As an opening performance of the NextMove series by Dance Affiliates at the Prince Theater, Complexions Contemporary Ballet showcases four premieres-three world premiers and one US premiere-in addition to three short pieces from their repertoire. Their diverse approach and groundbreaking dances have been well recognized since Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, both former Alvin Ailey virtuosos, founded the company in 1994. Their opening performance of their 21st season unquestionably flaunts what they are and how diverse they can be.
In Ballad Unto, one of the world premieres, the dancers express their unpredictable journey of love to Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue and Partita No. 2- Chaconne. As Bach’s music has been interpreted diversely by many successors throughout the ages, each of the dancers depict their interpretation of love. Their movements are not uniformed like you would see in Swan Lake or Giselle, just like our feeling and our way of life are never uniform at all. This guides viewers to feel passion, frustration, intimacy and embrace through the dancer’s aesthetic pirouette and magnificent jete.
STRUM, another world premiere, shows a totally different aspect of the company. The dancers, in silver metallic leotards, slide onto the stage and shake their head to the songs of one of the most iconic metal bands, Metallica. Surprisingly, the dancers never lose their grace while their movements are completely synched to the sound of plangent base and drum and the howling guitar.
All other pieces, such as CRYIN’ TO CRY OUT, set to Jimmy Scott’s jazz song, CHOKE, danced on Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons’ Summer, and the company’s masterpiece TESTAMENT, choreographed on Amazing Grace are spectacular.
The dancers, with an established foundation of classical ballet, leap beyond boundaries of conventional concept and viewers anticipation. [The Prince Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street] October 14-18, 2015; princetheater.org; complexionsdance.org.