Many dance companies approach ballet from a modern angle. Caroline Calouche prefers a more perpendicular one. When the stage is not enough space for her visions of macabre masquerade balls or surreal dreamscapes, she takes to the air above it, outfitted with a cirque's worth of aerial harnesses and accouterments. Her dancers are just as likely to pirouette down a 20-foot skein of golden silk as across a hardwood floor. Pairs of lovers might hang precariously from the frame of a hollow cube or perform a gravity-defying pas de deux on the double lyra—their suspension above the earth either an expression of freedom or a prison of their own making. Like identifying an elderly smoker's gender over the phone, the airborne element leaves plenty of room for interpretation.
By marrying the storytelling ability of floor-bound choreography with the gravity-defying tricks of circus arts, Caroline Calouche & Co. unleashes the full potential of aerial dance. The company's productions are free to venture to strange new places. For example, in past shows, women have risen from their graves to haunt their murderous husbands. Likewise, the sounds of Moby and Blue Man Group are more likely to be heard than Debussy.
Audience members who want to plqy the ropes and silks for themselves can learn to do so during the dance company's aerial-dance classes, along with a tight curriculum of ballet, contemporary, and stretching and strengthening courses. For all its global influences and aerial showmanship, Caroline Calouche & Co. keeps its feet rooted in the local community with outreach programs for all ages, ethnicities, and social groups.
Since its publication in 1947, Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon has joined The Cat in the Hat and Portnoy's Complaint as one of the most beloved children's books in history. The book was recently adapted into a musical theatrical production by Chad Henry, with its world premiere in Seattle in 2007, followed by runs in various other North American cities. The Children's Theatre's production of Goodnight Moon puts the Great Green Room on stage in lullaby-riffic living color. Cows jump over moons, red balloons suspend in the air indefinitely, and bowls of mush revel in a state of mushiness. The cast of professional actors bring smiles and surprises throughout the show, aimed at preschool and elementary-school-age children, but also entertaining for wistful astronauts of all ages.
• For $44, you get two upper-balcony (balcony rows LL–WW) tickets (a $68 value before fees, or up to an $86.30 value online, including all ticketing fees). • For $60, you get two lower-balcony (mezzanine rows AA–KK) tickets (a $97 value before fees, or up to a $116.20 value online, including all ticketing fees).
On Stage's seasoned dance instructors provide bodily instruction to a range of students interested in learning the art of dance, from toddlers wishing to perfect their pirouettes to adults desiring to learn jazz, tap, or hip-hop struts. A smorgasbord of classes spans the age gamut, sending burgeoning boogiers ages 2–11 cavorting through basic moves and techniques that encompass tumbling, ballet, jazz, and tap. Or enroll sprouts in the Musical Theatre class, a session that fuses the art of dance with vocal training to give them the skills necessary to melodically showcase talents and properly choreograph foot-stomping temper tantrums. Older dancers and adults can choose from lyrical, ballet, tap, and jazz, or shake hips with the more mainstream dance moves of hip-hop. Each class combines the enjoyment of dance with a full-body workout that's more fun than chasing donuts inside an oversize gerbil wheel.