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Jason Rapp

Technical director sought by Columbia City Ballet

Immediate hire for looming season

Columbia City Ballet is seeking a technical director for the 2021/2022 performance season.

From the company: The ideal candidate will be proficient in all theatrical technical elements including scenic, carpentry, sound, lighting and projections, and stage management. A creative problem solver with at least 3 years of professional experience and capable of quickly troubleshooting technical theater elements and possessing exemplary organizational and communication skills.
  • This key position reports directly to the executive & artistic director and has responsibility for all technical needs and requirements including music, lighting, and scenic elements.
  • Coordinates technical requirements in all performance venues.
  • Supervises load-ins, strikes, and technical rehearsals.
  • Prepares and delivers all lighting, fly rail, and other designs in a timely manner.
  • Coordinates truck rental and other transportation needs.
  • Maintains, stores, repairs, transports, and controls inventory of all artistic collateral including but not limited to sets, scenery, and props.
  • Provides technical support for all public, community and promotional events including performances, technical rehearsals, galas, public appearances, demonstrations, and other events.
  • Works closely with the finance director on all purchasing, sourcing, budgetary, and expense related tasks.
  • Coordinates crew assignments with all performance venues and coordinates all tour logistics for sets, scenery, and technical crew members. Manages technical crew members and provides accurate payroll information to the office of the finance director. Reviews and provides technical guidance for tour and venue contracts.
  • Manages all rentals of sets, scenery, props, and costumes from our extensive collections including negotiating and executing rental agreements.
A bachelor's degree or acceptable combination of education and professional experience is required. Salary is negotiable, commensurate with experience. Qualified applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, and professional references to:
Image by bigter choi from Pixabay

Jason Rapp

Catch American Ballet Theatre in Charleston

ABT Across America on July 17

Presented by the Charleston Gaillard Center

American Ballet Theatre will take to the road this summer, traveling by bus and truck to just eight U.S. cities—including Charleston.

The Charleston Gaillard Center will present ABT Across America for an outdoor performance at The Citadel’s parade ground, Summerall Field. The show will be performed without an intermission. Repertory for ABT Across America will feature Lauren Lovette’s La Follia Variations, a work for eight dancers set to music by Francesco Geminiani, Jessica Lang’s Let Me Sing Forevermore, a pas deux blending ballet and jazz vocabulary set to songs sung by Tony Bennett, Darrell Grand Moultrie’s Indestructible Light, a celebration of American jazz music, and a classical pas de deux from ABT’s extensive repertoire. Support for this program is made possible by generous donors who have committed time and resources to the Charleston Gaillard Center’s Dance Initiative.

Tuning Up: From ABT to ACSD + ArtFields volunteers sought

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...

This is not your average news item. We confess to doing a double-take upon reading the Charlotte Observer headline "Former world-class ballet dancer now a South Carolina deputy." We're so glad we did, because the non-traditional path one of Abbeville County Sheriff's Department's finest took to the force is worth our attention and yours. (Subscription might be required.) Pee Dee friends! Volunteer at ArtFields! Your smiling face can be put to great use in Lake City this April... lead student tours, staff venues, direct traffic, or serve one one of the other awaiting opportunities. A Volunteer Kick-Off Dinner is coming March 5, so click here to get more info and to register for your ArtFields volunteering. Midlands friends! "Canvass of the People" in Columbia tomorrow! 

Submitted material

Fulbright grant sending Furman musicologist to Russia

Laura Kennedy, Furman University associate professor of musicology, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar award to conduct research in Russia during the 2019/2020 academic year. For her research project, “Ballet in a Waning Empire: Shostakovich, Lopukhov, and the Search for Soviet Dance,” Kennedy will work in music and dance archives in St. Petersburg and Moscow. She will research costumes, set designs, choreographic notes, musical scores, photographs and other materials from early Soviet ballet productions written in Leningrad in the 1920s and 1930s, a formative period of experimentation in the Russian arts. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright honor represents a national competition across the humanities, arts, sciences and education. Grantees undergo a rigorous peer-review process, in which proposals are evaluated in both the U.S. and destination countries and are finally selected by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. “I’m thrilled with the opportunity of this Fulbright and with the chance to pursue new research on Russian ballet. My goal is to author the first book ever written on the ballets of Dmitri Shostakovich: The Golden Age, The Bolt, and The Limpid Stream,” said Kennedy. “These early ballets set the direction of Soviet dance, ensuring ballet’s place as a central expression of Soviet cultural achievement and diplomacy in the 20th century.”

