Charleston Ballet Theatre’s resident choreographer Jill Eathorne Bahr has a soft spot for Detroit. The Motor City native grew up listening to the music Detroit is famous for — Motown. And just in time for the famous label’s 50th anniversary, Bahr has put together an original show celebrating the music mecca.
Bahr was motivated not only by the music, but by the recession. “I realized I wanted to do a show on Motown when the American financial earthquake erupted last year,” she says. “Detroit was where I was born, many of my family members and friends were financially tied to the Big Three Automotive industry for their mouths to be fed, and my family owned its own business in Michigan for the past 65-plus years.”
Bahr seeks to create a monument of the music Detroit has given to America, picking from songs by the greats like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross & the Supremes, the Jackson 5, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Mary Wells, and Martha Reeves & the Vandellas. The 90-minute show follows two “foreigners” traveling through Detroit on a moped (CBT company members Melian Isotova and Mykhaylo Isotov), encountering events throughout the city represented as songs. —Erica Jackson