what are you doing this weekend?

i promise that after this post, i'll lay off the ballet-heavy subject matter, but, oh. my. gosh. i just returned from the opening night of north carolina dance theatre's director's choice performance and i can safely say that it is by far my favorite dance theatre show i've ever attended. basically, director's choice means jean-pierre bonnefoux and patricia mcbride get to pick whatever strikes their fancy and mash it all in to one performance. and they picked so well this year.

1. my favorite favorite was a piece entitled le souffle de l'espirit (or, breath of inspiration), choreographed by czech dancer jiri bubenicek (ncdt is only the second us company to work with jiri besides the new york city ballet). the piece was basically very modern choreography with very traditional music (lots of bach and pachelbel) with a very minimalist set/look (inspired by da vinci's work). the grand finale was canon in d with all male dancers. and yes, it was so beautiful i cried (just a little). like a moron.

2. the second number, choreographed by salvatore aiello (former artistic director of the ncdt) was this strange but very alluring tribal "wind dance" which included some insane lifts/acrobatics and in which sasha janes wears a thong. i'm just saying.

3. after two very unique pieces, george balanchine's tchaikovsky pas de deux is about as traditional classical ballet as you can get. and it was, of course, absolutely beautiful. there are few places around the country where you can see original balanchine work, and charlotte is fortunate enough to be one of those places.

4. and finally, dwight rhoden's ballet based on the work of artist romare bearden. very upbeat, very swingy, very colorful and very wonderful. it was fun to see everything come together after the sneak preview and the music - old spirituals and swing/jazz - was fantastic.

all this to say, if you're wondering what you should do this weekend, you should go to the ballet. you will not be disappointed. buy tickets here and you can thank me later.

all images by t.ortega gaines via the charlotte observer

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