Peripheral vision

“Sometimes brilliance happens,” announces Susan Collard, director of Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre. “Experimental art in festivals is spontaneous” — and, she concedes, “almost accidental.” ACDT’s latest project, the Fringe Festival, “was inspired by a festival I saw in Toronto last year,” she relates. “Giles [Collard's husband] and I came across the festival on the Web, […]

Facing race

“When some people heard about the show and the subject matter, they were a little put off,” admits Lorraine Tipaldi, visual-arts curator at the YMI Cultural Center. Other people weren’t offended by the center’s latest art exhibit — until they actually saw the work, that is. Painter Beverly McIver’s interracial-love portrait with watermelon, for instance, […]

Toy story

If a funny classical ballet sounds like a contradiction in terms, remember that opposites will attract. It’s a point the Shanghai Ballet gracefully demonstrates in its latest production, the playful caper Coppelia. So how did a Chinese dance company end up performing a resurrected French production? That, too, is a story of opposites attracting — […]

Special delivery

Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I’m no great wit. Yet somehow I ended up playing Abbott to funny man Killer Beaz’s Costello. Our long-distance shtick went something like this: “Alli? Killer Beaz here, world-famous comedian.” “Really? World famous?” “Yep. And part-time swimsuit model.” “Huh?” “Well, you know. For those real long […]

Shirt tales

“Sex was never something to be shushed up,” announces Calliope Porter. The actress is half of the mother-daughter duo behind Girls Wear Shirts, a movement-theater play that takes its cue from the conversations mothers and daughters have (or don’t have) about sexuality. “Of course,” she adds, “we didn’t talk about it at the dinner table.” […]

Finding the pulse in avant-garde

Painter/assemblagist Allan Kaprow didn’t coin the art term “happening” until 1959 — but, according to some schools of thought, the first “happening” happened at Black Mountain College back in 1952. That year, composer John Cage presented his “Theatre Piece No. 1″ with a little help from his BMC artist friends, among them modern-dance pioneer Merce […]

Turning memories into movements

“This is the transitional season,” announces Deborah Scott with a dab of trepidation. Asheville Playback Theatre is changing its successful format this year, and Scott, the group’s artistic director, admits she isn’t completely sure how the new shows will play out. “Our overriding concern is [still] to honor each person’s experience,” says Scott. The company, […]