Monday, May 22, 2017

Here's where you can and cannot imbibe while watching Spoleto shows

Leave the sippy cup at home

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Mon, May 22, 2017 at 3:39 PM

You can booze it up at the Gaillard during intermission, just don't bring your drink back to your seat - SHELBY DEL VECCHIO
  • Shelby Del Vecchio
  • You can booze it up at the Gaillard during intermission, just don't bring your drink back to your seat

So, we've already covered where you can sip on special, Spoleto-themed cocktails between now and June 11. But for those of you who like to imbibe whilst watching, here's a critical (albeit short) list of venues that allow alcohol, and those that are gonna make you dump your to-go vino at the door.

Venues that sell alcohol you can drink onsite during shows:
Cistern Yard
Middleton Place
Woolfe Street Playhouse

Venues that offer concessions to be consumed outside of the theater:
Gaillard Center
Sottile Theater
Dock Street Theatre (courtyard)

Venues that do not allow drinking onsite:
Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul
Memminger Auditorium
Simons Center Recital Hall
Emmett Robinson Theatre

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Check out where to drink speciality Spoleto-themed cocktails around town


Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Mon, May 22, 2017 at 12:56 PM

Sip on "Lucky of the Irish" at 5Church Charleston before 'Waiting for Godot' - 5CHURCH CHARLESTON
  • 5Church Charleston
  • Sip on "Lucky of the Irish" at 5Church Charleston before 'Waiting for Godot'
Deciding which Spoleto shows to see can be tricky: do you spend opening night Waiting for Godot or watching Honji Wang and Sebastian Ramirez mixing ballet, martial arts, and hip-hop on stage in Monchichi? Do you commit to Eugene Onegin and go all in on an opera about the "tragedy of first love," or do you decide you'll swing more avant-garde and catch Angel, the one-woman monologue about a heroine's experience in a 2014 siege in Northern Syria? Deciding which art form you want to immerse yourself in (at the right price) for 17 days can be a challenge, albeit a nice one. Finding the right drink to pair with your cultural experience shouldn't be.

Spoleto has paired up with 14 area bars and restaurants to kindly organize a lineup of specialty drinks to sip starting today, May 22 through the end of the festival, June 11. Director of Marketing and Public Relations Jessie Bagley says that, "The mixologists created such creative items influenced by the wide range of opera, dance, theater, music programming, and we are thrilled to encourage Festival-goers to experience some of Charleston's vibrant restaurant scene."

Below, find the Cliff notes version of the "cocktail campaign" — more boozy deets available from Spoleto.

Zero Restaurant + Bar serves up the "Black Rabbit," a Bristow gin cocktail inspired by the Charles Lloyd Quartet.

Le Farfalle's specialty drink is the "Spoleto Cobbler," a rum-based drink inspired by Il N'est Pas Encore Minuit.

Head to the Victor Social Club for the Spoleto Martinez, a gin drink inspired by the Pedrito Martinez Group.

The Darling Oyster Bar serves a "Spoleto Swizzle" a tropical rum drink inspired by the entire festival.

If you're a Garry Hynes fan, head to The Drawing Room for the simply named "Godot," a cocktail made with "Estragon" infused Myers Plantinum, Carpano Antica Formula, and house made Charleston loquat liquor.

The "Monchichi 75" is a sexy Spanish sparkling wine-based concoction that O-Ku has crafted, inspired by the two-man dance company.

The Thoroughbred Club's "Spoleto Sipping Soda" includes Deep Eddy vodka and strawberry puree.

Honoring Farnace, McCrady's Tavern has created "Contratto en Travesti": the boozy blend contains amaro, vermouth, sherry, and bitters.

Also inspired by Vivaldi's opera, PawPaw's "Vivaldi Smash" is made of Tangueray gin with berry puree and mint.

The Living Room at The Dewberry serves up "The Final Act," a cocktail made with vodka, aperol, lemon juice, simple syrup, and orange bitters and inspired by, you guessed it, the Festival Finale.

5Church Charleston's "Lucky of the Irish" also pays homage to good ole Godot; the drink is Irish whiskey-based.

Get "Tapped Out" at Prohibition with this gin-based drink inspired by tap dancer Ayodele Casel.

The Macintosh's "Spoleto Spritz" is made with Compari, Cocchi Americano, pineapple sage, and soda.

The Cocktail Club, inspired by Evan Christopher's Clarinet Road, has crafted "Woodwind Road" made with cognac, pistachio liqueur, bitters, and Herbsaint.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Spoleto Festival USA brings Gaga dance to the stage

"It's about doing very little and feeling so much"

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Fri, May 19, 2017 at 11:42 AM

We Love Arabs incorporates the Gaga movement in their Spoleto production - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • We Love Arabs incorporates the Gaga movement in their Spoleto production
Not to be confused with the Lady of the same name, the Gaga dance movement, created by renowned Israeli artistic director and choreographer Ohad Naharin, is an "innovative movement language." And you can expect to see more gaga than you've (likely) seen before at this year's Spoleto Festival.

