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Rebecca Carmazzi, North Carolina Dance Theatre 

You can look in the 2007-08 brochure if you don't believe me. Rebecca Carmazzi is going to be red hot this fall at North Carolina Dance Theatre. Predictable, you might say, if you saw her partnered with Addul Manzano in George Balanchine's Rubies late last season.

Like other fine NCDT danseuses, Carmazzi matriculated into the company via the Chautauqua summer festival in upstate New York. With luminaries such as Kati Hanlon, Mia Cunningham, Traci Gilchrest and Nicholle Rochelle already in the NCDT firmament, newbies must often wait their turn to shine.

Artistic director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux is signaling that Carmazzi's sixth season will be her giant leap forward. But no one is divulging the full specifics -- to anyone.

"We don't have our casting for anything but what we're working on right now," Carmazzi confides. "We just started learning a piece called Nine Sinatra Songs by Twyla Tharp, and it's a bunch of pas de deux. And I get to do a pas de deux in it. So that's been a lot of fun."

Elaine Kudo is in town on Tharp's behalf to restage the Tony Award-winning choreographer's homage to Ol' Blue Eyes. Two other Charlotte premieres -- by Alvin Ailey and Dwight Rhoden -- are also on the "Manhattan Moves South" program, kicking off NCDT's season at Belk Theater on September 20-22.

Carmazzi has an inkling she'll be onstage for Rhoden's Artifice, since she participated in a partial staging at Chautauqua earlier this summer. But that's really an ensemble piece. Her most emphatic blossoming figures to happen at Booth Playhouse, where "Innovative Works" will stir up its customary excitement (November 1-3, 8-10).

She'll dance the title role in Sasha Janes' Lascia La Spina Cogli La Rose ("Leave the Thorn, Pluck the Rose") -- inspired, we suspect, by Cecilia Bartoli's recent Opera Proibita album of banned 18th Century arias. The piece is also a coming out for Janes, his first choreography as he enters his fifth year as an NCDT dancer.

"Sasha choreographed it on the two of us, so that's exciting," says Carmazzi. "I'm supposed to represent a rose, and it's about life, which always entails death. It's a rose that comes to life, but they die so quickly. The beauty of life and death, I guess."

In a smoldering costume that invites plucking.

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