Meadows Fall Dance Concert 2017 runs Nov. 8-12 in Bob Hope Theatre


Bolero by Christopher Dolder, photo by Paul Phillips
Scene from Bolero by Christopher Dolder, SMU Meadows Fall Dance Concert 2017. Photo credit: Paul Phillips

Three contemporary works, including newly created pieces by Complexions Ballet co-founders Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson and by Associate Professor Christopher Dolder, are highlights of the Meadows School of the Arts’ Fall Dance Concert. The show runs Nov. 8-12, 2017 in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

The program will open with Dolder’s new version of Bolero, set to a London Symphony recording of Ravel’s famous work. An interactive set featuring a circular stage space, curving ramps and central spire provide the physical backdrop for dancers representing an array of societal archetypes perennially caught in the cycles of life and culture. Dolder, a former soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company, has previously expressed a fascination for architectural design in productions of His Handle (2014), Metropolis (2015) and a collaboration with Canadian wood sculptor Erik More in The Orca Project (2016).

Ascension is a new piece created by Visiting Artists-in-Residence Richardson and Rhoden, featuring a blend of ballet and contemporary dance expressed in sculptural choreography. Complexions Ballet has received numerous honors, including The New York Times Critics’ Choice Award, and has performed at Lincoln Center and The Joyce Theater in New York, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, and most recently at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as part of “Ballet Across America.”  Celebrated for his choreography and wide-ranging collaborations with well-known dance artists, Rhoden has created over 80 ballets for Complexions and for numerous other major companies. Richardson is a Tony-nominated actor and the first black American principal dancer of American Ballet Theatre.

Drop Me Off in Harlem by Moncell Durden Fall Dance 2017 photo by Paul Phillips
Scene from Drop Me Off in Harlem by Moncell Durden, SMU Meadows Fall Dance Concert 2017. Photo credit: Paul Phillips

Concluding the program is Moncell Durden’s Drop Me Off in Harlem, a tribute to the music and dance of the 1930s. Premiered earlier this year, it uses vernacular jazz movement to recount the adventures of three ladies from Pennsylvania who travel to New York City to dance at the famous Savoy Ballroom and watch the battle of the bands between Benny Goodman and Chick Webb. The audience follows Norma, Mabel and Dawn as they navigate the spirited streets, subways and ballrooms of New York and Harlem nightlife. Durden is a choreographer, historian, dance educator and current faculty member at the University of Southern California, where he teaches jazz, hip-hop and improvisation.

Fall Dance Concert performance times are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $14 for adults, $11 for seniors and $8 for students, SMU faculty and staff.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Meadows website or call 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

— Written by Victoria Winkelman

> Buy Meadows Fall Dance Concert tickets online at Vendini

Enjoy this gallery of photos by Paul Phillips from Fall Dance Concert rehearsal. camera, slide show icon


A world premiere, a masterwork and a revival at the 2015 Fall Dance Concert Nov. 11-15

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Deepa Liegal dancing “There is a Time” Photograph by Paul Phillips

The 2015 Fall Dance Concert will feature a world premiere, a masterwork and a revival.

Opening the program is the premiere of Wild and Precious, a contemporary ballet by Robert Dekkers. Created especially for the SMU Dance Ensemble, Wild and Precious is a celebration of both youthful energy and the evanescence of life. Performing choreography that is supremely physical and challenging, the dancers embody the dynamic spirit of “the body electric.”

The program continues with There Is a Time, a masterpiece of modern dance created in 1956 by José Limón and composer Norman Dello Joio, who earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for the score. The work alludes to a chapter of Ecclesiastes and each movement of the work is titled with a biblical verse and embodies the human experience.

The New York’s Joyce Theater invited the SMU dancers to perform There Is a Time at the 70th anniversary celebration of the Limón Dance Company, which honors José Limón’s legacy, in October. The Meadows School of the Arts is one of only nine university dance programs internationally selected to perform.

Concluding the Fall Dance Concert is a restaging of the jazz work Swing Concerto by jazz dance artist and SMU faculty member Danny Buraczeski. The work synthesizes the grounded qualities of folk dance with the exuberance of the swing-era movement.

Fall Dance Concert performance times are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7 for SMU students, faculty and staff. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 214-768-2787 or visit the Meadows website.

Meadows presents 2013 Fall Dance Concert Nov. 13-17


The SMU Meadows Dance Ensemble presents two world premieres and two classical works for a night of stunning performances at its 2013 Fall Dance Concert, Nov. 13-17.

The night begins with a world premiere from an SMU alum as Joshua Peugh (B.F.A. ’06) debuts his work PICK-UP. PICK-UP is performed by 12 dancers and is set to the music of Dave Brubeck, Dinah Washington and deadmau5, combining jazz classics and popular electronic music. After graduating from Meadows Peugh co-founded Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, based in Seoul, South Korea; since opening the company has produced 17 award-winning works in five countries. In a release Peugh said, “The kind of work I am interested in creating will hopefully connect with people on an instinctual level, one that’s Universal to all humans, regardless of the culture they come from.”

