Los Angeles Dance Preview: STARDUST (Complexions Contemporary Ballet at The Music Center)

by Gregory Bernard on April 18, 2018

in Dance,Theater-Los Angeles

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BOWIE’S BACK … AND FORTH

Founded in 1994 by a pair of former Alvin Ailey dancers and frequent contributors to the hit TV show So You Think You Can Dance, New York-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet has wowed critics and audiences alike with their boundary-breaking style of ballet. Now Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden bring their acclaimed company back to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in DTLA with two exciting new works April 20-22, 2018. Combining technical precision, power and passion, Complexions Contemporary Ballet transcends tradition utilizing a breathtaking mix of styles — from ballet to hip hop. The company is sure to dazzle and delight, dancing to a soundtrack of pop, rock and classical anthems from Bach to Bowie.

Bach 25, which had its world premiere this week in Arcata, is set to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and includes transcriptions, improvisations and interpretations on Classic Bach. Choreographed by Rhoden, there will be an opening solo performed by the magnificent Mr. Richardson, who I promise will blow you away – especially given that he’s almost 50. The 25-minute work, which opens the program, includes all 16 members who will execute complicated and multifaceted partnering and a dizzying array of entrances and exits.

The performance will close with Stardust, a tribute to the late, great David Bowie, danced to some of his signature hits and boasting glam rock-inspired costumes by Christine Darch. Stardust, which actually began taking shape before his death at 69, takes an array of Bowie’s music and creates a powerful, moving visual imprint, inspired by his unique personas and his restless artistic invention.

The company’s foremost innovation is that dance should be about removing boundaries, not reinforcing them. Whether it be the limiting traditions of a single style, period, venue, or culture, Complexions transcends them all, creating an open, continually evolving form of dance that reflects the movement of our world—and all its constituent cultures—as an interrelated whole.

Together, Rhoden and Richardson have created in Complexions an institution that embodies its historical moment, a sanctuary where those passionate about dance can celebrate its past while simultaneously building its future. In the 23 years since its inception, the company has born witness to a world that is becoming more fluid, more changeable, and more culturally interconnected than ever before—in other words, a world that is becoming more and more like Complexions itself.

photos courtesy of Complexions

Complexions Contemporary Ballet
Bach 25 & Stardust
Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave
plays April 20-22, 2018
for tickets, call 213.972.0711 or visit The Music Center
for more info, visit Complexions

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