>This preview was originally posted on TheaterJones.com.
>This preview was originally posted on TheaterJones.com.
Choreographer and Hurricane Katrina survivor Michelle N. Gibson shares her story in Displaced, Yet Rebirthed, part of Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Cultural Awareness Series.
Dallas — In August 2005, Michelle N. Gibson and her family, including her newborn son, piled into their car and drove away from their New Orleans home. A home they would never return to due to the flooding and destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. With very few supplies and no means to contact family and friends, Gibson and her family drove all the way to Dallas where her boyfriend at the time had recently resided. It was in a hotel lobby where Gibson got her first look at the devastation caused by Katrina. “We had no idea what was going on because we didn’t even have electricity in the hotels so, we didn’t know about the conditions of the convention center or the whereabouts of our family and friends. Let me tell you! When I watched the TV for the first time and saw the people in front of the convention center looking like it was a third world country, I just lost it. I have never felt so helpless.”
That first year after relocating was a tough one for Gibson, who knew nobody in the area. She chose to stay home with her young children instead of finding a job as a dance educator. She says at the time she didn’t even want to dance. All that changed the day Vicki Meek called her out of the blue and told her to get down to the South Dallas Cultural Center. “Now, if you know Mama Vicki then you know when she speaks you better listen. She said she heard that I had been in Dallas for a year and she had not laid eyes on me so I needed to make my way down to the South Dallas Cultural Center.”
Gibson soon found herself at the South Dallas Cultural Center where she met Meek who, to this day, has been a source of comfort and support for Gibson. “The South Dallas Cultural Center was the space that gave me a new start. It gave me a new place to create and a new home and I am forever grateful to Vicki and the center.” She adds, “Vicki also enabled me to pick back up with Exhibit Dance Collective, a dance company I started in New Orleans which is kind of like the Urban Bush Women of the south in that the work was all about the feminist empowerment movement and women of color.”
Today, in addition to running Exhibit Dance Collective, Gibson also teaches dance at Brookhaven College and Mountain View College in Dallas. She also holds an artist in residence position with the Ashe’ Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans. Over the last 12 years Gibson has also taught dance for the Dallas Independent School District and has conducted numerous dance intensives and workshops for universities and cultural centers across the U.S. and in Germany. Gibson earned a B.F.A in dance from Tulane University and her M.F.A in dance and performance studies from Hollins University/American Dance Festival at Duke University.
Gibson’s choreographic works include New Orleans Second Line: Takin It To The Roots performed at the American Dance Festival in 2001; Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters with the Dallas Children’s Theater; Krump accompanied by the LoneStar Wind Orchestra at the Meyerson Center; 2008 South Dallas Dance Festival premiere of I Made It, But Some Didn’t, a tribute to souls survivors of Hurricane Katrina; and the Dallas premiere of Evolution: Honoring, Recognizing, and Uplifting Women of Color and Sisters of the Yam at the South Dallas Cultural Center in 2012.
This weekend Gibson will be sharing her Katrina evacuation story using some traditional New Orleans dance moves and music in Displaced, Yet Rebirthed, which is part of Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s (DBDT) Cultural Awareness Series at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre. It was recently announced that the dancers will be accompanied by The Kickin’ Brass Band and New Orleans trumpeter Thaddeus Ford in the grand finale. The program also includes Christopher L. Huggins’ tribute to South African President Nelson Mandela in His Grace.
After receiving the call from former DBDT Artistic Director Bridget L. Moore asking if she would be a part of the performance, Gibson spent a week with the company exploring her movement aesthetic which she calls a fusion of jazz, contemporary, Afro modern and New Orleans second line, a style Gibson says she has been cultivating since graduate school.
“Second line is not something you learn in a dance studio. For me, second line is kind of the traditional dance of New Orleans so for my thesis I began to look at a dance that’s done from an impulse and then started creating a language so the movement could be taught.” She continues, “In my classes I will usually have a live brass band there because the music cannot be separated from the movement. Like when you go church and the spirit hits you it’s like a buildup of adrenaline that needs to release. So, that’s what I try to maintain in my second line aesthetic.”
Gibson created Displaced, Yet Rebirthed during her residency at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign last year and says the process was like a therapy session with herself. “It has taken a while for me to creatively through dance do a work about Katrina because I’m still wearing it. We ALL are still wearing it. And this piece is about what we are still living through every single day.”
