Rubberbandance
Shen Wei Dance Arts
Batsheva Dance Company
Under the Angel Oak: CBT Xposed with Christine Kane
Nina Ananiashvili and the State Ballet of Georgia
The Power Company

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Rubberbandance

WHAT IS IT? This dance troupe combines the raw athleticism of hip-hop and the elegant clarity of classical dance. WHY SEE IT? See how Victor Quijada, a young hip-hop dancer from Los Angeles, choreographs pieces that pair the dynamics of street dance with the sounds and movements of ballet and why he’s stirring an international buzz. WHO SHOULD GO? If you appreciate the innovation of something new and enjoy movement turned on its head, literally, than try out this Spoleto offering that keeps you on the cutting edge. BUZZ Critical acclaim precedes Rubberbandance and this should be one hot ticket. See preview on pg. 105. (Eliza Ingle)
Spoleto Festival USA • $30 • (1 hour 15 min.) • May 25, 27 at 8 p.m.; May 27 at 2 p.m.; May 28 at Noon • Emmett Robinson Theatre, Simons Center, 54 St. Philip St. • 579-3100

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Shen Wei Dance Arts

WHAT IS IT? A jaw-dropping dance troupe led by artistic director/set, costume, and makeup designer Shen Wei, who fuses Eastern and Western, modern and ancient, and various art forms such as sculpture and painting into his choreography. The piece “Connect Transfer” features dancers in an effort “to see the circular, cumulative energies that fuse movement to paint to light to sound in space and time.” Dancers have paint on parts of their bodies, which creates a painting on canvas as they dance. WHY SEE IT? The New York Times called them “overwhelming … startlingly imaginative” in their use of absolutely original and innovative movement. They were a hit at Spoleto ’03. And if you really want to see all the other glowing reviews, there’s no room for them here. Go to their website. WHO SHOULD GO? The 1990 song by Black Box says it best: “Everybody, everybody/ Everybody, everybody.” BUZZ Everybody who missed Shen Wei last time is amped, stoked, jazzed, and even pumped to catch them this time around. (Jennifer Corley)
SPOLETO FESTIVAL USA • $10-$55 • (1 hour 30 min.) • May 31, June 2 at 8 p.m. • Gaillard Municipal Auditorium, 77 Calhoun St. • 579-3100

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Batsheva Dance Company

WHAT IS IT? Energetic modern dance meets Israeli culture in a multifaceted performance called Deca Dance. WHY SEE IT? Batsheva is one of Israel’s greatest cultural exports, putting on 250 shows a year across the globe. The Dance Company is treating Spoletians to a reimagining of eight previous shows, courtesy of choreographer Ohad Naharin. He’s dipped into his 16-year relationship with the company and come out with a coherent new show, incorporating music by Beethoven, Bach, Brian Eno, Method Man, and a host of unexpected others. WHO SHOULD GO? If you like your dance predictable, this isn’t for you. But it’s perfect if you’re looking for a performance with a lot of energy and you have the attention span of a goldfish. BUZZ What this troupe lacks in rubberiness it makes up for with grace, experience, and an exotic take on avant garde dance. See preview on pg. 105. (Nick Smith)
SPOLETO FESTIVAL USA • $10-$80 • (1 hour 40 min.) • May 26 at 7 p.m.; May 27, 28 at 2 p.m.; May 27 at 8 p.m. • Gaillard Municipal Auditorium, 77 Calhoun St. • 579-3100

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Under the Angel Oak: CBT Xposed with Christine Kane

WHAT IS IT? The Charleston Ballet Theatre’s annual excursion to the picturesque Angel Oak on Johns Island, where they’ll either splosh around a bit (if it’s muddy) or kick up some dust as they perform under the graceful limbs of the thousand-year-old tree. WHY SEE IT? This year’s performance is an avant-garde blend of monologuist and dancers, as Asheville-based singer/songwriter/teacher/performer Christine Kane presents her unique one-woman show, which combines bits of spoken word wisdom and Kane’s soothing acoustic guitar ditties. WHO SHOULD GO? Those looking to gather the whole family and escape from the trafficky downtown Spoleto scene for a relaxing evening of stellar dance and folksy fun. BUZZ The CBT’s Under the Angel Oak one-day-only performances are always popular, and while there may not be as much for the lascivious to leer at this year, the trade-off is that families needn’t worry about having to cover anyone’s eyes. (Sara Miller)
PICCOLO SPOLETO • $25 • (1 hour) • June 2 at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. • Angel Oak Park, Johns Island • 554-6060

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Nina Ananiashvili and the State Ballet of Georgia

WHAT IS IT? Russian ballet superstar Nina Ananiashvili leads the State Ballet of Georgia in a grand-scale production of the revered Swan Lake with Tchaikovsky’s beloved score played by the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. WHY SEE IT? Ms. Ananiashvili is an international sensation. Still in its early years, the company shares the ranks of the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky Ballets. Since Russia has always been a superpower of ballet, spinning out prima ballerinas for the ages, the production should be first rate. WHO SHOULD GO? Ballet lovers old and young alike; Swan Lake is a standard and should be seen at least once. Based on an enchanting Russian fairy tale, this is for those who pine for a story behind the movement. BUZZ This ballerina is hailed around the globe, and the buzz is that she is not to be missed in this role of classical perfection. (Eliza Ingle)
Spoleto Festival USA • $10-$85 • (2 hours) • June 7, 8, 9 at 8 p.m.; June 9 at 1 p.m.; June 10 at 2 p.m. • Gaillard Municipal Auditorium, 77 Calhoun St. • 579-3100

The Power Company

WHAT IS IT? A professional contemporary dance company based at the private, women-only Columbia College in our state’s capital. WHY SEE IT? The Power Company got their start at Piccolo’s Dance at Noon series in 2000, and they’ve been regulars ever since, performing cutting-edge works for the laid-back lunch crowd. WHO SHOULD GO? Those looking to be energized by some local(ish) dance that embraces the new but still respects the old. BUZZ Led by award-winning choreographer and Columbia College professor of dance Martha Brim, the Power Company was recently dubbed “one of the state’s best dance companies” by Columbia’s Free Times. See for yourself what the hype is all about. (Sara Miller)
PICCOLO SPOLETO • $17, $15 seniors/students • (1 hour) • June 3 at noon • Footlight Players Theatre, 20 Queen St. • 554-6060