Repertory Dance Theatre Presents SOUNDS FAMILIAR

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Repertory Dance Theatre, the nation's oldest and most successful modern dance repertory company, continues their season HERE & NOW, with a celebration of some of the world's most beloved music. SOUNDS FAMILIAR, November 21-23 features twelve local choreographers putting their own spin on classical music pieces.

Audiences may know the names Bach, Beethoven, Puccini, Haydn, Mozart, Prokofiev, and Khachaturian. But they've never seen them like this. RDT has paired these monumental composers with twelve choreographers who have been invited to create short works that are witty, whimsical and poetic. Classical music is reimagined by artists from the modern, contemporary, ballet, aerial, jazz and theatrical world of dance.

Choreographers include Marilyn Berrett, Nancy Carter, Nicholas Cendese, Molly Heller, Dan Higgins, Stephen Koester, Sharee Lane, John Mead, Sara Pickett, Nathan Shaw, Luc Vanier, and Natosha Washington.

A few years ago, Artistic Director, Linda Smith, and composer, Scott Killian, were sharing complaints about the fact that young people didn't seem to have enough exposure to classical music. Across the country, 1.3 million elementary school students don't have access to a music class and radio stations that hosted classical music programs have all but vanished. Many people only hear classical music when it is used as background for a movie.

Who could forget, Stanley Kubrick's science fiction masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey showcased a number of classical works, including Johann Strauss II's Blue Danube Waltz and Ligeti's Requiem and Lux Aeterna, and Richard Strauss's Also Sprach Zarathustra that defines the film. Oliver Stone's Platoon features the mournful sound of Barber's Adagio for Strings to punctuate the tragedy of the Vietnam War. Stanley Kubrick's The Shining used Bartók's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta to capture the creeping menace of a haunted, isolated hotel, and one man's descent into madness.

The conversation between Smith and Killian gave birth to an idea that they call SOUNDS FAMILIAR and a list of 36 "recognizable" compositions were identified as possible springboards for new dances. A dozen local choreographers were invited to select music (2 to 8 minutes in length) from the list. The choreographers could decide on the casting.

Choreographers range from regional university professors, local dance company directors, high school dance teachers, and RDT dancers and staff. Also included is former RDT dancer John Mead, who now directs his own company in Singapore, and Nancy Simpson Carter -- an aerialist who won the 2019 REGALIA choreographer competition.

SOUNDS FAMILIAR is fast-paced and energetic. A brief video tutorial will help the audience remember the name of the composer and the choreography will make a fresh statement that will resonate with audiences of all ages.



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