Spring into Culture

From mainstream to alternative, here are eighteen can’t-miss events to put on your spring cultural calendar



Clockwise from top left: Al Jarreau, Avenue Q, Ke$ha, and The Garth Fagan Dance Troupe

(page 1 of 2)

Charlotte’s artistic outlets are revving their engines for the sunny season, bringing new productions and exhibits to the city. While you can pack your calendar with all-time favorite concerts and plays, many local companies are filling the second half of their seasons with edgy, alternative shows. We found the season’s can’t-miss events, from the big names to under-the-radar gems, all equally worth your time.

Classical Music

Safe bet: Charlotte Symphony Orchestra’s Light My Fire In tribute to a new exhibit from the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art featuring works by Niki de Saint Phalle (whose Firebird looms outside the Bechtler’s main entrance), the CSO will gather at the Knight Theater under conductor Christopher Warren-Green to perform six fire-themed works, including Handel’s “Music for the Royal Fireworks,” De Falla’s “Ritual Fire Dance,” and, of course, selections from Stravinsky’s The Firebird: Suite. Ticket price also includes admission to the Bechtler after the concert, where you can cool off with a museum stroll, appetizers, and drinks. March 25 at the Knight Theater.

Also consider: In a concert titled April in Paris, a trio from Charlotte Chamber Music will perform three romantic works from turn-of-the-century French composer Maurice Ravel at this free show on April 5 in uptown’s First Presbyterian Church.

Jazz

Safe bet: Al Jarreau Smooth jazz and R&B, before they developed a reputation as the soundtrack to root canals, had a growth spurt in the 1970s. One of the instigators was vocalist and soul music legend Al Jarreau. His soft, melodic crooning went quiet for a while, but has appeared in the public ear again with the release of four albums since 2000, including a Grammy-nominated compilation with George Benson. March 20 at the Knight Theater.

Also consider: On February 4, as part of the monthly Jazz at the Bechtler series, the Ziad Jazz Quartet will add a little sentiment to the modern atmosphere with love tunes from Rodgers and Hart, Gerswhin, and Porter.

Pop

Safe bet: Ke$ha If Lady Gaga was the queen of the dance floor anthems in 2010, Ke$ha was the duchess. Top 40 staples like “We R Who We R” and “Your Love Is My Drug,” which combine throbbing bass and catchy lyrics, have made her a pop favorite, and when she blasts her punk princess vocals at The Fillmore, we think she’ll have you dancing like you’re dumb, dumb, dumb, d-dumb … April 19 at The Fillmore.

Also consider: Sugar Glyder—an unsigned, unsung gem in Charlotte’s indie rock scene—has an offbeat, alternative sound that doesn’t skimp on electric guitar handiwork, and they’re playing Amos’ Southend on February 11.

Dance

Safe bet: North Carolina Dance Theatre’s Director’s Choice This fortieth-anniversary performance from Charlotte’s premier dance company is curated by artistic director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and offers a four-act production of classic, modern, and brand-new dance numbers. The show kicks off with Tchaikovsky's Pas de Deux and continues with Satto (Wind Dance), choreographed by former artistic director Salvatore Aiello. Following Le Souffle de l’esprit, from Czech choreographer Jiri Bubenicek, the show ends with a world-premiere production from resident choreographer Dwight Rhoden, a stylistic tribute to the 100th birthday of Romare Bearden. March 10-12 at the Knight Theater.

Also consider: The Garth Fagan Dance Troupe (whose director choreographed Broadway’s The Lion King) will bring its tour to the Knight Theater March 31-April 3. Fagan is a contemporary troupe that offers an edgy alternative to traditional ballet shows.

More »Related Stories

Beyond Angels: Anne Neilson Fine Art

The artist opens her first gallery in South End

Ciel Gallery's Interactive Mosaic

More than 50 artists contributed to the project now on display in South End

Charlotte's Artistic Exports

The city sends actors, writers, and comedians to stages around the world

The Charlotte Music Scene 2014 (In Words and Sound)

These 19 acts/individuals range from performers to producers, from fresh faces to local legends, and they represent the varied, current sounds of the city

We invite your responses and discussion. Please refrain from personal attacks, profanity, commercial promotion, or non sequiturs.

Add your comment:

Newsletters

Stay up-to-date on all things Charlotte by siging up for our newsletters. Learn more by clicking here.

Blogs »


Trade & Tryon

Where Charlotte business, politics, and media intersect

West Charlotte Lions Speak Out

Alumni respond to story on the end of desegregation

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

The Audit of Orrville

We keep hearing government should run more like a business. Maybe not this business.

Comments


Revue

Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

Labor Day Weekend Events (And More)

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Charlotte Food News

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Keep It Simple for Labor Day

If you're throwing a final summer fling, the pros say focus on the fun

Comments