When it was time to go into the studio with DBDT Gibson says she knew the dancers were technically good, but that this work was not just about the movement. “It’s about the dancers being able to embody a real life experience such as the loss we all felt after Katrina. Because Katrina was a loss for us all emotionally, mentality and spiritually. So, I went in thinking of the work as a compositional piece and focused on getting the dancers to understand how to allow the human experience to be the movement and not the movement being the movement.”
Gibson also points out that there is a fine line between being authentic and acting when creating a piece on such an emotional topic like Katrina, and so to keep the piece from becoming overly dramatic she would sit down with the dancers before every rehearsal to just talk. “You see, I always wanted them to know where I was in my spirit as a human being and not just as a choreographer and talk about my intentions for the work. We would talk about different parts of Katrina and how it happened for me so then they could take my experience and make it their experience.”
>This preview was originally posted on TheaterJones.com.
Formerly the South Dallas Dance Festival, the new Sweatt Dallas Dance Festival (SDDF) is dedicated to the memory of Mary Lois Sweatt (1939-2016), whose vision and support were integral to the success of SDDF in years past.
Entitled Spreading Our Wings, the new SDDF features performances from Stephanie Rae Williams (Dance Theatre of Harlem), Sydney Winston (who attends Point Park University), Beckles Dancing Company, 410 Line Dancers, Images Contemporary Dance Company and Momentum Dance Company, just to name a few. To note, Williams was the SDDF Scholarship recipient in 2005 and Winston is this year’s recipient.
Williams began her career with Texas Ballet Theater in 2006 and since then has danced with the Francesca Harper Project and Ballet Black before joining the restored DTH in 2012.
I spoke to Williams back in 2014, two years after DTH was reformed under long-time
DTH dancer Virginia Johnson, when the company was touring in Texas and she shared with me what is was like seeing the legendary dance company for the first time. “I was 16 and my mom drove me to Tyler, Texas, on a school night to see them,” Williams reminisces. “I remember how shocking it was because I had never seen so many dancers of color onstage doing ballet before. It was a beautiful experience.”
Williams began her career with Texas Ballet Theater in 2006 and since then has dance with the Francesca Harper Project and Ballet Black before joining the restored DTH in 2012. Williams will also be receiving the Natalie Skelton Award for artistic excellence at the end of this month at the Dance Council Honors, which will be hosted by the Dance Council of North Texas and held at Dallas Black Dance Theatre.
The schedule for SDDF also includes a master class taught by Christie Sullivan, a youth dance showcase, a industry roundtable and many opportunities to see some dancing! The festival takes place Oct. 27-28 at Ann Richards Middle School in Dallas. Go check it out!
See the press release below for more information:
ARGA NOVA DANCE with support from Ann Richards Middle School and South Dallas Cultural Center present [Mary Lois] Sweatt Dallas Dance Festival – Spreading Our Wings
WHAT: SDDF 2017 “Spreading Our Wings”
WHEN: Friday, 27 October 2017, 8:00 pm, Saturday, 28 October 2017, 3:00 pm & 8:00 pm
WHERE: Ann Richards Middle School, 3831 N. Prairie Creek Rd, Dallas TX 75227, cor. Military
TICKETS: Tickets online: eventbrite.com/e/sddf-2017-spreading-our-wings-tickets-38340657940
Advance sales are: 10.00 general, 5.00 for seniors, students, members of Dance Council or ARGA NOVA DANCE. Please bring ID or printout to the box office with you.
Tickets at door: 15.00 general, 10.00 for seniors, students, members of Dance Council or ARGA NOVA DANCE.
Master Class: $5.00 participants, $15.00 general
ADVANCE TICKET SALES: eventbrite.com/e/sddf-2017-spreading-our-wings-tickets-38340657940
SDDF 2017 schedule
October 27, 2017 – Friday: Evening Performances, 8:00 pm
October 28, 2017 – Saturday: Open Master Class, 10:00 am
Youth Dance Showcase, 3:00 pm
Round Table Discussion, 5:00 pm
Evening Performances, 8:00 pm
Master Class with CHRISTIE SULLIVAN
ARGA NOVA DANCE is supported in part by: South Dallas Cultural Center, City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, Sammons Center for the Arts, Star System donors to ARGA NOVA DANCE.
2017 SDDF [ML]Sweatt Dallas Dance Festival – Spreading Our Wings, is supported in part by Ann Richards STEAM Academy and LINKS, Inc. Dallas Chapter.
Schedule subject to change, only as necessary.
No matter where you live there is a Nutcracker performance waiting for you. Here’s a list of North Texas Nuts, plus other holiday dance.
