allow the company to engage in more year-round community outreach, possibly even pop-up performances at schools and public locations.

Harnessing the momentum of the past season, the 2017-18 season will also include guest dancers, yet to be announced.

“Snow White: The Ballet” opens the season, Sept. 29–30. Blough describes the work as “dark and comedic,” involving mystery and intrigue. The role of wicked queen/stepmother is danced by a male dancer, while the seven dwarves provide the comedic relief, Blough says.

Read the full article on the Greenville Journal website.

Announcing Carolina Ballet Theatre’s 2017-2018 Season

Carolina Ballet Theatre is proud to announce the 2017-2018 Season. This year’s schedule is packed full of performances that will captivate the Upstate, including three professional shows at The Peace Center, Snow White the Ballet, The Nutcracker: Once Upon a Time in Greenville, and The School of Hard Rocks and several smaller vignettes that are fashioned around important causes, such as Black History month, mental health reform and cancer awareness.

The 2017-2018 Season will officially kick off with a new and unique retelling of the classic fairytale, Snow White the Ballet, by Guest Choreographer from Charlotte Ballet, Mark Diamond. While this story typically portrays the deep envy of the wicked stepmother and the evil that ensues, Mark is able to capture the comedic side of the dwarfs and stepmother (played by a male dancer), the innocence of Snow White and the beauty that true love comes in many formats. The ballet will premier at the Gunter Theatre and will feature three showings, one school show on September 29th and two on Saturday, September 30th..

Back by popular demand, CBT will have three performances of The Nutcracker: Once Upon a Time in Greenville this holiday season. The libretto, adapted from E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, is choreographed by Hernan Justo and is based on the original Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov ballet. This season’s adaptation will feature guest artists from nationally renowned ballet companies, celebrity guests, new staging, new costumes, and a surprise musical feature. Perhaps the sweetest treat for all will take place during the Party Scene – side by side with our professional dancers, will be children with special needs performing live. For further details on participating or volunteering with this aspect, please visit: www.carolinaballet.org. The Nutcracker will run December 22nd and the 23rd at the Peace Center.

During February and in honor of Black History Month, CBT will perform Hernan Justo’s new innovative ballet, Black & Beautiful, A Tribute to African American Dancers.  Justo tells the stories of three dancers that shaped our American dance landscape. Date and location to be determined, if interested in partnerships, please contact CBT Board President, Marie Blough at 864-201-2626.

The Spring, 2018 Season continues with an all new rock ballet – The School of Hard Rocks. This energetic explosion of dance, visual art and music is sure to please audiences of all ages. Artistic Director and Creator, Hernan Justo, brings an important anti-bullying message to the stage. He sets this to old and modern well-known rocks ballads while showcasing arts integration to heal relationships. CBT will conduct two performances of the School of Hard Rocks on March 10th.

Throughout the Season, CBT will have the privilege of partnering with area charities and special causes that will unleash the communicative properties of dance to better our community. If interested in learning more, please visit www.carolinaballet.org.

Auditions, ticket sales and volunteer information will be posted on the CBT website in August 2017. CBT is currently seeking any interested Season corporate sponsors or patrons who wish to partner and fulfill meaningful arts in The Upstate. If you are interested in supporting Carolina Ballet Theatre, please visit www.carolinaballet.org.

Carolina Ballet Theatre is also proud to announce new full time employee additions to the professional company.  Martin Justo-Bernardez, from Boulder Ballet, will be moving and joining CBT’s company of dancers for the Season, and Laura Mortimer and Meghan Loman will be promoted to full time CBT Company dancers.

This performance season promises to deliver top of the line productions featuring world-renown dancers, diverse choreography, celebrities, and a variety of artists. The 2017-2018 Season seeks to reinvent ballet as we know it, and is sure to delight all audiences alike.

ABOUT CBT:

Founded in 1972, Carolina Ballet Theatre, a registered 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, serves as Greenville’s only resident professional dance company.  CBT’s mission is to engage, educate and entertain its audiences through the dynamic and healing medium of dance.

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For press inquiries, interviews with Hernan Justo, or information, please contact Marie Blough at (864) 232.2000 // marie@redhype.com

Carolina Ballet Theatre Presents the Jungle Book Ballet

CBT reinvents the Jungle Book and partners with Delvin Choice

Carolina Ballet Theatre’s Spring Season begins with a unique, adaptation of the Jungle Book. This storybook ballet is based on the collection of short stories, written by Rudyard Kipling while drawing influence from many of the famed Jungle Book movies. However, the Jungle Book Ballet, much like many of the Carolina Ballet Theatre performances will contain a unique, Greenville twist.

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Tajh Boyd nervous about his dancing debut in ‘Nutcracker’

Tajh Boyd has had his share of experiences on the big stage.

The 2013 Orange Bowl, a 2012 bowl victory against LSU, the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game and two Top-10 showdowns against Florida State, to name a few.

But rest assured the former Clemson quarterback will be considerably more nervous Thursday night when he makes his dancing debut at Greenville’s Peace Center in the productionThe Nutcracker: Once Upon a Time in Greenville.”

“I’m absolutely more nervous here,” Boyd said. “At least in football I’ve got a helmet on and wear a visor sometimes, and a jersey and shoulder pads. Out here though, if I roll my ankle it’s a different level. I don’t want to fall down the stairs or anything.”

Read the full article on The State website.

Tajh Boyd is on the Big Stage, Again

By Scott Keepfer

Tajh Boyd has had his share of experiences on the big stage.

The 2013 Orange Bowl, a 2012 bowl victory against LSU, and the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game, to name a few.

But rest assured that the former Clemson University quarterback will be considerably more nervous Thursday night when he makes his dancing debut at Greenville’s Peace Center in the production “The Nutcracker: Once Upon a Time in Greenville.”

“I’m absolutely more nervous here,” Boyd said. “At least in football I’ve got a helmet on and wear a visor sometimes, and a jersey and shoulder pads. Out here though, if I roll my ankle it’s a different level. I don’t want to fall down the stairs or anything.”

So is he intimidated by the prospect of three performances in a two-day period in front of a packed house at the Peace Center?

“No, honestly, seeing the preparation that goes into it, I don’t think that you can be anything but confident when you step out there,” Boyd said. “That’s what rehearsal is for. You want to put the best product on the dance floor.”

Boyd assures he will be wearing his artistic face rather than his “game face” during the Christmas-themed ballet, which opens Thursday at 7 p.m. and will continue with two presentations on Friday, at 1 and 7 p.m.

Boyd and his dance partner, Leslie Haas of Greenville, will perform a traditional waltz during Act I, or “The Party Scene.”

Herman Justo, artistic director for Carolina Ballet Theatre, said his goal was to maintain the traditional integrity of the tale while modernizing the narrative a bit – hence, Boyd’s appearance.

“It’s great for us to have a local hero,” Justo said. “My Nutcracker is about Greenville. The actual novel is set in Nuremberg (Germany), but I moved it to Greenville.

“It is still traditional, but in some parts I take the freedom. It will appeal to everyone, and there are parts of the narrative where you can say, ‘Ah yes, I’ve been in that situation before.’ ”

Marie Blough, president of Carolina Ballet Theatre, said the production will include more than 150 dancers and 12 professional dancers from Carolina Ballet Theatre or other companies.

Read the full article on the Greenville News website.

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