This latest Fulbright award marks Kennedy’s second grant to study in Russia. Her first Fulbright was awarded to conduct research in 2006/2007 on Shostakovich when she was a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan. “The Fulbright Scholar award combines my expertise in Shostakovich’s music and manuscripts with my work on dance,” said Kennedy. “I’m grateful to the Department of Music, the Research & Professional Growth Committee, and the Humanities Development Fund at Furman for generously supporting the opportunities that have shaped my scholarship in music and dance. And I’m equally grateful to the Fulbright program for the unique experiences it has afforded me as a scholar,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy joined the Furman faculty in 2012. She coordinates the music history curriculum and teaches courses on music and dance history. With Patricia Sasser, director of Furman’s Maxwell Music Library, she also co-directs the department’s study away course to Paris and London: “Rites of Spring: Paris, the Ballets Russes, & the Arts of Modernism.” Her work has been published in Fontes Artis Musicae, Notes: The Journal of the Music Library Association, the Journal of Music History Pedagogy, and Information Literacy in Music (A-R Editions). She holds a bachelor’s in music from Wheaton College and a Ph.D. in historical musicology from the University of Michigan. For more information, contact the Furman News and Media Relations office at 864.294.3107.

New Governor’s School event to cultivate S.C.’s young dancers

Master classes, cash prizes part of student ballet competition

Ballet students ages 10-19 are invited to participate in master classes and compete for cash prizes in the inaugural "Grand Jeté" student dance competition, hosted by the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. The competition will be held at the Governor’s School in Greenville on March 2, 2019, and students can now register online to participate at www.scgsah.org/grand-jete. The deadline to register is Friday, Feb. 1. “We are thrilled to offer an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge South Carolina’s young dancers, and we want to applaud them for their hard work as they pursue and study this beautiful, yet demanding, art form,” said Josée Garant, Governor’s School Dance Department chair. “Grand Jeté is a venue for dance students from across the state to get to know each other and share their common passion for dance. It is a venue where, in its competitive environment, they can take the stage, support each other, learn and grow, while receiving feedback from out-of-state, internationally-recognized dance professionals.” Approximately 60 students will have the opportunity to attend master classes taught by S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities’ dance faculty and compete, by division, for the opportunity to win cash prizes totaling $7,500. They may also qualify for scholarships and opportunities such as summer dance intensives and college dance programs. Grand Jeté will be adjudicated by out-of-state, world-renowned dance professionals Lorna Feijóo, Francie Huber, and Olivier Pardina. For more information about Grand Jeté and to register, visit www.scgsah.org/grand-jete. The registration deadline is February 1, 2019. However, registration may close early if the maximum number of 60 solos is reached prior to this date. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact the S.C Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities Foundation at 864.282.1570 for more details.


Located in Greenville, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH) cultivates young artists from across the state through pre-professional training in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. As a public, residential high school, serving juniors and seniors, students refine their talents in a master-apprentice community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education. Summer programs are available to rising 7th-12th grade students, and SCGSAH serves as a resource to all teachers and students in South Carolina, offering comprehensive outreach programs designed to bring together artists, educators, community organizations and schools. SCGSAH.org
All photos provided.

Tuning Up: Nutcracker season returns

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...

Welcome to Nutcracker season. When you think of the holidays through the lens of the performing arts, two things immediately cross your mind: Handel's Messiah (perhaps with audience participation), and... The Nutcracker. Some have come and gone, but the "granddaddy of them all" in South Carolina (if The Rose Bowl Game™ will pardon our use of the parlance...) is the one staged by SCAC General Operating Support (GOS) grantees Columbia City Ballet and Executive Director William Starrett. This year, the production winds its way through central and eastern South Carolina and even took a dip into Savannah, Ga. on Thanksgiving weekend. It begins a two-weekend run in Columbia this Friday night. From the story:

"Diversity has played a major role in the 2018 performance, from the dancers to the costumes and production design. 'There’s all different kinds of snowflakes and flowers and different kinds of human beings,' said Starrett. The creative minds at Columbia City Ballet crafted the performance to represent the diversity of modern life."

