MOUNTAIN MOVES: The J Creek Cloggers perform regionally at Shindig on the Green and Folkmoot. Photo by Sheila James

Fancy footwork: Folkmoot brings together world and regional folk dance

With folk dancers from Taiwan, Trinidad, Romania, Russia and other far-flung places performing at Folkmoot, it might be easy to overlook the fact that southern Appalachia has its own dance custom to share. Dressed in their full crinoline skirts and tap shoes, four Appalachian clogging teams represent the mountain tradition at the international folk dance […]

MASTER CLASS: "Dance can be a contemporary art form," says MOTION Dance Theatre founder Nick Kepley. "Just as you’d go to a museum and contemplate art, you can do the same with dance.” Photo by Parker J Pfister

Everybody’s doing a brand-new dance now: From MOTION’s choreographic laboratory comes cutting-edge performance

“At 21 years old, it had been decided for me the roles I was capable of dancing for the rest of my life,” says choreographer Nick Kepley. “That was kind of silly.” It’s also, at least in part, the reason he created MOTION Dance Theatre, a choreographic laboratory and three-week residency. From that comes a […]

Life as art: Frida Kahlo "met death twice before she was 20," says Coco Palmer-Dolce, who narrates ACDT's Looking for Frida. The production commemorates the local dance company's 35th anniversary. Photo by Toby Maurer

Viva La Vida: Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre presents Looking for Frida

Commemorating 35 years of modern dance, ACDT recreates its signature ballet, “Looking for Frida.” First choreographed in 1998, and staged in Asheville; Montpellier and Toulouse, both France; and Merida, Mexico, the production embodies the company’s mission to produce to daring and often haunting performances inspired by the work of great artists and writers.

Fleming Lomax as Aphrodite and Lyle Laney as Eros (left and right of platform) dance for the wedding couple, Cinderella portrayed by Emily Craig and Prince Charming played by Christopher Scruggs.

Asheville Ballet’s Cinderella

Review by Mark-Ellis Bennett Last weekend Asheville Ballet staged Cinderella, the largest production of its 50-plus year history. Prokofiev’s powerful score, the stunning choreography and colorful new costumes and sets were enjoyed by an enthusiastic audience of all ages. According to Asheville Ballet’s artistic director, Ann Dunn, the company spent nearly a year rehearsing and […]

Watch and learn: “People think burlesque is just a parade of people emulating the beauty standards of the past,” says Onça O’Leary. “The point is using every tool — costuming, athleticism, comedy — to explore social issues.” Photo courtesy of ABSFest

Agent provocateur: ABSFest showcases burlesque and sideshow arts with social relevance

ABSFest showcases burlesque and sideshow arts with social relevance This year’s Americana Burlesque and Sideshow Festival will include, among other spectacles, “the world’s foremost authority on sideshow,” James Taylor. Not “I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain” James Taylor — the other one, whose personal collection of sideshow memorabilia includes a taxidermied unicorn from the […]

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Smart Bets: Alice in Wonderland

Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre celebrates 35 years of modern dance while the New Studio of Dance marks its 45th anniversary of dance education. The local artistic strongholds commemorate those milestones with a performance of Alice in Wonderland. “You may already know Alice, the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts, but how long has it […]

Something in the air: Pawtooth's grooves sit somewhere between Blondie, The Stooges and Siouxsie and the Banshees — and Bromelia Aerial Dance Collective plans to perform to that soundtrack.

Flight club

Local aerialists and rockers team up for a production An unlikely collaboration was forged in January, when Bromelia Aerial Dance Collective performed at the Mothlight as part of the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival. According to local movement artist Anna Bartlett, “One of our dancers was injured, and our friend Valerie Phillips saved the day by […]

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars return to LEAF this spring. Photo by Zach Smith

The LEAF list

Heading to LEAF next weekend and not quite sure what to see? The good news is that you can’t really go wrong. The festival always packs its roster with an array of stellar acts that range from traditional to contemporary and Americana to international. But this spring brings some world and fusion acts of note. Here’s a list of four bands worth checking out, and one techno contra dance (no, seriously).

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Smart Bets: Zansa

Local Afropop band Zansa has big news: Frontman Adama Dembele recently returned from a trip to his home country, Ivory Coast, where he performed at the weeklong MASA Festival, according to a press release. Fellow Ivory Coast native and dancer Barakissa Coulibaly (pictured) just made her way to Asheville, where she’ll be teaching and performing […]