Follow Joshua Peugh on Twitter 

The second performance is also a world premiere, this time from John Selya. Selya is a current Meadows School artist-in-residence and will premiere Ain’t Confidential at the Fall Dance Concert. Ain’t Confidential is a female solo performance set to Ride My Arrow by Bill Callahan. Selya is a Tony-nominated dancer and choreographer and has performed in four Broadway musicals.

The night continues with Dark Elegies, choreographed by Antony Tudor. Tudor is one of the 20th century’s most renowned ballet choreographers, and Dark Elegies is his favorite – and considered his greatest – ballet. The performance expresses raw emotion and loss; it is set to Song Cycle Kindertotenlieder by Gustav Mahler.

Joshua Peugh rehearsing with the PICK-UP dancers via Peugh's Twitter
Joshua Peugh rehearsing with the PICK-UP dancers via Peugh’s Twitter

The final performance is Zero Cool, choreographed by Cathy Young. Young is a performer, choreographer and master of jazz dance; she has toured throughout the United States and Europe and been honored for her work. Currently Young is director of the Dance Division of the Boston Conservatory. Zero Cool “uses intricate patterns and highly stylized movement to reference various inspirations.” The unique jazz work is set to Latin American Suite and Far East Suite by Duke Ellington.

The Fall Dance Concert runs Nov. 13-16 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $7 for faculty, staff and students.

Two world premieres highlight 2012 Fall Dance Concert Nov. 7-11

The dancers of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts have worked an entire semester to bring the community the 2012 Meadows Fall Dance ConcertNov. 7-11. This year’s show features two world premieres as well as a restaged work.

Choreographer Bruce Wood working with a student at rehearsal (photo by Brian Hwu)

The premiere of Le Coeur de Ballet was choreographed by Mel Tomlinson. Described as a “romantic celebration of the feminine,” this homage to ballet blanc features 12 dancers in white tutus and is set to Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5  and his “Polonaise” from Eugene Onegin. Tomlinson is a former soloist with the New York City Ballet and is an award-winning dancer and choreographer.

The second premiere of the night is Zing a Little Zong, a new work set to classic American songs choreographed by Bruce Wood. The piece is a mixture of ballet and contemporary dance and will feature live music by Gary Floyd and Denise Lee. Wood lives in Dallas and is the artistic director and choreographer of the Bruce Wood Dance Project.

The Meadows troupe will also perform a restaging of Getting There, choreographed by Billy Siegenfeld, in which the dancers depict an evolution from isolation to a sense of community set to music by Thelonious Monk and Count Basie. Siegenfeld is the founder and artistic director of Chicago’s Jump Rhythm Jazz Project.

“Once you get on the stage you feel the success and joy of working so hard throughout the semester,” says Meadows dancer Aubry Neal. Performances will be held in the Bob Hope Theatre of the Owen Arts Center and take place at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $7 each for faculty, staff and students.

Meadows Dancers working with Choreographer Billy Siegenfeld 

(All photos and videos courtesy of the SMU Meadows Facebook page)

Alumni works highlight SMU’s 2011 Fall Dance Concert Nov. 2-6

2011 Fall Dance Concert at SMU, photo by Sharen King Bradford '76The Division of Dance in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts salutes the centennial of the University’s founding in 1911 by showcasing works choreographed by eight distinguished alumni at its 2011 Fall Dance Concert, Nov. 2-6 in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

Cheryl Chaddick (’77), Anna Marie Ewert-Pittman (’94), Jarrell Hamilton (’09), John Malashock (’75), Annmaria Mazzini (’94), Josh Peugh (’06), Jamal Story (’99) and Max Stone (M.F.A. ’05), all of whom work in the dance field as artistic directors, performers and teachers, were selected from a pool of 35 alumni candidates by a panel of artists and arts administrators from across the nation.

The concert includes new works by three of the choreographers and five restaged works from existing repertory, one of which is a piece performed by two Dance Division alumni who are currently dancing with professional companies in New York.

“It has been a thrill to work with these gifted alumni, some of whom are my former students – and classmates!” said SMU dance professor Patty Harrington Delaney, artistic director of the concert. “They have all done well in the professional world, and they are a huge inspiration to our current students; our undergraduates not only have a chance to work with them in rehearsals and master classes, but learn from their ‘real world’ experience.”

Fall Dance Concert performance times are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $7 for SMU students, faculty and staff. Free parking is available at Hillcrest and Binkley or in the garage under the Meadows Museum. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

[Photographer Sharen King Bradford received her B.F.A. (’75) and MF.A. (’77) in dance from SMU.]

> Buy 2011 Fall Dance Concert tickets online at Vendini
> Read more about the choreographers and their works from SMU News