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The Charleston Ballet Theatre put on their dancing shoes and took center stage at the Charleston Music Hall on on Saturday, March 17 to celebrate 25 successful seasons as a professional dance company. Friends, dance aficionados, and several fledgling ballerinas crowded into the lobby, where everyone mingled over drinks before eventually filtering into the theater.

The lights went down and Patricia Cantwell took the stage to welcome the audience. Cantwell introduced newcomers to the dance company with a short history of the Charleston Ballet Theatre, laughing, “There have been some bumps in the road... In fact, there have been some land mines!” She went on to thank everyone for their support of the company throughout the years, and introduced the pieces to be performed that evening.

The curtain came up and dancers took the stage for Balanchine Ballet Who Cares?, a dynamic and beautifully performed piece. After an intermission, ballerinas donned fiery red costumes and returned to the stage to leap and twirl in Bolero. Once the applause from the audience faded, there was another short intermission before the final piece of the evening, Firebird. Firebird, which premiered in 1991, is set at the post-nuclear holocaust and features a family feud that is only be resolved by the appearance of the magical Firebird.

The Charleston Ballet Theatre is currently celebrating its 25th season as a professional dance company. The company, which is directed by Don & Patricia Cantwell and Jill Eathorne Bahr, is the only South Carolina Company licensed to perform the works of the legendary choreographer George Balanchine.