To the untrained eye, dancers practicing the Gaga method look like they're slowly falling into yoga poses, then coming out, rising up, and moving in spur of the moment directions. It's trippy. But Naharin, who has been the artistic director of Batsheva Dance Co. since 1990, says that the movement is not supposed to look a certain way. It's supposed to feel a certain way:"A lot of it is to do with delicacy, with small gestures, and still be able to punch. It's about thinking of movement as something that can heal."

Two Spoleto productions will incorporate Gaga: We Love Arabs and OCD Love. In We Love Arabs, choreographer and dancer Hillel Kogan approaches the Israeli-Arab conflict with "humor and subtlety." Kogan and Adi Boutrous are the only dancers on the stage, gravitating towards each other despite the differences and prejudices they represent. Kogan will host a Gaga master class on June 10 at 1 p.m.

OCD Love co-choreographer and L-E-V co-creator Sharon Eyal trained under Naharin with the Batsheva Dance Co. and although Gaga is not specifically used in their Spoleto production, the dancers did incorporate the movement into practice sessions. In OCD Love, Eyal and Gai Behar focus on the repetition and frustration of OCD through the lens of love, and lovers out of sync. They were inspired by Neil Hilborn's poem about this often debilitating condition: "I asked her out six times in thirty seconds. She said yes after the third one, but none of them felt right so I had to keep going." Eyal and L-E-V will host a master class on June 3 at noon. The class will begin with a lesson in Gaga and will continue with an investigation into Eyal's repertory.

Hear more from Naharin and see Gaga in action below:

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

7 Instagram accounts to follow during Spoleto Festival

It goes down in the DMs

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Thu, May 18, 2017 at 4:17 PM

If you're social media-savvy, you know that the medium is often the message — nothing says quick-to-the-punch like an Instagram story, ya know? So we figured one of the best ways to stay up-to-date with Spoleto performers (other than reading all about them in your beloved local alt-weekly), would be to send you straight to the source. Here's who we think you should follow during this year's Spoleto Fest:

Dee Dee Bridgewater
Kicking off Spoleto on Thurs. May 25, Bridgewater is an avid grammer, posting shots around the towns she tours. If you're a fan, she may just leak clues as to where she's hanging in the Holy City.

Aureila Thierre, star of Murmurs
We speak from experience when we say that Aureila Thierre, the star of this year's maybe-she's-mad-maybe-she's-dreaming show, Murmurs, is a lovely woman. We got to interview her in person — a rarity for Spoleto stars, and she was as demure and kind as she appears in her Instagram selfies. She rarely captions photos, so see if you can spot where she's hanging in town.

Honji Wang and Sebastian Ramirez, star of Monchichi
Talk about a dreamy couple — Honji Wang and Sebastian Ramirez are both real life lovers, and dance partners in this year's Monchichi. They share an Instagram account as well each having their own; whichever one you peruse is bound to be sexy and stylish.

Pedrito Martinez Music

You can check out the goings-on of the Peditro Martinez Group, who play a blend of, get ready for it, timba, gospel, guaguanco, blues, jazz, and classical music on their Instagram. Bonus: they often post videos so you can get a mini concert on the go.

Ayodele Casel
We really want to hang out with tap dancer Ayodele Casel. From her 'grams she appears to be fun, humble, and a fan of alcohol. We can get behind all of that.

Sharon Eyal, choreographer of OCD Love
Like the Pedrito Martinez Group, choreographer Sharon Eyal posts a number of videos, giving you a taste of the modern, unlike-anything-else dance you can expect from OCD Love.

The Revivalists
What better way to keep up with Spoleto's finale headliners than to stalk them on the 'gram?

Spoleto Festival USA
It's a no-brainer, the festival's own Instagram will have the updates you need.

Charleston City Paper
Because we rock at Instagram.

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Spoleto brings big-screen film project 'Slow Dancing' to Marion Square

Slow dance with us

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Thu, May 18, 2017 at 10:59 AM

  • Provided
Happy eight days until Spoleto Festival USA 2017, Charleston. We're pretty excited about the festival but we're especially excited to spread the news about the fest's newest component — Slow Dancing in Marion Square.

Starting at 8:45 p.m. on Thurs. May 25, Marion Square presents photographer David Michalek's Slow Dancing, each night of the fest festival from 9-11 p.m., through June 9. The exhibit's kickoff will have opening remarks from Spoleto Festival USA general director Nigel Redden and mayor John Tecklenburg.

Slow Dancing was originally mounted in 2007 at New York City's Lincoln Center Festival. The exhibit features silent, high-def videos of 43 dancers moving at less than one-hundredth of their original speed, projected on three 40x30 foot screens, playing simultaneously.

Michalek asked his subjects — dancers include postmodern choreographer Bill T. Jones, tap dancer Roxanne Butterfly, and ballet dancer Janie Taylor — to prepare five seconds of movement, which he then recorded at 1,000 frames per second. The New York Times wrote about Slow Dancing's premiere, “The effect of seeing human faces and bodies in crystalline extreme slow motion has been revelatory, to dancers and non-dancers alike.”

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