Up & Coming Weekly

May 31, 2016

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 23 of 36

JUNE 1-7, 2016 UCW 23 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Dance is a lifelong commitment that requires incredible amounts of emotional and physical endurance. Practice can take long hours and dedication, but the grace and skill of a dancer cannot be achieved any other way. There are no shortcuts to becoming a great dancer. One of the most dedicated and skilled dancers the Fayetteville area has ever seen is Charlotte Blume Midgley. A passionate dancer, choreographer and teacher, she played a major role in the lives of many through the Charlotte Blume School of Dance. Her passing at the age of 85 is a loss for the entire community. On June 5, the Charlotte Blume School of Dance is set to perform its annual Spring Festival of Dance at the Crown at 2:30 p.m. This is a longstanding tradition for the school and an opportunity to honor the woman who had such a lasting impact on her students and her community. She began her career as a classically- trained dancer in the northeast. Performing with U.S.O. shows at Fort Bragg brought her down south in the 1950s. Blume was invited to start teaching dance and gave up her work as a public school teacher to do so. From the very first moment she began teaching, she challenged the status quo. She refused to segregate her class. At first, many of the white families boycotted her studio and the majority of students were African-American. The boycott didn't last long, though, because Blume's merit-based system was the only place in the Fayetteville area that offered professional-level training. Her school, teaching 1,200 students at its height, focused on teaching multiple school of ballet techniques. She also choreographed her own classical and modern ballets. She worked extensively with the North Carolina State Ballet. In the 1960s she was the lead soloist. Later she took over management of the ballet and shaped it as a regional troupe centered in the Fayetteville area. Just the long daily drives that she took to rehearsals illustrate how dedicated she was to this company. Throughout her life, Blume was not only dedicated to shaping dance in the area but also to shaping the lives of her dancers. She is known for her incredible generosity, even going so far as to financially support students so that they could pursue their education. She shaped and molded the artistic and dance communities in the Fayetteville, which many believe would not be as vibrant without her influence and guiding hand. Blume is survived by her husband Dr. John Midgley of Dunn, her sons Leo Blume of Palo Alto, California, and Howard Blume of Los Angeles, and daughter Margot Ruddell of San Francisco and her grandchildren. Blume made it clear that her work should continue despite her absence. In a letter to studio families that she composed in the hospital she wrote, "The show must go on." Those who knew her said it was evident that she wished for the studio and ballet company to continue to influence North Carolina dancers and the dance community for generations to come. Perhaps the best way to honor the memory of this Diva of Dance is to take the time to appreciate all that she worked for, appreciate and support the local artistic community. While The Nutcracker is a classic and beautiful production, ballet happens all year round. It doesn't have to be relegated to a Christmas tradition. Charlotte Blume made it her life and in doing so positively shaped lives of many others. Spring Festival of Dance Honors Charlotte Blume by ERINN CRIDER ERINN CRIDER, Staff Writer. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly.com. 910.484.6200 Cape Fear Botanical Garden is so much more than a garden. Although its walking paths, greenery and serene environment are soothing to the soul, the garden is also a place of learning, education and entertainment. From gardening classes to yoga, Zumba and community events, Cape Fear Botanical Garden offers many opportunities to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Don't miss the outdoor spring concert on Thursday, June 9, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., featuring Jeanne Jolly and her band. "Our mission is to connect people to nature and we found that one way is blending activities such as art and nature or music and nature," said Meg Suraci, director of marketing at the Cape Fear Botanical Garden. "By having an outdoor concert in our beautiful venue people can enjoy not only the music but the scenery and the flowers." Suraci encourages anyone coming to the concert to show up early and take a stroll through the garden before the concert. Jeanne Jolly is a critically- acclaimed singer-songwriter. She began her musical career as a featured vocalist for Chris Botti. Jolly has worked with world-renowned symphonies and had the honor of performing at Carnegie Hall. She is a classically-trained singer who holds a master's in vocal performance from the New England Conservatory of Music. Her sound encompasses jazz and ballads. She's credited with blending folksy, soulful country and heartfelt lyricism. Her range runs from the likes of Alison Krauss "… to the sophisticated jazz phrasing of Rickie Lee Jones," according to the Missoulan. The Boston Globe calls her "one of contemporary music's best kept secrets. She is a revelation when you sit in on one of her concerts." "Jeanne has a new album entitled 'A Place to Run' and when they finish the concert in the garden they will be heading out on a nationwide tour," said Suraci. "You can purchase a signed CD by Jeanne at the concert." The album, which was released in October 2015, reflects on how much time we spend running — running to things like love and family, but also running from them. On her website, Jolly notes that "When I look at this record, I realize every song speaks to that title," she, said. "There are songs about a place to run to get away from grief or deal with it. There are songs about a place to run to be with the one you love, or a person being someone you can run toward." Beverages and food are available for purchase and are provided by Elliotts Catering Company. No outside food or beverages are allowed. There is a beer and wine cash bar. Ticket cost is $10 for general admission, $9 for military with ID and adults 65 and older, $5 for children ages 6-12 and admission is free for Garden members and children under 5. "We want guests to come and bring their lawn chairs or blankets and set them on the lawn," said Suraci. "This is a family friendly event and we love seeing children and families having a great time in the garden." Gates open at 6 p.m. In case of inclement weather the concert is indoors. For more information, call 486-0221. Songbird Jeanne Jolly at Cape Fear Botanical Garden by DR. SHANESSA FENNER Jeanne Jolly performs at Cape Fear Botanical Garden on June 9. DR. SHANESSA FENNER, Principal, WT Brown Elementary School, Contributing Writer. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly. com. 910.484.6200

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