Carnival of the Animals | Ballet Evolution

Carnival of the Animals | Ballet Evolution

Ballet Evolution’s newest full-length ballet creation brims with circus magic, quirky characters, and a professional cast of dancers and musicians who will keep you on your toes!

Artistic Director Jonathan Tabbert has given the traditional ballet of the same name a contemporary face-lift with all new original choreography, costumery, and a set designed by BuchananArts. His reimagined Carnival of the Animals is based on turn of the century sideshow acts, complete with a strong man, Siamese twins, a sad clown, crooked ringmaster, and little girl bent on discovering what's hiding under the bigtop.

I was fortunate to get a sneak peek of the fantasy before it goes to the theater, where I snapped some photos and talked to the dancers about the ballet. The brilliant thing about these dancers, who are either in the professional company of Ballet Evolution or at the senior level of the Charleston Youth Ballet, is how they embody the character they are playing without words.

They have rehearsed for months to move like a snake or a mermaid and the end product is as entertaining as it is astonishing that humans can move in such a way. Rooted in collaboration, Ballet Evolution's Carnival of the Animals is also accompanied by the beautiful sounds of Chamber Music Charleston, who play a mixture of the original score by Saint Saens as well as some of Debussy’s vibrant works for solo piano. The performance is fun for the whole family, with surprising twists that you won't want to miss! For more information, please visit Ballet Evolution's website.

February 19 and 20 at 7:30pm at Sottile Theatre, 44 George Street
Tickets: $13-$39. Group rates available.