Emanuel - Love is the Answer

An original ballet by Columbia City Ballet and dedicated to the memory of Mr. Fred Sheheen.

A full-length, multimedia ballet

The Columbia City Ballet is bringing its a new, full-length, multimedia ballet to the Center on April 4, 2017.

South Carolina takes the lead in bringing the messages of healing and racial harmony which came out of the senseless tragedy at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston to the foreground. It will have an active voice and a leadership role in the national conversation about racial equality. Dispelling the notion of the south as an incubator for intolerance and bigotry is only one of the many sub-messages to be embodied in this new artistic work. Supporting themes of transcendence and forgiveness, Emanuel: Love is the Answer,premiers in April of 2017 as an homage to the indomitable human spirit.

Emanuel: Love is the Answer
examines the realities of bigotry, prejudice and hate - rooted in fear and ignorance, then provide a view of the slight progress made in issues of tolerance and racial equality. Ultimately, the ballet will end with hope, harmony and love, by presenting what is attainable and what our lives will look like as we reach true equality.

The ballet will include healing messages from our political and spiritual leaders of the present and past, including the Reverend Dr. Betty Deas Clark, Pastor of Emanuel A.M.E. Church who has agreed to serve on the Board of Directors of the Columbia City Ballet; Dr. Martin Luther King; John F. Kennedy; Maya Angelou; the Dali Lama; and Deepak Chopra to name but a few.

Executive and Artistic Director, William Starretts’ hope is to connect the dots he sees artistically between this shocking event and the lessons learned from the tragedy which can be used to transcend prejudice and celebrate unity and forgiveness. Through dance, music, and other media, Emanuelwill help us see how we are more alike than different. As a result of its messages of forgiveness, kindness, love and understanding, the ballet will help us come together in peace. Promoting inclusiveness, the art will unite us as we embrace all that we can achieve together. Starrett is hopeful that this work can become a national expression of the everlasting power of the lives of these South Carolinians. Emanuel: Love is the Answer will represent a continuation of Columbia City Ballets’ leadership role in promoting diversity in the arts and in its productions.

Music includes Ava Maria; Make me a Channel of Your Peace; The Lords’ Prayer; Hero: Rise Up; Imagine: Love in Any Language; The Greatest Love of All; How Great Thou Art; You’ll Never Walk Alone; Spirit in the Sky; Tears in Heaven; and Bring Him Home.

Mr. Starrett is working with local professionals on the multi-media portion of the ballet and has secured the assistance of one of Hollywood’s hottest young film directors, Kim Rocco Shields, to do the final editing of the multi-media elements of the production.




Cab & Kathy Stitt
John & Linda Shaylor


  • $25.00 - General Admission


April 4, 2017


  • 7:00 p.m.


Wood Auditorium