This year, the Spoleto Festival
takes us on a world tour of cutting edge dance from around the globe.
Angel Corella’s company, Corella Ballet
, is the only classical ballet company in Spain. Corella himself used to be a Principal Dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, and he inspired ballets choreographed by the likes of Twyla Tharp. Corella Ballet has been praised for its combination of respect for classical dance with its pyrotechnic athletic showmanship.
The next stop is France and Cédric Andrieux. An autobiography in dance form, Cédric Andrieux
is performed by Cédric Andrieux, a great French dancer who spent years working with the legendary Merce Cunningham dance company. Conceived and choreographed by experiential dance artist Jérôme Bel
, the piece explores the dancer’s life behind his stage persona. It promises to be a thrilling, behind-the-curtain experience for fans of dance.
If you marveled at the 2008 Olympics’ Opening Ceremonies, you’ve probably already seen Shen Wei’s work, as he was a creative consultant for the festivities. This year at Spoleto you have the chance to see Shen Wei Dance Arts
perform the visionary choreographer’s three-part series Re-Parts I, II, III
. In the piece, Wei – who was born in Hunan, China – explores his Asian roots in this eclectic, visually stunning dance program.
Finally, Spoleto Dance takes us to Cambodia and shows us a new take on traditional Khmer Court Dance. Traditionally, all-female troupes of elaborately costumed dancers performed stories from the Hindu text The Ramayana
for the king’s pleasure. When the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia, the dancers became part of the group’s mass purging of artists and intellectuals, and the majority of the dancers were killed. Today, Khmer dance is experiencing a new life as choreographer Emmanuèle Phuon re-imagines the ancient dance form in her Khmeropédies I & II
. Gone are the elaborate headdresses and brocade costumes. Now the dancers wear T-shirts, and the traditional poses and stories are told to Western classical music, rap and even “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
for more information on or tickets to any of these dance offerings.