2018-01-12 / Arts & Entertainment

Columbia Classical Ballet LifeChance 2018 brings dancers to support heroes in blue

Contributed by Columbia Classical Ballet

LifeChance International Ballet Gala of the Stars will bring award winning ballet dancers to the stage at the Koger Center January 20.

Radenko Pavlovich, artistic director at Columbia Classical Ballet (CCB), says, “This year’s program includes 16 dancers from companies like Washington (D.C.) Ballet, Boston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and the famed Hubbard Street Dance company in Chicago. We hope Columbia will take advantage of what is truly the chance of a lifetime.”

This year’s visiting dancers include the hometown ballet hero, Brooklyn Mack, who started his career with training from Pavlovich, four principal dancers and multiple medalists from the Jackson International Ballet Competition. The dancers include seasoned professionals at the peak of their performance careers as well as rising stars.

At LifeChance, dancers are able to perform their favorite pieces or dance a piece they have choreographed. There are modern, classical, and neo-classical pas de deux, and premiering pieces by world renowned choreographers. The Columbia Classical Ballet dancers also prepare a unique and special piece to perform.

Every year, Columbia Classical Ballet selects an organization to benefit from the LifeChance event. This year’s organization is “Heroes in Blue,” a non-profit started by Kassy Alia when her husband, Gregory, a Forest Acres policeman was tragically killed in the line of duty.

LifeChance started more than two decades ago, but it really became the event it is today in 2007. Radenko says, “One of my greatest students, Brooklyn Mack, now a principal dancer with Washington (D.C.) Ballet won the silver medal in the Jackson (Mississippi) International Ballet Competition that year. I connected with all my friends that are directors from around the world at the competition.

From that point, dancers have been coming and Brooklyn, who grew up in Elgin, S.C. returns to give back to the community that gave him his start.

Chairman of the Board for Columbia Classical Ballet, Lee Lumpkin expresses her gratitude for the community support, “Thanks for highlighting and supporting this event. We really think this is one of the premier ballet events in the city where dance fans can experience ballet and modern dance from world-class artists on a single night while supporting an awesome cause—for a very reasonable price.”

Columbia Classical Ballet—Life Chance: International Gala of the Stars will be performed at the Koger Center for the Arts, Saturday, January 20, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Koger Center box office.

See dancer bios and read about Heroes in Blue at columbiaclassicalballet.com/lifechance-2.

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