The Hub can get behind that. Read more: Excitement builds as Columbia City Ballet’s The Nutcracker premieres this weekend (ColaDaily.com)

‘Toning down’ stereotypes in ballet

A story appeared yesterday in The New York Times about New York City Ballet modifying its production of Balanchine's The Nutcracker to do away with "yellowface" – stereotypical portrayals of Asian people. [caption id="attachment_23732" align="alignright" width="200"] Columbia Classical Ballet's presentation of "The Nutcracker" in 2015. (Provided photo)[/caption]

Last year, New York City Ballet modified the choreography, costumes and makeup. And, just last month, the Balanchine Trust, which owns the rights to Balanchine’s work, notified other ballet companies that the changes were an approved option, though not required.

With Nutcracker season upon us (several open on Thanksgiving weekend and the rate accelerates into December), The Hub thought it was an interesting topic to share with our readers, especially in light of the controversial comments made by Megyn Kelly before her departure from NBC last month.

These adjustments are part of a broader effort to re-examine how people of color are portrayed in the performing arts and how classics with potentially troubling aspects can be made acceptable to modern audiences. In 2015, the Metropolitan Opera eliminated blackface from its “Otello.” The Bolshoi has toned down a segment of its “La Bayadère” featuring white children in blackface, but it has been criticized for not going far enough. And more recent fare has also been revised: The musical “Cats” dropped a song in which characters sang in Asian accents.

You can read the full story here. These are hot-button topics everywhere, but it is certainly relevant to the S.C. Arts Commission, where our legislative charge is "to create a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their place or circumstance. Diversity, inclusion, and access are critical components of that charge.

SC native Sara Mearns among nominees for ‘ballet’s Oscars’ announced in Moscow

Sara MearnsColumbia, S.C. native Sara Mearns, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, is one of six ballerinas nominated for the Benois de la Danse international ballet awards, considered the Oscars of ballet. The list includes eight choreographers, six female dancers, six male dancers and two scenographers, all of whom represent the world's leading ballet companies. The awards, which honor dance works created during the past year, will be awarded May 17. Mearns returns to Columbia frequently to teach young dancers and perform. She will appear in the 11th Annual Ballet Stars of New York Gala, taking place Friday, April 15 at the Koger Center for the Arts. From Russia Beyond the Headlines

