Charleston City Paper chooses RED as a City Pick!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - Charleston City Paper: Story link

  • RED
  • When: Fri., Nov. 14, 7:30 p.m. and Sat., Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m.
  • Phone: (843) 556-1343
  • Price: $27/orchestra seating, $23/general admission


Many of the fairy tales we hear are the sanitized, Disney-fied versions of much more gruesome narratives from Eastern European folklore. The story of Little Red Riding Hood being intercepted by a big bad wolf while bringing cookies to her grandmother’s house is well known. But the original ending is not as “happily ever after” as you recall. The Charleston City Ballet has taken the beloved fairy tale plot back to its morbid origins in its latest production Red. The ballet’s got all the recognizable elements of the original tale: a bright red cape, a grandmother, and a wolf. But that’s where the similarities end. This production is not for kids, and it is much more complex than just a cautionary tale about talking to strangers. For starters, there’s no little girl in this one. Instead it’s a newly engaged couple (the fiancée received the cape as a present) who find a beast by the moonlight. “The Red Riding Hood tale is being used as a vehicle,” says Michael Wise, artistic director of Charleston City Ballet. “The focus of the story is on how this young couple deal with the choices that they’ve made and the situation and how you see people change throughout the process.” The ballet stars Caroline Douglas Herlong and Toleu Mukanov, who is new to the company, with music by Benjamin Frankel and choreography by Michael and Olga Wise.      — Katherine LaDue


Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - Moultrie News: Story link

Charleston City Ballet presents ‘Red’

Following its debut of “Firebird,” the highest-selling dance event of Piccolo Spoleto, Charleston City Ballet will present its world premiere of “Red,” a mature adaptation of the story of Little Red Riding Hood, based on Eastern European folklore.

The creation of Artistic Director Michael Wise, “Red” explores the thin line between good and evil in a bone-chilling walk through the woods that won't be forgotten.

The show will run Nov. 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Orchestra seating is $27 and general admission is $23.

Tickets are available online at the website at or at the Sottile Theatre box office one hour before the performance. The Sottile Theatre is located at 44 George St. in Charleston.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - Post and Courier: Story link

Charleston City Ballet presents ‘Red’

Charleston City Ballet, the fledgling company that debuted during Piccolo Spoleto, is ready to unveil "Red: A Red Riding Hood Ballet," an original adaptation of the classic tale. The show is 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Sottile Theatre.

Choreographed by artistic directors Michael and Olga Wise, the full-length ballet is set to music by Benjamin Frankel.

The Wises said they hope their dance company will thrive and provide the Charleston area with high-quality professional ballet.

"We would like to see Charleston with a great local classical ballet company that is recognized on a national and international level," Michael Wise said.

The popular fable seemed a good place to start.

"Red Riding Hood is a tale we all know from our childhoods," Wise said. "We wanted to reimagine Red Riding Hood to explore some of the old folklore and show how even the smallest choices can have the gravest of consequences."

The story presents the lovely Anna on her way to her engagement celebration, but this is not a mild-mannered grandma story. It's about love and heartbreak wrapped in old-world elegance.

Caroline Douglas Herlong, a South Carolina native, will dance the lead role, created for her by the Wises.

"The character Anna is unlike any role I have ever danced," she said. "Anna undergoes a transformation in this ballet from a sheltered young girl to a strong independent woman. The challenge for me is being able to portray this transformation to the audience."

Herlong said dancing the role has been a process of discovery.

"It is amazing to be able to step into the studio every day and know that at the end of rehearsal, I will have discovered something else about myself and my dancing that I didn't know was there," she said.

Wise said he hopes collaborations will help fuel the nascent company.

"Charleston is a city of the arts and for the arts," he said. "Great live art should not be only for the largest metropolitan cities. Everyone needs and deserves to have access to great live art and that is why we created the Charleston City Ballet."

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