“Omie Wise,” a folk murder ballad, is familiar to many North Carolinians; it tells the story of Naomi Wise, who was murdered by Jonathan Lewis in Randolph County. The story was romanticized by 19th century author Braxton Craven and made more popular by the voice of Doc Watson. Now the ballad is undergoing another re-interpretation by the collaborative team of E.E. Balcos, choreographer, and John Allemeier, composer, to be seen at this fall’s UNC Charlotte Faculty Dance Concert.
This year’s annual concert, titled “Love, Death and Naked Turtles,” will be held on September 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Anne R. Belk Theater of Robinson Hall. Tickets are $14 for adults, $9 for UNC Charlotte faculty/staff and seniors, and $6 for students. They are available online at www.coaa.uncc.edu or by calling 704-687-1849.
“Omie Wise,” re-interpreted as “Deep Water” by Balcos and Allemeier, is the second part of a three piece series based on North Carolina murder ballads. The first, “Poor Ellen,” premiered in last Fall’s Faculty Dance Concert. “Deep Water” will explore the murder of Naomi Wise, who was supposedly drowned by her lover in 1808 through the dancing of Balcos and three members of his company, E.E. Motion, and the music of Allemeier whose score incorporates timpani, piano and woodwinds.
Three other choreographed works will be featured in the Fall Concert, including another piece by Balcos, “Trinity,” and two works by Gretchen Alterowitz, “In the Periphery” and “Like a turtle without a shell, or crow’s feet.” Alterowitz’s first piece is a contemporary ballet duet for two female dancers and will be performed by UNC Charlotte alums Melissa Word and Carolina Shomaker. It address the contention and connection involved in a relationship. “Like a turtle” ponders “the sensations of the body as it deteriorates, reinvigorates and re-imagines its own possibilities.”
Alterowitz and Balcos are professors in the UNC Charlotte’s Department of Dance. Alterowitz teaches ballet technique, pointe and dance history; she is an acclaimed emerging choreographer with a performance included in the Atlanta Ballet’s emerging choreographers performance series this fall. Balcos teaches modern technique, choreography and improvisation at UNC Charlotte; he also runs is own dance group, E. E. Motion.
Don’t miss this wonderful chance to witness the talents and vision of UNC Charlotte’s Dance Faculty!