CURRENTS

SPOLETO FESTIVAL 2019

The 43rd season of Spoleto Festival USA kicks off on May 24. For 17 days and nights, a variety of artists and top performing arts companies will converge on Charleston, filling the city’s theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with world-class performances. The festival’s general director, Nigel Redden, promises that this season’s programming will “transcend time and place with long-heralded masterworks alongside world premieres and reimagined classics.”

Here’s a fast rundown of this year’s highlights: The Festival’s new production of Salome, Richard Strauss’ 1905 opera, based on Oscar Wilde’s play of the same name, opens the season. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre returns with a rotation of Twelfth Night, the Comedy of Errors and Pericles. The 2019 Wells Fargo Jazz Series will celebrate the Afro-Cuban jazz tradition in the United States as well as three generations of female jazz artists—pianist and composer Carla Bley, drummer and vocalist Terri Lyne Carrington, and bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding.

From Beirut, Lebanon, the Caracalla Dance Theatre makes its Spoleto debut with the U.S. premiere of One Thousand and One Nights. In this spectacular adaptation of the ancient stories, Arabian folk music combines with the scores of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and Ravel’s Bolero!

For information and tickets, call 843-579-3100 or go to spoletousa.org.


RHAPSODY IN BLUE

For conveniently located and affordable accommodation, you can do no better than Hotel Indigo, a new five-story property located in Mount Pleasant near the Arthur Ravenel Jr. bridge and only minutes from Charleston’s historic district.

Hotel Indigo is a member of an international group of boutique hotels of the same name (itself a subset of IHG, the InterContinental Hotels Group), whose mission is to celebrate what’s unique about the communities in which they are located.

Given that mission, it’s a happy accident that Charleston has a special relationship with the indigo plant, which was grown here in the 18th century. The hotel seized on the connection, choosing blue as the dominant color, then livening things up with accents of pink and mauve. Setting these colors against white walls and driftwood-gray floors results in a minimalistic, contemporary look.

Hotel Indigo’s references to the Lowcountry abound, from the art on the walls to the food at Eliza’s bar + kitchen (named after the woman who turned indigo into one of the state’s most important cash crops). Here guests can order Lowcountry-inspired dishes with a modern twist.

Our first impression is that Hotel Indigo is ideal for travelers who demand up-to-date design and amenities but at an affordable price. Business travelers will gravitate to the spacious lobby bar, where they can order an Eliza Fizz (fresh blueberries, blueberry vodka, St-Germain and prosecco). Vacationers will dine by the long pool, which is surrounded by a colonnade of palms and an inviting green lawn. Suites are perfect for a special occasion or hosting a small gathering of friends (bridesmaids, for example).

In addition to 151 guestrooms and seven suites, the hotel features a state-of-the-art fitness center, a yoga room, 6,000 square feet of meeting space and complimentary parking. The location provides easy access to all the area’s shops, restaurants, museums, beaches and golf courses. For information call 843-884-6000 or go to mountpleasantlyindigo.com.


LEATHER REDEFINED

Enter Jahde Leather Atelier, the luxury design studio of Andrea (Andy) Jahde, at your own risk. You’ll see so many wonderful handcrafted leather products, you’ll want to own at least one of everything in view!

Using age-old leatherworking techniques and high-quality, American-sourced materials, Jahde creates one-of-a-kind leather products, including handbags, wallets (for men and women), statement jewelry and more. Soon she’ll be offering shoes. She even welcomes custom orders.

A Nebraska native, Jahde studied design in Copenhagen, London and New York City, before settling in Charleston in 2011. She designs, shapes and sews each of her products by hand in her characterful 68 Queen St. house in the city’s historic district. Of leather making she says: “Leather is such a resilient, malleable and timeless material. …Just like woodworking, the philosophy of ‘measure twice, cut once’ definitely applies.”

Jahde says that her brand is an exciting juxtaposition of modern designs and traditional craftmanship. She adds, “I make functionable, wearable leather art that is on-trend yet timeless, practical yet playful.” Her favorite (and popular) pieces include the reversible King Collar, which elevates any simple top, and a versatile travel handbag called the Carolina Tote (it can also be worn as a backpack), which folds perfectly flat in a suitcase. Also popular are her Smith Earrings, made with hand-cut, soft leather tassels

Check out Jahde’s current Spring/Summer Collection. Also note that the atelier will host a pop-up event, complete with wine and snacks, during the Charleston Art Walk on May 3. At that time, Jahde will also show the work of Lina Rosa, a local company that specializes in beaded jewelry. 843-212- 7329, jahdemade.com.