Complexions leaps into 2017
Complexions Contemporary Ballet celebrates the kickoff of its 23rd Season at The Joyce Theater in New York City from January 24 – February 5. It will present two distinctive new programs over a two-week span.
Under the artistic direction of Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, the season will feature two premieres in addition to audience favorites as the company continues to lead the way with its approach to contemporary ballet. Filled with a roster of some of the most diverse and exciting young stars, Complexions explodes onto The Joyce Theater stage with its signature style of athleticism, virtuosity and passion. The programs will showcase a range of techniques and musical styles, moving from classical virtuosos such as Bach and Handel to electronica and the catalogue of rock legend David Bowie.
This season, Complexions will launch “The Collage Series,” an ongoing initiative created by Resident Choreographer Dwight Rhoden. In this series, Rhoden will present new dance works in a visual collage format that seeks to find the line of commonality within diverse elements. These works will juxtapose seemingly unrelated fragments to weave together an interrelated story that conveys the beauty found in contrasting depth and dimension. Rhoden considers much of the work he has created over the years to have qualities of the collage format and this series will further explore his passion for finding the interconnection among disparate elements through dance.
The first work to be presented as part of “The Collage Series” is Gutter Glitter, a work that is simultaneously edgy and soft, set to electronica that finds the spark of rare beauty and inspiration in unexpected places. Gutter Glitter is symbolic of a dynamic rise from the bottom, illuminating the struggle of rediscovering the light after being in darkness.
The Joyce program will also include the NYC premiere of Star Dust, the first installment of a full evening-length ballet tribute to the genre-bending innovation of one of the most prolific rock stars of all time – David Bowie. This ballet takes an array of Bowie’s hits and lays a visual imprint inspired by his unique persona and restless artistic invention, resulting in a rock-opera production in his honor.
Complexions will also present its repertory piece Ballad Unto…, a work about unrequited love set to Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue” and “Partita #2 – Chaconne.”
During the run, Thursday, January 26 will be dedicated to Complexions’ annual fundraising gala. Proceeds from this gala/benefit performance will continue to help build Complexions’ educational initiatives through scholarships, mentorship programs and the continued development of Rhoden’s and Richardson’s methodology of dance training. The evening’s performances will be hosted by film, stage and television star Vanessa Williams. In addition to the company work Star Dust, there will be a presentation by the students of Complexions’ new Pre-Professional Program (read more below), and guest performances by Complexions Co-Founder Desmond Richardson, Complexions alumni Clifford Williams, Israeli dancer and choreographer Ido Tadmore, and Natiya Kezevadze, among others.
“We are thrilled to start our 2017 season at The Joyce Theater. My hope remains to shed light, provoke thought and entertain through dance, and there is nowhere better to do that than in New York City,” said Rhoden.
Richardson added, “We have gone to great lengths to share with the Joyce audience a passionate, soul stirring and thought provoking program that we hope will touch them and transport them into our world.”
To learn more about the new Complexions Academy and its Pre-Professional Program, head to www.complexionsacademy.com. A four-week rigorous and intense training program, it provides hands-on guidance and mentorship to advanced level dancers in preparation for a performing career in dance. It’s an immersive experience that focuses on “technical efﬁciency, artistic expression and performance.” The first one runs January 2 – 26, 2017, at The Joffrey Ballet School in Queens.
Photos: Complexions in Star Dust. Photos by Breeann Birr.