Dance ensemble offers hope; ‘Charles III’ finally in charge

Betsy PickleOur Town Arts

The Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble will open its 38th season with messages of hope in a concert called “Voices of Children.”

TCDE will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, and 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium. There will also be discounted, abbreviated performances for field-trip students and seniors at 9:15 and 11 a.m. Feb. 15.

The Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble will perform Feb. 15-16 at the Civic Auditorium. (Photos provided)

Tennessee’s Goodwill Ambassadors, the ensemble has traveled the world to share the joy and inspiration of dance. Their 2019 hometown debut will express the spectrum of emotions children experience during this rocky time of division and discord. Several pieces were choreographed by Amy Wilson, TCDE’s talented assistant artistic director.

There will also be works by TCDE favorite Randy Duncan and by Joan Kunsch, an award-winning choreographer and poet who has taught at the Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory in Connecticut for more than 30 years. Kunsch visited the ensemble over the holidays to work with them to perfect her piece “Tennessee Tarantella.”

Chicago native Duncan, who has served on the faculty of the Chicago Academy for the Arts for two decades, teaches worldwide and has had his award-winning works performed by many leading ballet companies. He has visited and worked with the TCDE on several occasions.

TCDE was founded more than 37 years ago by Dr. Dorothy Floyd. Current artistic director Irena Linn worked with Floyd and has trained generations of East Tennessee children in dance, giving them discipline that lasts throughout their lives.

To purchase tickets, call Dancers Studio, 865-584-9636, or visit the website.

For group reservations or more info, call ensemble coordinator Cheri McKeever, 865-207-1954, or email her.

Kurt Rhoads plays the title role in “King Charles III,” on the main stage at Clarence Brown Theatre. (Photo provided)

Charles’ big moment

“King Charles III,” now playing on the Clarence Brown Theatre’s main stage, imagines what might happen when Queen Elizabeth II dies and her son Charles finally ascends to the throne after a lifetime of training and waiting. Despite his supposed preparation, he quickly makes a mess of things.

Real-life marrieds Kurt Rhoads and Nance Williamson play Charles and Camilla. Mike Bartlett’s play will be presented Wednesdays through Sundays through Feb. 24. For tickets, visit CBT’s website.


Swing with the Sheiks

Local legends the Tennessee Sheiks will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Laurel Theater, 1538 Laurel Ave. Don Cassell, Nancy Brennan Strange, Don Wood, Barry “Po” Hannah, Ken Wood, Michael Crawley and Will Yeager have been playing together and with other configurations for a combined total of about 200 years – amazing when not one of them is a day over 39! They call their sound “acoustic swing,” but they are adept at bluegrass, old-time, jazz and swing.

Tickets are $12 for Jubilee members, students and seniors; $13 in advance or $15 day of show for general admission; and $8 for children 12 and under. Tickets and info here.

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