From the big-budget dance companies such as Texas Ballet Theater and Moscow Ballet to the smaller, community-based companies, there is an enchanting Nutcracker performance for everyone to see. For those of you living North of Dallas there is the Allen Civic Ballet, Festival Ballet of North Central Texas in Denton and LakeCities Ballet Theatre in Lewisville. For audiences in the Richardson and Plano area the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts is hosting multiple Nutcracker performances the next two months, including Chamberlain Performing Arts, Dallas Repertoire Ballet and Tuzer Ballet. For Garland residents there is Dallas Ballet Company’s annual production at the Granville Arts Center and for Irving patrons Ballet Ensembles of Texas’ showing of the holiday classic at the Irving Arts Center. If you prefer live music, check out LakeCities Ballet Theatre, Allen Civic Ballet and Collin County Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker productions. For those looking for something a little different there’s 8&1 Dance Company’s In The Spirit and Ballet Concerto’s Holiday Special.
Full list and ticket information below:
Ballet Frontier of Texas presents The Nutcracker with choreography by Chung-Lin Tseng at Will Rogers Auditorium in Fort Worth. Tickets $40-50. Call 817.689.7310 or visitwww.balletfrontier.org
Moscow Ballet return to Dallas with its rendition of The Great Russian Nutcracker at Southern Methodist University’s McFarlin Auditorium. Tickets $28-88. Call 800.745.3000 or visit www.tickmaster.com
Colleyville Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker for one-night only at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson, TX. Tickets $35-40 Call 972.744.4650 or visitwww.eisemanncenter.com
The Angelika Film Centers in Dallas and Plano screen Getting to The Nutcracker, a documentary about what it takes to produce a production of the Nut, at 2 p.m. in both locations. www.angelikafilmcenter.com
Chamberlain Performing Arts annual showing of The Nutcracker featuring New York City Ballet Principal’s Maria Kowroski and Tyler Angle at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson, TX. Tickets $12-100. Call 972.744.4650 or visit www.eisemanncenter.com
Nov. 28-Dec. 27
Texas Ballet Theater takes the stage with Ben Stevenson’s version of The Nutcracker, with the same extravagant sets and effects that we saw last year. Call 877.828.9200 or visit http://www.texasballettheater.org
LakeCities Ballet Theatre’s annual production of The Nutcracker features live music from Lewisville Lake Symphony and guest artists Sarah Lane of American Ballet Theater and Daniel Ulbricht of New York City Ballet. Tickets: $20-45. Call 972.317.7987 or visitwww.lakecitiesballet.org
Dallas Ballet Company celebrates its 28th annual performance of The Nutcracker featuring guest artists April Daly and Miguel Blanco from Joffrey Ballet at the Granville Arts Center in Garland, TX. Tickets: $23-24. Call 972.205.2790 or visit www.garlandarts.com
North Central Civic Ballet’s rendition of The Nutcracker at the Will Rogers Auditorium in Fort Worth. Tickets: $30. Visit www.nutcrackertickets.com
Ballet Ensemble of Texas presents the holiday classic with guest artist Dallas Blagg and Gabriela Gonzalez from Tulsa Ballet at the Irving Arts Center. Tickets: $25-30. Call 972.252.2787 or visit www.irvingartscenter.com
Rowlett Dance Academy presents its version of The Nutcracker at Garland High School. Tickets $10. Call 972.475.8269 or visit www.rowlettdanceacademy.com
Royale Ballet Dance Academy offering of The Nutcracker at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson, TX. Call 972.744.4650 or visit www.eisemanncenter.com
Dallas Repertoire Ballet brings its rendition of the beloved holiday tale to the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson, TX. Tickets: $15-50. Call 972.744.4650 or visit www.eisemanncenter.com
Festival Ballet of North Central Texas showing of The Nutcracker at Texas Woman’s University, Margo Jones Performance Hall in Denton, TX. Tickets: $11-36. Call 940.891.0830 or visit www.festivalballet.net
Tuzer Ballet presents The Nutcracker at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson, TX. Tickets: $15-50. Call 972.744.4650 or visit www.eisemanncenter.com
The Allen Civic Ballet presents its annual production of the holiday favorite with live musical accompaniment by the Allen Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. Allen High School Performing Arts Center in Allen TX. Tickets: $15-30. Visitwww.allencivicballet.org/nutcracker
Colin County Ballet Theatre’s annual production of The Nutcracker features live music from Plano Symphony Orchestra at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson, TX. Tickets: $32-52. Call 972.744.4650 or visitwww.eisemanncenter.com
Other Holiday Dance
Denton City Contemporary Ballet presents A Gift for Emma at Krum High School Performance Center in Krum, TX. Tickets: $12-18. Visit www.dentondance.com
8&1 Dance Company’s annual In The Spirit holiday celebration at the Quixotic Word in Dallas. Visitwww.8and1dance.com
Ballet Concerto presents its annual A Holiday Special, with school performances at 10:30a.m. and 12:15p.m., and public performances at 7p.m. at Will Rogers Auditorium in Fort Worth. Tickets: $5-20. Call 817.738.7915 or visitwww.balletconcerto.com
This list was originally published on TheaterJones.com.