The nominees for the 24th edition of the Benois de la Danse international ballet awards were announced on April 7 at a press conference at the Bolshoi Theater. The list includes eight choreographers, six dancers, six dancers and two scenographers, all of whom represent the world's leading ballet companies. The prestigious prize, which is unparalleled in international practice, honors dance works created during the past year. For the first time in the history of the Benois de la Danse awards, a record number of choreographers – eight – were nominated. They include Mauro Bigonzetti (Cinderella, La Scala Ballet), Zhang Yunfeng (Emperor Yu Li, Beijing Dance Academy), Benjamin Millepied (Clear, Loud, Bright, Forward, Paris Opera Ballet), Justin Peck (Rõde,õ: Four Dance Episodes, New York City Ballet), Alexander Ekman (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Royal Swedish Ballet) and Johan Inger, who was nominated for the prize for two performances – Carmen (Compañia Nacional de Danza) and One on One (Netherland Dance Theater). Also nominated were two Russian choreographers – Yuri Possokhov (Hero of Our Time, Bolshoi Ballet) and Maxim Petrov (Le Divertissement du Roi, Mariinsky Ballet). Six ballerinas were nominated for the Best Female Dancer award. One of them – Oksana Skorik – represents the Mariinsky Ballet. Her rivals will be Alicia Amatriyen (Stuttgart State Ballet), Rebecca Bianchi (Rome Opera Ballet), Sara Mearns (New York City Ballet), Gina Tse (Swedish Royal Ballet) and Hannah O'Neyl (Paris Opera Ballet). The nominees for the Best Male Dancer award are Dmitry Zagrebin (formerly of the Bolshoi Ballet, now a soloist of the Royal Swedish Ballet),  three soloists from the Paris Opera Ballet – Kim Kimin, Hugo Marchand and Josua Hoffalt, as well as Amar Ramazar (New York City Ballet) and Alessandro Riga, who represents the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto. The Scenographers category features two candidates: Jean-Marc Pyuissan, who was nominated for the prize for designing performances by the Dutch National Ballet and the Royal Opera House, and Ren Dongsheng (Beijing Dance Academy). A special Russian-Italian ballet prize, which last year united the Benois de la Danse and the Premio Positano Leonide Massine Award, will be awarded this time to the Bolshoi Ballet's prima ballerina Ekaterina Krysanova. The special prize for High Artistry in Partnership was awarded to the Hamburg Ballet's prime dancer Alexander Ryabko. This year's jury includes the Paris Opera Ballet's star dancer Marie-Agnès Gilot, the artistic director of Compania Nacional de Danza (Spain), Jose Carlos Martinez Garcia, the artistic director of the Royal Swedish Ballet, Johannes Öhman, a choreographer and professor of the Beijing Dance Academy, Xiao Suhua, as well as Italian ballet star Elisabetta Terabyust, the Mariinsky Ballet's acting director Yury Fateyev and the New York-based Joyce Theater director Linda Shelton. The award ceremony will be held at the Bolshoi's Historic Stage on May 17. First published in Russian in TASS.

“The Nutcracker” Takes South Carolina Stages This Holiday Season

"The Nutcracker" ballet is a holiday tradition for many families around the world. South Carolina arts groups are producing opportunities for experiencing this classic story in all parts of the state. Ballet Spartanburg, December 11-13 at Converse College in Spartanburg Carolina Ballet Theatre, December 4-6 at the Peace Center for the Performing Arts in Greenville Charleston Ballet Theatre Center for Dance Education, December 11-13 at the Sottile Theatre in Charleston Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre, December 12-13 & 19-20 at Coastal Carolina University in Conway Columbia City Ballet, December 12-13 & 19-20 at the Koger Center for the Arts in Columbia Columbia Classical Ballet, December 4-6 at the Koger Center for the Arts in Columbia Foothills Conservatory for the Performing Arts, December 12-13 at the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts in Clemson Greenville Ballet, December 19 at Furman University in Greenville International Ballet, December 12-13 at the Peace Center for the Performing Arts in Greenville Orangeburg Civic Ballet, December 12-13 at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg York County Ballet, December 17-20 at Winthrop University in Rock Hill

Performing arts presenters invited to apply for South Arts’ Dance Touring Initiative

Nonprofit performing arts presenters across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee are encouraged to visit the Dance Touring Initiative area of South Arts’ website for information about applying to be part of the upcoming third cohort to receive training and support in presenting modern dance. The application deadline is Jan. 23, 2015. Through DTI, two cohorts totaling 20 performing arts presenters in eight Southern states have received training and support in all aspects of presenting modern dance. Participants in the two cohorts have traveled to dance festivals including Jacob’s Pillow and American Dance Festival, worked with specialists to gain deeper understanding of the wide artistic range of the art forms, and received subsidies to engage leading companies for performances and residencies. The initiative, launched in 2009, is building a broad and deep network of performing arts presenters throughout the South that can bring modern dance and contemporary ballet companies as part of their season for public performances and artist residencies.Two South Carolina organizations, Ballet Spartanburg and Coker College Department of Dance in Hartsville, were chosen as participants for the initial cohort in 2009. Image: Koresh Dance Company, one of three companies providing multi-day residencies for cohort participants during the 2014-2015 season. About South Arts South Arts, a nonprofit regional arts organization, was founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South Arts’ work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. South Arts offers an annual portfolio of activities designed to address the role of the arts in impacting the issues important to our region, and to link the South with the nation and the world through the arts. For more information, visit www.southarts.org. Via: South Arts