Moving company

By Stephen Brown

When N.C. Dance Theatre opens its season this week, its dancers will sweep onstage in swanky Oscar de la Renta formalwear and in down-home blue jeans. The better they take you into the world of the choreography, the more you'll forget that they step offstage to resume lives and personalities of their own.

Then the individuality kicks in. One dancer dotes on her 7-month-old daughter, another prizes his 1964 Studebaker. One draws as a hobby, another gardens – preferably with a beer for extra relaxation. One gets away to the fresh air of Freedom Park, another to the bands at Neighborhood Theatre.

When they go into action at Belk Theater beginning Thursday, they'll pay tribute to romance, Ol' Blue Eyes-style in Twyla Tharp's “Nine Sinatra Songs.” They'll enter a more abstract world of intensity and emotion in “Map,” by Alonzo King, a regular guest choreographer. And they'll end with the down-home celebration of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux's popular “Shindig.”

Click here for dancers and their bios