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Carolina Ballet Theatre is starting an important conversation about bullying – and they are doing it through dance.

“The School of Hard Rocks,” presented at the Peace Center March 9 – 10, brings art to the frontlines of an anti-bullying message.

“It is a rock ballet, but it includes other forms of dance and infuses other forms of art – music, acting and painting,” said Marie Blough, CBT’s board president. “The story is a twist of ‘West Side Story.’ Two kids are being bullied and they are the focus of the attention. One has a love of music and one has a love of dance. The two find friendship and confidence and they find their voices to stand up against the bullying.”

The performances include a partnership with local funk rock band Stereo Reform, Jenna Tamisa Eliser from Glow Lyric Theatre and guest dancers. The cast includes more than 40 people and is comprised from tap, ballet and modern dancers from local schools, including Greenville County Public Schools, The Fine Arts Center and DanceArts. The message is part of CBT’s plan to focus its efforts on both classic ballets and stories that highlight important issues.

“As Greenville grows, we want to use our art form to get across certain social injustice messages,” Blough said. “We thought it was important to shine a light on inclusion and acceptance and to take a stand against bullying. This is part of CBT’s five-year vision to continue classic ballets but to try to present messages that help shape our community into a better place.”

“The School of Hard Rocks” is presented at 10 a.m. March 9 and at 2:30 and 7 p.m. March 10. The March 9 performance is a reduced rate and time educational show. Tickets are $20 each for the Friday show and $35 each for the Saturday show. Save $5 off any show, up to 4 tickets, with the code CBTParent. For tickets, visit https://peacecenter.production.

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