Avant Chamber Ballet Explores the Animal Kingdom This Weekend

Categories: Dance

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Sharen Bradford
In 2012, Avant Chamber Ballet gavotted into Dallas promptly presenting more than a dozen world premiere ballets, as well as two regional premieres. The collaborative efforts of Artistic Director Katie Puder and Music Director David Cooper keeps the organization on its toes, pairing live chamber music with original choreography. With season three in full swing, the company presents an evening-length work this weekend.

This Saturday and Sunday at the Eisemann Center, ACB will stage a triple bill of Puder's ballets. See re-stagings of her "Ravel Sonata" and "Exactly Woven," and the premiere of her reimagining of the "Carnival of Animals." "With this show, you will just see the resident dancers of ACB, and I'm proud that we can do such a strong show with no guest artists," says Puder.

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With Its Dallas Debut, Spectrum Dance Theater Proves that Dance Can Be Manly

Categories: Dance

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Nate Watters
Couples Yoga or Spectrum Dance Theater?

Donald Byrd has a dance career to would make anyone envious. For more than four decades, he has been living his dream of creating, performing, and educating. Oh, and he cut his teeth working for Twyla Tharp. His impressive career started in 1978 and includes prestigious credits like The Joffrey Ballet, and Alvin Ailey, to name a few.

But when he took over Seattle-based Spectrum Dance Theater in 2002, heads turned and jaws dropped. He had been known as one of the world's leading contemporary choreographers, but with this new position, he had the chance to breathe new life into a company entering a brand-new stage themselves, one that found them with the responsibility bringing awareness to dance in a city that didn't know about the gem in their own backyard. With Byrd's leadership, Spectrum Dance Theater has embarked on a transformation that has attracted world-class dancers and produced some of the most avant-garde works in contemporary dance. And they're bringing that magic to Dallas for the first time at 8 p.m. Saturday, with a performance at the Winspear Opera House, thanks to TITAS.

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Finding the Future in the Past for Bruce Wood Dance Project's Lovett + More

Categories: Dance

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Bruce Wood Dance

Many people wondered what would happen to the Bruce Wood Dance Project (BWDP) after the untimely passing of their artistic director and choreographer. Would the company fold once again? Or would they continue to pursue the mission set forth by their founder? It seems as if fate, this city, the dance community, and the desire to do what they love, has found the company choosing the latter, which you can see on stage in Lovett + More at Dallas City Performance Hall 8 p.m. Saturday or 2 p.m. Sunday.


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The Fertile Mind of Momix's Moses Pendleton Blossoms with Alchemia

Categories: Dance

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Max Pucciariello
"I can't go a day without clicking my camera. Capturing the personalities in the flowers, capturing the personality of the ice that forms on the lake by my house...I see the dancers in those flowers and that ice."

Moses Pendleton, artistic director of the dance company Momix, is wired to the wilderness. Every day he goes for a swim in the lake by his house in Connecticut, cutting blades through the still water and tuning into the nature surrounding him. "I get my ideas when I'm moving. We have such a mechanized body now," said Pendleton during our interview this last weekend. "I wonder about how to keep it organic ... and whatever really turns you on, will become your next big thing."

From that personal journey, Pendleton created his dynamic and enchanting Botanica, an exploration of the four seasons, and now, Alchemia, his interpretation of the four elements. This darker, dreamy and spiritual show comes to the Winspear Opera House September 12 and 13.

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Beautiful Knuckleheads Opens Season for Dark Circles Contemporary Dance

Categories: Dance

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Courtesy Dark Circles

Dark Circles Contemporary Dance has already scheduled an additional performance this weekend. Saturday night sold out quickly. The season premiere of one of Dallas' top emerging companies expects full houses at the Sanders Theatre in Fort Worth.

Originally founded in Seoul, South Korea in 2010, DCCD moved state-side in 2013, when choreographer/artistic director Joshua Peugh moved back to the city that helped launch his pursuit of an artistic career, Dallas. Ready to give back to the community that helped shape him, and quickly welcomed him back with typical Texan hospitality, Peugh debuted his company to critical reviews. Now, DCCD lands at the top of people's "to watch/don't miss this" lists. That's where we find them again, with the latest offering, Beautiful Knuckleheads.

But where did this title come from? What does it mean, and why did Peugh name not only his piece this, but the entire show? Well, it all started with the music.

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A Complete Guide to the Companies Performing at Dallas DanceFest This Weekend

Categories: Dance

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Sharen Bradford
Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Rep II
"The Dallas DanceFest is very timely. Dance is surging forward...and it's exciting because there are more emerging dance companies than ever before," says Gayle Halperin, Vice President of Development for the Dance Council of North Texas (DCNT) and Chair of the Dallas DanceFest Committee (DDF).

