I open this post with a quote from the world’s most famous blonde bombshell”.
I am involved in a freedom ride protesting the loss of the minority rights belonging to the few remaining earthbound stars. All we demanded was our right to twinkle.” Marilyn Monroe
It sounded like a very tough day for the newspaper last Friday. I am sorry that so many of the Post & Courier employees have had to be let go with incentive retirement packages last summer and now the new current announcement of the 25 employees being laid off. The Belt tightening is trickling down onto every face of the city I can’t deny that every single business won’t possibly have to face the same layoff considerations in this crisis.
As the paper trudges through the reorganization, The CBT Board, Staff, and dancers are wondering if any decision has been made yet on how the arts will be covered with Dottie Ashley being let go. The main reason is just even handling events that are coming up this weekend. The collaboration of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and Charleston Ballet Theatre Valentine’s show is very important to the ballet – I hope it can be reviewed and covered. I wondered if I could be offered any assurances in that regard. Is there a chance her dismissal could be reconsidered? Or can she be employed on an assignment basis. ?
I asked the Post and Courier that question early today. I did get a plausible response from Larry Tarleton – he assures me that despite the reduction in staff they had to go through, The Post and Courier remains committed to the arts in Charleston and to providing the very best coverage they can. Stephanie Harvin, Bill Hawkins and Steve Mullins will be making plans to insure that coverage. I talked with Stephanie as well, she offered the same promises. Dottie will have the opportunity to contribute as a reviewer and free-lance contributor if she wants to and he wished us a very successful show this weekend.
On the personal CBT front, Dottie Ashley was a staunch support arm for the ballet, I am saddened by the choice – and hope the paper has thought through the complete realm of possibilities before they made their choice. . But as one of the provider of entertainment for the Charleston – I know that the bottom line needs to be brought to attention – The arts should be part of the solution! The arts are a powerful economic engine and play a vital role in the Charleston community, enhancing each of our individual lives. The arts are shovel-ready – each dollar of arts funding goes to work immediately creating jobs, attracting investment, generating tax revenue, and stimulating local economies through tourism and consumer purchases.
So in an effort to make sure my blog readers hear about the CBT/CSO performance I add some of the information I shared with Dottie. Marilyn Monroe serves as the muse for my new Hollywood interpretation of the classic ballet “Afternoon with the Faun” set to the music of Debussy when the Charleston Ballet Theatre joins artistic forces with The Charleston Symphony Orchestra this Valentine’s Day for an unforgettable collaboration of live music and movement in celebration of the ballet’s Masterpieces of Dance program, 7:30pm at the Sottile Theatre located at 44 George Street in Downtown Charleston.
Patrons can expect to see the blonde bombshell, recreated by CBT principal dancer Jessica Roan, as she glides across the beautiful Sottile Theatre stage encountering the many loves in her life including Joe DiMaggio (Alexander Collen), Howard Hughes (Stephen Gabriel) and John F. Kennedy (Jonathan Tabbert).
“Marilyn was warm, vibrant and full of a very special romantic intimacy. She was a mythical figure and I felt this particular ballet served as a gateway of exploring her iconic status and celebrating her beauty and individual spirit.”
This one night only collaboration will feature two other ballet masterworks underscored by celebrated composers performed by the two Charleston powerhouse arts organizations. The complete visual artistic experience will also feature George Balanchine’s celebrated tribute to Broadway Who Cares?, set to the music of the great George Gershwin and the epic grande scale of The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra set to the music of British composer Benjamin Britten. Tickets to Masterpieces of Dance are available now exclusively through The Charleston Ballet Theatre Box Office at 477 King St., 723.7334 and online at Charlestonballet.org (convenience fees apply).
When we increase our investment in the arts, we’re investing in an industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue, what we do is the cornerstone of tourism and economic development, and drives a creativity-based economy. A strong art and culture sector and a creative workforce attract and keep businesses in a community. It is one of the top ten attributes businesses look for in a new business site.
I do think it is extremely important not to forget what brings people to our beautiful city. Lessening Arts coverage might saw off current expensive appendages for the Post and Courier, but in the long run without people everywhere in the world getting our news.. We all will lose even more money. No Press coverage allows imaginations to run wild.
I hope we can consider weighing in my concerns as our country’s reorganization begins; Let start it here. And as far as Marilyn…. Let hope this world-premiere performance “Afternoon with the Faun” promises to be a show stopping event worthy of the timeless screen goddess with or without Post and Courier Paparazzi present.