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Greenville Business Magazine

Ballet Spartanburg Brings Art To Life On Stage Through Collaboration #collectiveworks

Mar 12, 2019 11:20AM ● By Kathleen Maris
Carlos Agudelo, artistic director of Ballet Spartanburg, began DanSynergy series 11 years ago. This season, #collectiveworks will bring professional art and community talent to the stage.

“I feel that collaborations allow artists to look at themselves as well as other artists, which helps us grow and learn from each other, enriching our respective art forms by working together for a new creation," said Agudelo. “This particular chapter of DanSynergy reaches a broad and eclectic spectrum of artists of all ages, talents, and diverse backgrounds. Working with the masterworks of the Johnson Collection has inspired three very talented choreographers to create new works. I feel that our DanSynergy series is a true reflection of our thriving arts community which impacts us all artistically, economically, and spiritually.”

This season, the collaborations span from masterworks created by women artists as seen in the Johnson Collection’s newest book, Central to Their Lives: Southern Women Artists in the Johnson Collection. Established by Susu and George Dean Johnson, Jr., as a “private collection for public good,” the Johnson Collection encompasses 1,200 objects with provenances that span the centuries and chronicle the complex cultural history of the American South. Through scholarly publications, major traveling exhibitions, and rotating presentations in its Spartanburg gallery space, TJC seeks to reach a broad and diverse audience

“The parallels between a dancer’s lyrical movements across a stage and a painter’s energy at the easel have always fascinated me. I’m eager to see how Ballet Spartanburg brings these three women artists’ work to kinetic life through this collaboration”, said Susu Johnson, CEO of the Johnson Collection.

The month of March celebrates strength, resiliency, leadership, intelligence, and beauty in power of women. The three pieces painted by women artists serve as the inspiration for new works created by choreographers Lona Gomez, Ilya Kossayev, and Nelson Reyes. The use of these masterworks is both inspiring and different than past DanSynergy productions. Incorporating the use of art on canvas as a muse to push choreographers to different levels of artistry is a new arts experience for each choreographer.

Robyn Hussa Farrell, Simone Mack-Orr, and Fayssoux McLean, three well-known and recognized women artists and leaders in the community, will lend their powerful voices to the stage to fuse voice, music, and dance. Capping off the evening is the Spartanburg Sings All County Middle School Honors Chorus, the Spartanburg High School Chamber Orchestra, music composed by Peter Kay of the Spartanburg Philharmonic, Gary McCraw on piano, and visual artists from HUB BUB Artists-in-Residence.

#Collectiveworks runs one weekend only, March 22-23 at 7PM at the Chapman Cultural Center. For tickets or information, go to or call Chapman Box Office at 542-2787. For more information about the Johnson Collection, visit