Charlotte Dance Festival returned April 23- 25, 2021 to the Charlotte Cirque and Dance Center, with workshops and a gala night on Friday April 23 at 8 pm in front of a live audience. Some of the performances we’re danced live in Charlotte, with others including professional dancers originally slated for March 2020, and included also virtual, highlighted clips of her company’s work by Camille A. Brown, Tony Award nominated choreographer, who then participated in a moderated discussion on Saturday April 24, at 8pm.
It was amazing to see dance coming back on stage after a year of absence. This performance was made possible thanks to the resilience of Artistic Director Caroline Cartouche.
The gamut of emotions we have dealt with in this past Covid year seem to inform the 8 pieces which comprise the show. Some of the dancers wore masks in their performances. Grief, anger, longing and hope we’re laid bare on stage and on screen with and a great deal of poetry and sensitivity.
“It’s All About Me” by Alyona Amato from Wilmington, NC, opened the show. It’s a humorous look at VANITY and COMPETITION where the dancers talked as they moved in space.
Next is “Footfalls” by choreographer Tammy Stanford from Brookhaven, MS. The work is a poignant and poetic dance to a recording of TS Elliott reading his poem:“Burnt Norton.,” depicting echoes of time, the roads taken and not taken.
“Jouska” followed, by The Mark Dance Company from Charlotte itself. The dance conveyed a feeling of being trapped, as during the pandemic, with no way outside the box.
Dance Aegis from Atlanta, Georgia, was represented by “Pop Rocks.” It was fun, young, and full of high energy.
“Action, Re-action, Words” is powerful poetry set to dance by Water Street Dance form Milwaukee, WI.
Next is “Ask me how I knew” by festival artistic director Caroline Calouche. The work explores the roots of pain behind the creation and passion for dance. It was joyous and uplifting.
“Memories of Tirana” choreographed by Antonio Fini (Fini dance New York), and danced with Masha Maddux, both Alumni of Graham Dance. Himself half Albanian, Fini has created a loving tribute to the dancers in Tirana with whom he has worked. Set to an Albanian folk Song, the duet is beautiful, sensual and visually stunning.
Last on the program is “Fractured and Rebuilt” by Maria Caruso Bodiography Cntemporary Ballet from Pittsburg, PA set to the haunting music of Ludovico Einaudi, offering hope for a return to wholeness.
In light of the long absence of live performances during the pandemic, the festival is a salute to hope and optimism, and speaks to the resilience of performing artists, who inspire us with their unstoppable energy in this fragile time.
More about the Charlotte Dance Festival
The Charlotte Dance Festival is a non-profit organization that presents a dance of all styles and cultures once a year. The festival which began in 2006 offers a platform for professional choreographers, dancers and teachers to share their artistry with each other and the Charlotte community through performances and workshops. Throughout the year, CDF partners with our members and other community arts organizations to further our mission in connecting the Charlotte dance community. We invite you to join us in our vision of creating a supportive and impactful dance scene in Charlotte.