BWW Previews: GROUND BREAKING CONTEMPORARY BALLET COMES TO The Straz Center For The Performing Arts

BWW Previews: GROUND BREAKING CONTEMPORARY BALLET COMES TO The Straz Center For The Performing Arts

One night only, on worldwide tour with a stop at The Straz Center for the Performing Arts, is Complexions Contemporary Dance From Bach to Bowie on February 15 in Ferguson Hall.

Founded in 1994 by co-collaborators and former members of Alvin Ailey, Dwight Rhoden, master choreographer and legendary dancer Desmond Richardson, Complexions transcends tradition to infuse a ground-breaking mixture of styles from hip hop to ballet into one exhilarating production.

Desmond said that the audience should expect "the unexpected."

"We use every type of music from Bach to Bowie. We like to engage the audience so they can have an arch to the evening," he said.

With a resume of experience and accolades pages and pages long - from being the first Black American Principal dancer of American Ballet Theater to being nominated for a Tony award for his role in the original cast of the Broadway musical, Fosse - dancing was not just a vocation for Desmond, but a calling.

"It's something quite spiritual. I think the moment I viewed it on TV on Great Performances, I knew I wanted to dance. There are people who like to dance, but for me it's a calling. I am happy to have done it in the many variety of places I've done it. I've danced on the main stages of the world from the Metropolitan Opera to Paris Opera to Bulshoi Ballet in Russia. For me, to perform in all these different venues and to share my art - it's profound."

Sold-out performances of Dwight and Desmond's Complexions have received outstanding reviews, but Desmond is especially appreciative of a recent response from an audience member following a performance in Portland, Oregon.

"She said oh my God, I didn't know what to expect, but I know I didn't expect to be out of my seat and dancing. She was a big fan of David Bowie. She was so happy to view the show and to be taken on this journey that provoked thought, had her engaged and entertained," Desmond explained. "Dancing is generally what the audience members do. We want the audience to have fun. From the first ballet called Ballet Unto about love and interpersonal relationships to a new ballet Stardust to the music of David Bowie, at the end, we want the audience to have a good time."

Regularly priced tickets for the Thursday, Feb. 15, 8 p.m. performance of Complexions Contemporary Ballet From Bach to Bowie are $29.50-$45.50. Tickets may be purchased by calling 813.229.7827, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Sales Office or online at www.strazcenter.org.

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From This Author Deborah Bostock-Kelley

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