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The Art of Dance

by Doug Singleton

March 6,2007

Art does not always hang on a wall. Sometimes it breathes sweats, inspires and educates. North Carolina Dance Theatre has the privilege of sharing the art of dance with our community, and we understand that with privilege comes great responsibility.

Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, our artistic director, and I share a vision for the future of dance. We work together to provide an extremely creative environment. By exchanging ideas, we are able to adapt and transform our company again and again. This type of work is both thrilling and fulfilling. The only missing element is the sold out performance.

Charlotte has attracted talent from all over the world. Our dancers come from the United States, Cuba, Europe, Australia, South America and Canada. They seek this opportunity of creative expression. The company has built a reputation in the dance community for a diverse repertoire. From classical and contemporary ballet to modern and jazz styles, the dancers are incredibly well trained and awe inspiring. Dance is the international language; speaking directly to the human spirit.

André Luis Tierra joined the company two years ago. André, a native of Brazil, learned of the company’s reputation at the International Ballet Competition in New York. When he joined the company, his knowledge of English was very limited, but the language of ballet allowed him to communicate to the audience with ease. André was featured on the cover of our 2006-2007 season brochures and is a rising star in the ballet world.

The creative process challenges non-creative types, like me, to trust in the ability and choices of these daring artists. Dancers do not just dance because they want to; they dance because they have to. Choreographers and directors have an immense responsibility to lead these young people with grace and understanding.

Dwight Rhoden, resident choreographer, consistently rises to the challenge. Dwight chooses to collaborate with our company, because he has recognized the unique environment we have developed and continue to grow. Dwight is a former principle dancer of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and the current artistic director of his own company in New York City, Complexions. Dwight would tell you there is plenty on his plate, but he makes room for our dancers. When world-renowned choreographers, like Dwight, choose to spend so much time with our company, it confirms that our company has some of best dancers in the world. I encourage everyone to take advantage of one of the best experiences Charlotte has to offer.

Each season our artists set out on a journey to challenge themselves, the audience and the art form. One might ask how they continue to take it to the next level. It’s simple. They take risks. A risk can be a frightful situation for most, but our dancers find this ability because they trust each other, the choreographer, and the spirit within themselves. This type of team work is made possible by the environment North Carolina Dance Theatre creates for our artists.

North Carolina Dance Theatre will soon perform the winter repertory program “Natural Beauty.” This performance series finds inspiration through the gifts of our world. Choreographers have created dance works celebrating jewels, rainforests, and celestial bodies. The dancers are amazing and beautiful. Natural Beauty runs at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center March 8-10, 2007. I invite everyone to become part of this great experience.

In addition to great concerts, North Carolina Dance Theatre’s education and outreach program will reach over 50,000 people this year alone. From the young in age to the young at heart, we have had the opportunity to expose, discuss and educate each other with great programs. We are extremely fortunate to have a dance luminary like Patricia McBride, among others, who teach traditional ballet and the emerging styles of tomorrow to the next generation of dancers. The School of North Carolina Dance Theatre is proud to provide the very best opportunities in dance training at all levels.

We are all responsible for the success of this great city. I implore you to take advantage of the opportunities our city has to offer, like North Carolina Dance Theatre. “There’s nothing to do” does not live here any more. So take a risk. Come see art breathe, sweat, inspire and educate.

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