Carbon Dance Theatre made its Philadelphia debut Thursday evening at the Performance Garage with Swan Songs, a serious contemporary ballet program that uses the final songs written by classical and contemporary artists just before their deaths.
Carbon's founding artistic director, Meredith Rainey, invited Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, a master character developer and choreographer, "to take the edge off" in the pauses between the four works. In this program, he is Jeremiah, a seriously funny MC who reads poems (some his) and drolly recounts his time spent on safari or in Peru.
Rainey is a former Pennsylvania Ballet soloist and this year's A.W.A.R.D. show winner for a duet he choreographed and danced with Sun-Mi Cho, Carbon's artistic associate. He created two works for the program and invited works in the last-song theme from 2007 Pew Fellow Kate Watson-Wallace and Matthew Neenan, choreographer in residence at the Pennsylvania Ballet and a founding director of BalletX.