Approximately 750 bunheads from Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas will converge at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson, TX, this weekend for the 2014 Regional Dance America/Southwest Festival, hosted by Dallas Ballet Company.
Aptly named Deep in the Heart…There’s Dance!, this year’s RDA/SW Festival features a variety of master classes from ballet, pointe and partnering to theater and hip-hop as well as an emerging choreography concert, showcase performance and a closing gala happening each evening at 7:30pm at the Eisemann.
Some of our local talent will be in attendance, including Collin County Ballet Theatre, Ballet Ensemble of Texas and Dallas Metropolitan Ballet.
And of course there will also be some amazing guests artists teaching at the festival, including Jason Fowler, Tyler Hanes, Kim Abel, Jock Soto, Kurt A. Douglas, Mary Margaret Holt and Thom Clower, just to name a few.
I will be there all weekend observing classes and watching performances. Come on by and say HI!
Internationally Acclaimed Dance Group Explores Themes of Love!
DALLAS — Join Dark Circles Contemporary Dance (DCCD) for White Day. The evening will feature the dancers of DCCD in three world premiere dance works including ‘Marshmallow’ and ‘White Day’ by Artistic Director Joshua L. Peugh and a commissioned work by San Francisco-based guest choreographer Louis Acquisto.
Performances are Thursday, March 13 – Saturday, March 15 at 8:00 PM at the intimate Hardy and Betty Sanders Theatre in Fort Worth. Reserved tickets are $20 and student tickets are $12.
Last spring, Dark Circles Contemporary Dance (DCCD) launched a new branch in the U.S.A. The company’s self-titled premiere program was included in the Dallas Morning News, Star-Telegram, and TheaterJones’ lists of best dance performances of 2013. Over the past four years, DCCD has created and produced over twenty original, award-winning works and performed in seven countries.
Artistic Director Joshua L. Peugh’s new work is a two-part dance inspired by White Day, a holiday celebrated in Japan and Korea on March fourteenth as a response to Valentine’s Day. The first part entitled ‘Marshmallow’ was influenced by the fantasy and well-observed humanity of Japanese anime and includes music from the Studio Ghibli film ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ by popular Japanese animation composer Joe Hisaishi.
The second part—White Day—features the music of another Japanese composer: Ryuichi Sakamoto, and looks at the more intimate and complicated side of the lovers’ holiday through hip-hop infused movement.
Rounding out the program is a new work commissioned by DCCD from choreographer Louis Acquisto. Acquisto, a former dancer with New York’s Amy Marshall Dance Company and an alumnus of Southern Methodist University, deals with fear and loneliness. Using Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Life By The Drop” as a centerpiece, Acquisto’s athletic, floor-based modern dance movement highlights the company’s strengths.
National Dance Day, July 27th, 2013
Dallas – The Dance Council of North Texas (DCNT) is proud to sponsor Dance Big D! in celebration of the 3rd annual National Dance Day. The goal of Dance Big D! is to promote dance participation and bring attention to the Dallas arts scene. On Saturday, July 27th the DCNT will host a dance flash mob at noon in Victory Park AT&T Plaza featuring the choreography Everybody Dance from the Dizzy Feet Foundation website.
Anyone is welcome to participate. The event will be videotaped and submitted to the NDD video contest sponsored by the hit FOX television show So You Think You Can Dance. The DCNT also invites people to videotape their own dancemob using the Everybody Dance sequence and to submit it for inclusion in the DCNT video. All details are listed on the event page at www.facebook.com/nationaldancedaydallasflashmob
National Dance Day was started in 2010 by So You Think You Can Dance co-creator and Dizzy Feet Foundation co-president Nigel Lythgoe as an annual celebration to take place on the last Saturday in July. “This grassroots campaign encourages Americans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health and combat obesity.” NDD achieved national recognition from Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), a long-time proponent of healthy lifestyles, who introduced a resolution at a press conference on July 31, 2010, in Washington D.C. Says Lythgoe, “It belongs to the people….wherever they may be and whatever their motivation.”
