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)
Tuning Up: Creative Placemaking, Gullah Geechee in Philadelphia, more
Good morning! "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers 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...
- You'll be hearing more from us about this, but we have to start somewhere. South Arts is presenting the "Beyond Big Cities" Southern Creative Placemaking Conference in Chattanooga, Tenn. next month. This is the place to be for civic/arts leaders interesting in leveraging the creative assets in rural communities and small towns to attract and retain residents, creatives and businesses, and bring visitors to experience the unique nature of your place.
- The Gullah Geechee remain in the spotlight, this time as Aunt Pearlie Sue and the Gullah Kinfolk take the story of Gullah Geechees to the City of Brotherly Love for a free performance at Villanova University. The performance will recognize the important link between Philadelphia and the Sea Islands of S.C. during slavery and Reconstruction. Group leader Anita Singleton-Prather is a Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award winner and an acclaimed musician, storyteller, and actress.
- Verner Award recipients Jonathan Green (2010) and William Starrett (2002) rekindle a collaboration that took Green's paintings (right) Off the Wall and Onto the Stage with Columbia City Ballet when they reprise the critically acclaimed ballet at Township Auditorium in Columbia this Friday and in Charleston Saturday, March 3.
- And finally, a hearty congratulations to Arts Commission Chairman Henry Horowitz for receiving the Buck Mikel Leadership Award from the Greenville Chamber of Commerce.
South Carolina Ballet production to celebrate human spirit in response to Emanuel AME shootings
From the Charleston Post and Courier Article by Adam Parker
When William Starrett, artistic director of the Columbia City Ballet, received in 2002 an Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award, artist Jonathan Green delivered the remarks at the ceremony. Green was impressed enough by Starrett’s accomplishments to offer the ballet director a painting to auction as a fundraiser. Starrett was speechless and grateful. Once he gathered himself, he said he wanted to make a ballet based on Green’s art. Three years and $1.2 million later, the ballet company presented "Off the Wall and Onto the Stage: Dancing the Art of Jonathan Green." At the end of each vignette, dancers formed a tableau mimicking one of Green’s paintings, then a huge screen dropped to the stage revealing an enlarged reproduction of the original piece of art. Arguably, the show is to Columbia City Ballet what “Revelations” is to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: a beloved cornerstone of its repertoire that helps define the company. Now the dance troupe is working again with Green and several others to produce a new work that honors the victims of the Emanuel AME Church shooting, their families and the broader community, whose members continue to grapple with the significance and aftermath of a terrible crime. “Emanuel: Love is the Answer” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. April 1 at the Sottile Theatre, 44 George St., with support from the Patrick Family Foundation and the South Carolina Arts Commission. The ballet will include a series of danced vignettes involving 22 of the company’s 32 dancers, Starrett said. “This is my effort to make sense of all this, and to heal from it,” he said. The multimedia production is by the South Carolina Ballet, an enterprise of Columbia City Ballet. It will include projected videos and images: Green’s colorful Gullah-inspired paintings, Jenny Horne’s now-famous General Assembly speech calling for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the Statehouse grounds, comments from great spiritual and political leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Theresa, and more. The 90-minute ballet will be organized into three parts, beginning with an exploration of “how we are here and why,” continuing with a survey of the social progress we’ve made in South Carolina and concluding with a rumination on love, fraternity, forgiveness and acceptance, Starrett said. “Dance is a great art form to help unify and bring us together,” he said. Starrett grew up in California, danced professionally with the Royal Winnepeg Ballet, Geoffrey Ballet and American Ballet Theater, then settled in South Carolina 30 years ago to run the Columbia-based ballet company. He said “Emanuel: Love is the Answer” surely has a spiritual dimension, thanks in part to its use of paintings. “All art, especially visual art, is a form of prayer,” he said. Charles “Bud” Ferillo, coordinator of the South Carolina Collaborative for Race and Reconciliation, a project of the University of South Carolina, said his organization