BDBB: The Black Dance and Broadway Blog

Covering black professionals and professional productions in the dance and theater worlds, plus general arts news

Dance: Complexions Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

Complexions1

 

It’s not easy to sustain a dance company for 20 years but Complexions Contemporary Ballet, the dynamic contemporary ballet company headed by Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson has accomplished that feat.

Complexions is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary with a two-week-long season running through Nov. 30 at New York City’s Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue.

Rhoden and Richardson, of course, became international superstars as dancers with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Complexions co-director  and choreographer Dwight Rhoden

Complexions co-director and choreographer Dwight Rhoden

As the leaders of their own company the two have made a distinctive statement on what contemporary ballet is and what the boundaries can be in dance period.

While the work hasn’t always been every critic’s cup of tea, it has, over the years, gained notice and acclaim for defining an important wave in dance in the 21st century.

The New York anniversary season features two world premieres – “The Groove” and “Head Space,” a collaboration with the Grammy Award winning musician Terence Blanchard.

According to a press release “Head Space” addresses several questions.

“Both men are interested in playing with scale, volume, and magnitude as storytelling devices through music and dancing. How can you convey the breaking point of emotion through movement? What is the aftermath of large explosions of sound? What effect does juxtaposing dense orchestration with spare instrumentation create?” says the press release. “This new work will use Mr. Blanchard’s composition of trumpet, strings, woodwinds, and percussion as the backbone of its narrative and will be a collection of short scenes following a cast of characters. The scenes will build up and disperse character relationships and stories, taking viewers on a surprising journey.”

Complexions co-director Desmond Richardson

Complexions co-director Desmond Richardson

The Joyce season will also include the New York City premiere of “Igual” by American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Marcelo Gomes. Repertory favorites by Rhoden to be performed are “I Am Your Man,” “Hissy Fits,” “Testament,” and “Innervisions.”

For more information and tickets to Complexions’ anniversary season at the Joyce, go online at http://www.joyce.org.

 

 

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