Each year DFF hosts two National Dance Day events, one in Los Angeles and one in Washington D.C. This year, DFF co-presidents Nigel Lythgoe and Adam Shankman choreographed an “Everybody Dance” routine for people of all levels of ability, and SYTYCD choreographers Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo have created a “Hip-Hop Master Class” routine for those who want to challenge themselves.
For detailed information and video of Everybody Dance visit www.facebook.com/nationaldancedaydallasflashmob
The Dance Council of North Texas, a 501 c (3) non-profit founded in 1973, promotes and supports dance. The Council provides artistic, educational and cultural opportunities to people of all ages, cultures and abilities through dance performances, festivals, scholarships, master classes, and additional activities, collaborations and partnerships.
May 25 is National Tap Dance Day which falls on Bill “Bojangles” Robinson’s birthday.
If you live in North Texas, you can celebrate the day by attending FAB-TAP-ULOUS, presented by the Dance Council of North Texas and Dallas Summer Musicals outside the Music Hall at Fair Park.
The event runs May 21-25, 2013 @ 6:30pm and every performance includes a diverse line-up of tapping talents.
Admission is FREE!!!
Hope to see you there!!
Working in the performing arts arena is really a labor of love. So many individuals are overworked, underpaid and a lot of what they do goes unnoticed by the general public. The Dance Council of North Texas understands this and it’s one of the reasons the organization created the Dance Council Honors.
What began as the Legacy awards in 1987 has now turned into a full afternoon of dance that includes a silent auction, reception and a performance showcase featuring DCNT scholarship recipients and company members from Dallas Black Dance Theatre. This year’s event will also include a piece from Bob Fosse’s Chicago performed by Guyer High School (Denton, TX), a winning production at the DSM High School Musical Theatre awards competition.
This year’s Dance Council Honorees include Tracy Jordan, Teresa Espinosa, Kay Daiziel, Yvonne Lovell, Gladys Keeton and Laura Price.
Tracy Jordan will be receiving the Mary McLarry Bywaters Award for Lifetime Contribution to Dance. Jordan is currently the executive director of the Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Awards. He has worked in the entertainment industry for 30 years and was featured in 42nd Street, Sugar Babies, Jesus Christ Super Star and Fiddler On The Roof.
The Natalie Skelton Award for Artistic Excellence will go to Teresa Espinosa.
Espinosa is a Dallas native and Alumna of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She is a nationally acclaimed hip-hop choreographer, dancer and teacher. She is also a member of the dance crew “Beat Freaks,” which appeared on Season 3 of America’s Best Dance Crew. This past March she was a featured guest artist at the DCNT’s annual Dance Planet event.
Kay Daiziel will be receiving the Mary Warner Award for Service to Dance. Daiziel has been in the dancewear retail business since 1984. In 2003 she opened Artful Dancewear LLC in Dallas. She also sponsors a DCNT teacher scholarship.
The Larry White Dance Educator Award will go to Yvonne Lovell and Gladys Keeton. Lovell is the owner and director of Stage Door Dance in Mesquite, TX. London-born Lovell uses RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) curriculum for her classical ballet classes and The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing for her tap curriculum. Her studio has been involved with The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker and Garland Summer Musicals.
Keeton’s career in dance education spans more than 40 years. She is currently an associate professor at Texas Woman’s University where she teaches courses in Dance History, World Dance Forms, Arts Activities for Elementary Teaching and Dance Performance just to name a few. Keeton is also the director of the TWU International Dance Company and
has influenced dance education and fine arts in Texas through her work with the Texas Education Agency.
And the Texas Tap Legend Award will go to Laura Price. Price has been involved in the dance world for more than 50 years. She has performed with several local civic dance and theatre companies in productions such as Anything Goes, 42nd Street, Whoopee, Peter and the Wolf, A Chorus Line, The Nutcracker, and Morton Gould’s Tap Dance Concerto.
Price currently teaches at Tuzer Dancenter in Richardson, TX, and Forcher’s Dance Center in Irving, TX.
The 2012 Dance Council Honors will be held Sept. 30 at the Dallas Black Dance Theatre at 2:30p.m.
More information will be available at www.thedancecouncil.org.
Come join other fellow tappers and dance enthusiasts May 22-26 outside the Music Hall at Fair Park prior to the hit Broadway show MEMPHIS!
Every show is unique and it is absolutely FREE!!!!!
The shows start @ 7pm each evening.
Come experience where the shoes meet the blues!!
More info is available here.