endorses the ballet project. Ferillo is helping to promote it. “This ballet is poetry in motion and will be the basis for further healing,” the Charleston native said. "Every citizen, of every race, will benefit from this performance.” Horne said she was driven to deliver her heartfelt speech, credited with pushing reluctant lawmakers to agree to the flag’s removal, because the banner was an offense to her friends. “It was personal.” She had known the Rev. Clementa Pinckney first as a young page at the Statehouse and later as a senator, and his death at the hands of a white supremacist on June 17, 2015, was devastating. When she witnessed many thousands of people enduring the summer heat and hoping to gain access to Pinckney’s funeral, she was especially moved, she said. “The image of young and old, black and white, American and people here to tour the city from other countries” — this array of grieving people gave her hope. So in a last-minute, Hail-Mary attempt to convince her colleagues to take down the flag, she delivered her fiery, from-the-heart speech. Though she is no longer serving in the Legislature, her speech continues to reverberate. And now it is part of a work of art. “I’m so grateful to be part of this beautiful tribute to the families, the victims, this church and this city and all of South Carolina,” Horne said. Tickets for the ballet are $25-$45 and available at http://columbiacityballet.com/production/emanuel9/. The company will perform "Emanuel" at the Camden Fine Arts Center on April 4 and at Columbia's Koger Arts Center on April 7 and 8.
“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
Columbia City Ballet seeks marketing director
Columbia City Ballet is seeking a marketing director to join the team. This position includes designing all materials representing the company. The marketing director has responsibility for advertising production, news releases, photographs, posters, radio and television scripts, brochures, and Dancebills, as well as oversight and design of the website. Prior marketing and graphic design experience is required. Candidates must have an outgoing personality and the ability to work independently in a fast-paced, dynamic environment. Submit your resume, including salary requirements to: Columbia City Ballet, 1545 Main Street, Columbia, S.C. 29201, or via e-mail to JCobb@ColumbiaCityBallet.Com. Find more details about the job duties on the Columbia City Ballet website. About the Columbia City Ballet Currently in its 54th season, Columbia City Ballet’s mission is to be a premier professional ballet company in the Southeast through the presentation of our art and expression to a constantly growing and diverse audience. Central to this mission are the following:
- Having and growing a repertoire of the highest quality dance, including traditional works by the legendary masters and new works by current, vibrant choreographers;
- Attracting, training and retaining a company of highly accomplished dancers;
- Maintaining a regular schedule of performances in the region and touring opportunities throughout the nation;
- Providing educational opportunities to regional companies through lectures, demonstration, open rehearsals and school performances.
Columbia City Ballet seeks marketing/PR director and membership director
Columbia City Ballet is currently seeking a marketing and public relations director and a membership director. Examples of marketing & public relations director responsibilities:
- Paid advertising and media trade negotiations
- Advertising production
- Production of pre-show announcements
- Assistance with marketing, promotions, budget development and accountability
- Maintains media list and contacts
- Publicity for performances and activities: news releases, photographs, posters, radio scripts, television scripts, website, brochures, calendars
- Media relations (generate feature story development, schedule on-air appearances)
- Schedules and assists with community relations (speaking engagements)
- Dancebill material, design, production, coordination
- Collateral literature for Development & Membership Director
- Fundraiser assistance: coordination with Board, liaison with staff
- All Board interface regarding Columbia City Ballet matters
- Board mailing list
- Committee member communications and coordination, including annual Galas and fundraising, Director’s Circle
- Special events: plan and participate in fundraising events as scheduled
- Board of directors communications and coordination
- Complimentary ticket allocations with executive & artistic director
- Supervision and participation of grants, financial aid, and benevolent revenue
- Prepare and execute tour contracts
- Immigration management in tandem with Company Manager
- Assistance with budget development and accountability
- Maintain corporate support structure and corporate contacts