DanceUS.org has designated SMU Meadows School of the Arts’ Division of Dance as one of its “Best College Dance Programs for 2019-2020.” The online portal, which provides articles, editorials and event information for dance professionals, students and enthusiasts, selected 22 schools across 13 states as the country’s top programs. Meadows has also been named in the top 10 B.F.A. Dance programs in the country by OnStage Blog three years in a row, in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. OnStage Blog focuses on theatre, musical theatre, film and media arts, and performing arts. SMU Meadows Division of Dance students study ballet, modern and jazz as well as comprehensive theoretical courses under highly respected faculty who have danced, choreographed or collaborated with renowned dance artists and companies, including Martha Graham, José Limón, New York City Ballet, the Royal Ballet School, Boston Ballet, Rudra Béjart, Eleo Pomare, Lynn Simonson and Billy Siegenfeld. Students, the majority of whom double-major in other areas of study or minor in musical theatre, arts entrepreneurship and more, perform the masterworks of 20th-century greats such as Balanchine, Graham, Fosse, Limón and Paul Taylor, as well as contemporary and jazz artists such as Dwight Rhoden, Robert Battle, Takehiro Ueyama and Danny Buraczeski. Students also learn from distinguished guest artists, including Meadows Prize winners Shen Wei (choreographer, Shen Wei Dance Arts and Beijing Olympics), Michael Keegan-Dolan (co-founder, Fabulous Beast) and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar (founder, Urban
The Spring Dance Concert will feature three world premieres by internationally acclaimed choreographers. Former Paul Taylor dancer Takehiro Ueyama will create a new work set to John Adams’ The Chairman Dances. Featuring powerful athleticism, as well as delicate gestures drawn from his Japanese heritage, Ueyama’s repertoire has been inspired by the beauty in nature, the duality of darkness and light in the universal human condition and the humanity and compassion in day-to-day living. Alex Sanchez, known for his musical theater work on and off Broadway, will create a new group work to George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Sanchez has been praised by critics for works that are “inspired,” “whimsical” and “spectacular.” Dwight Rhoden, co-founder and co-artistic director of the New York City-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet, will close out the program with a new work choreographed to an orchestral suite from Gustav Holst’s The Planets. Rhoden has established a wide-ranging professional career, earning distinction from The New York Times as one of the most sought-out choreographers of the day. BUY TICKETS | MEADOWS AT THE WINSPEAR 2019 Dwight Rhoden, co-founder and co-artistic director of the New York City-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet, will close out the program with a new work choreographed to an orchestral suite from Gustav Holst’s The Planets. Alex Sanchez, known for his musical theater work on and off Broadway, will create a new group work to George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue Alex Sanchez,
By Kylie Madry For 24-year-old Emily Bernet, starting a dance company with her best friend Taylor Rodman was never in the plans. “It was another, ‘we’re crazy people’ kind of move,” Bernet said with a laugh. The two say their company, Bombshell Dance Project, is about what it means to be a woman in a time when women’s rights are changing. The name Bombshell started as a joke, Bernet admits, “but it has this kick to it.” The two dancers are athletes, after all — not Hollywood bombshells — but “we’re obsessed with contradictions,” she said.
From Bollywood to Broadway, How SMU Meadows Dance Alumna Deepa Liegel Found Her Home in New York City
By Kylie Madry (B.A. Journalism, B.A. Political Science ’18) Even at 16, Deepa Liegel knew she wanted to dance with the Mark Morris Dance Group in New York. Now, she’s doing just that — the 24-year-old started her apprenticeship with the dance company in September. “When you find the right company, something just sort of clicks,” Liegel said. “I just felt incredibly at home and I found the place that I wanted to fully give all that I had as a dancer and as an artist.” She always knew New York was in her future.
There will be three exciting contemporary works, including newly created pieces by Complexions Ballet co-founders Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson and by Associate Professor Christopher Dolder, at the SMU Meadows School of the Arts’ Fall Dance Concert, November 8-12 in the Bob Hope Theatre at SMU. The program opens with Dolder’s new version of Bolero, set to a London Symphony recording of Ravel’s famous work.
The SMU Meadows Fall Dance Concert is always a sight to behold. Three contemporary works highlighted the Fall Dance Concert in 2017. With its circular stage space, curving ramps and central spire, Associate Professor Christopher Dolder’s new version of Bolero was equal parts architectural art and bio-mechanical physics experiment. The interactive set and video-projected imagery compel the dancers to accelerate, ascend and literally vault into space in feats of virtuosic toroidal motion.