Coastal South Carolina USA


Epic ballet Wings, inspired by flight of the egrets, comes to Piccolo Spoleto


As Claude Monet so aptly stated, “The richness I achieve comes from nature, the source of my inspiration.” Artists often find the beauty of nature to be the most abundant gift for artistic inspiration, from landscapes to sunsets and everything in between, nature continues to be an endless resource for painters, writers, photographers and in Jill Eathorne Bahr’s case, choreography.

Resident Choreographer Jill Eathorne Bahr has always been recognized for her unique vision in choreography from the minimalist drama of her Poetry With A Splash of Red Blood to her grungy, raw and emotionally intense interpretation of Rite of Spring (both incidentally will appear in the company’s upcoming 25th Anniversary season lineup). However, nothing matches the simple, elegant beauty that is the choreographer’s flight of fancy ballet Wings, making its Piccolo Spoleto debut this season.

Originally conceived in 1996, when it made its world premiere, Bahr’s all white costumed masterpiece was inspired by the choreographer simply looking out the window into her own backyard. “At my old home in Mt. Pleasant, we had an egret rookery in our yard that backed up to a large pond”, Bahr says. “Every night about 200 egrets roosted there and all flew back out together - it was an amazing sight. They had these beautiful expansive wings that would cover their whole body.”

Bahr’s vision of the flight of the egrets translated successfully to the stage creating a simplistic celebration of the freedom of flying and the exhilarating feeling of weightlessness. The all white costumes, the musculature of the shirtless men and the lithe form of the female dancers all contribute in illustrating the beauty of the egrets and the movement of flight. Wings continues to be one of Bahr’s most talked about and anticipated works to date.

Wings will join Bahr’s recent world premiere piece Seasons of the Sun (also making its Piccolo debut) and another yet to be announced ballet as part of the company’s popular Brown Bag and Ballet series at Piccolo Spoleto. The series is a noontime performance that encourages audience members to bring their lunch and enjoy an hour of quality live professional dance entertainment from Charleston’s resident dance company.

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