Charleston Ballet Theatre literally rolled out the red carpet for their Oscar Gala Thursday night. Each audience member was greeted at the door by paparazzi, screaming fans (who looked suspiciously like CBT dancers), and interview questions. A glowing bar, full of martinis, beer, and wine, greeted guests inside the performance studio.

CBT chose five Oscar-nominated films — Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, Up!, Precious, and Nine — to draw inspiration for their five short pieces. The score choices, choreographic interpretation, and costumes fit each piece as if they were taken straight from the film. In smaller events such as these, a dancer’s ability to absorb, master, and perform choreography, in less than one week, is challenged to the greatest extent. We were impressed by CBT’s overall clean appearance and the flow of the program. Who would’ve known they also finished their Masterpieces performance last Saturday and are already working on two other upcoming shows — Cat in the Hat and Zorro.

Charleston-area designers truly out-did themselves with the table decor in the American Theatre. Our favorite was the Audrey Hepburn/Breakfast at Tiffany’s table, but all designers’ inspirations were centered around CBT’s Hollywood Heroes theme and gorgeous in their own right. Everyone was a celebrity at the dinner, as patrons mixed with dancers for congratulations and conversation, where one thing was for certain: there wasn’t just one great performance of the evening — they were all fit for Hollywood. Men dressed in tuxedos, women in all shades and styles of red, and there were even a few Mary Porter House of Couture dresses on select CBT girls. Friendly, personable, and entertaining, the performers were as much of a delight in person as they were on stage.

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