Returning after a 10-year hiatus, the festival that began with only outdoor performances is moving into a new era and a new space, the Dallas City Performance Hall. This new and improved Dallas DanceFest is determined to expand its previous reach by looking for ways to include the local community and raising the dance stakes by introducing our city to regional and national artists, such as MET Dance (Houston) and Chado Danse (Kansas City).

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Grab Your Calendars, Dance Returns to Dallas in August

Categories: Dance

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Big Rig Dance Collective

Where did the summer go? It's been a relatively quiet and cool one this year, and that can only mean one thing. That we've all been be resting and waiting for August to hit and for the performance season to start again. Dancers who have been gone all summer training and performing across the United States, whether it was at the American Dance Festival in North Carolina, the Bates Dance Festival in Maine, or the Dance in the Desert Festival in Las Vegas, it's time to get on Dallas stages again.

In August, dance companies hold general auditions for new seasons, performances begin again, and classes resume. I've broken down the month's offerings into 3 main categories: performances, auditions, and intensives. There is a lot to choose from. See something we've missed? Add it in the comments.

Now get dancing.


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Rhythmic Souls Gives Dallas a Taste of the Tap Dance Legends this Weekend

Categories: Dance

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Rhythmic Souls

Shuffle, ball, change. Aaaaaand, dig! Those are the only tap dance words that stuck with me from the beginner adult class I took last fall. Turns out, you need rhythm to tap, and I've got zero. But it just looks so darn fun when dancers fly around the stage creating music with their toes. It's the stuff of old films, Broadway musicals, and street performance; tap dance is captivating and exhilarating. This is why we're anticipating a full house for this weekend's Rhythmic Souls show, Legends Never Die, a romp through some of tap dance's unforgettable moves and an homage to the greats.

"[Tap dance] was such an integral part of the entertainment industry that it was only natural for it to be featured with the appearance of the film and the movie musical," says Katelyn Harris, co-founder of Rhythmic Souls. "And I do think a renaissance of the 1920's-1940's Hollywood glamour is on its way."

The show runs for just two days at the Pocket Sandwich Theatre, with performances at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It features work that resembles the greats, like Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers and Bill Robinson.

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National Dance Day Is Saturday, So Dust Off Your Dancing Shoes

Categories: Dance

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Don't they look happy?
Saturday is National Dance Day, another day that you can celebrate through clever Facebook status updates, Instagram hashtags, and throwback photos to your drill team days and those terrible costumes your dance teachers used to make you wear. Or, you could actually get off your butt and dance. Novel idea, I know. But seriously, if it's National Dance Day, I'm pretty sure you should actually be moving.

That's the premise behind this official holiday first recognized in 2010 when Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington, D.C.'s, congressional delegate, introduced a National Dance Day resolution to promote dance education and physical fitness. Launched by So You Think You Can Dance co-creator Nigel Lythgoe and supported by the Dizzy Feet Foundation, NDD encourages Americans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health. We all need a little bit of movement in our life, and studies have shown (and I'm not going to bore you with nerdy, scientific details here) that the more you move, the more your brain becomes active, sending sweet, positive endorphins through your body, making you feel better and happier. Happy feet are a scientific fact, and in the hot summer days, who doesn't want to do something that makes her feel good?

The people at the Dizzy Feet Foundation just want you to have a good time, so
they have created routines for you to learn and perform at various events in your hometowns, and the Dallas-Fort Worth area is playing host to a few of them (check out the list below for details). The biggest one is happening in downtown Dallas at Klyde Warren Park. All afternoon long Saturday, you can enjoy free dance classes in a variety of styles at the Muse Family Performance Pavilion. Everything from African to Zumba to bachata to salsa will be available for you to learn, plus you'll have the chance to perform the dances prepared by the Dizzy Feet Foundation.

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The Dallas Dance Fest Is Back, Bigger than Ever

Categories: Dance

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Serkan Zanagar

The Dallas DanceFest is back. After a 10-year hiatus, the festival that began with outdoor performances at the Annette Strauss Square returns with the same premise but a new venue, the Dallas City Performance Hall.

Its original debut in 1985 started off small, featuring only three companies: Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and the now defunct Dancers Unlimited and Ballet Dallas. These were the main players in the city back then, with Dancers Unlimited being the starting place for many modern dancers and choreographers still working and creating now, and Ballet Dallas was the training ground for many dancers still performing today.

The festival grew to include the similarly growing dance community, and involved regional and national companies who were members of the Dance Council of North Texas - each group subjected to the same application and jury process. The festival quickly became a Labor Day tradition, had a name change in the middle of its growth spurt (you might remember it as The Dallas Morning News Dance Festival), and operated for 20 years, before calling it quits in 2004.

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