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September 20th, 2006

Press Contact:

Michael J. Moore

tel: 212-777-7771

fax: 212-777-4457 email: managementATcomplexionsdanceDOTorg



October 14th – 15th, 2006

COMPLEXIONS: 1st American Company to perform Ulysses Dove’s

Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven

* * * * * *

WORLD PREMIERE by Dwight Rhoden

NEW YORK, NY - The acclaimed dance company COMPLEXIONS Contemporary Ballet (co-Artistic Directors Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson) will be making it’s premiere at NJPAC’s Victoria Theater (36 Park Place, in the heart of downtown Newark, NJ) on Saturday, October 14th at 7:30 pm and Sunday, October 15th at 3:00 pm as part of the Alternate Routes Series. COMPLEXIONS will debut Ulysses Dove’s 1993 masterpiece, Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven (they will be the 1st American company to perform this visually and emotionally stunning work). The program also features Hissy Fit, a World Premiere by Dwight Rhoden, and Red/ The Force - an excerpt from Rhoden’s full-length work ANTHEM. Tickets are $38 and can be purchased by calling 1-888-GO-NJPAC.

The weekend’s special program, which includes a Company Premiere by master choreographer Ulysses Dove, a World Premiere by Rhoden, and the revival of a Company Favorite from the COMPLEXIONS’ repertoire, was arranged through a partnership between artists Mr. Rhoden and Mr. Richardson, and the Producer/Curator of NJPAC’s Alternate Routes Series, Baraka Sele. Ms. Sele says of the program “We are always looking for a unique quality in the artists that we present. We are not looking for just another performance, or the usual repertoire…I seek out artists who also want to do something challenging, who want to step outside the box. I understand that’s not always easy, so I am really grateful to Dwight and Desmond for being open and creative and having the willing spirit to work with me in this kind of way.”


Ulysses Dove (1947-1996) was a pioneering artist whose choreography pushed the boundaries of ballet into the modern realm. Desmond Richardson worked closely with Dove at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Dwight Rhoden danced for Dove at Ailey, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal. Mr. Richardson says of Dove, “He challenged my artistry and took me to the next level - I feel a sense of pride about being an ambassador of his work by sharing it with other dancers.” Mr. Rhoden recalls, “Dove single-handedly had the most profound impact on my artistic development. Its important that his work is not lost just because we’ve lost him”.

Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven (subtitled Odes to Love and Loss) is the first Ulysses Dove work to be added to the COMPLEXIONS repertory. Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven was choreographed in 1993 for the Royal Swedish Ballet. Created for 3 couples and set to Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, by Estonian composer, Arvo Part, the 20 minute work is comprised of 3 sections: love, friendship, and letting the spirits go. Although it has never been performed by an American company, Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven premiered in the US at a benefit for the Actor’s Fund titled For the Love of Dove, just days after Dove’s AIDS-related death in June, 1996.


Dwight Rhoden, a former principal dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, has created over 60 ballets for COMPLEXIONS, as well as numerous other companies, including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Joffrey Ballet, New York City Ballet, Ballet Austin and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. The New York Times has called him "a master of invention" and described his choreography as "hot molten lava, flowing with undeniable power."

Rhoden’s latest work, Hissy Fit, is a suite of high voltage dances for 11 performers that captures the uncontrollable emotional impulses that frame our human relationships.

COMPLEXIONS will also perform Rhoden’s Red/ The Force, an excerpt from the full evening work ANTHEM which premiered in New York in 2002. ANTHEM is a commentary on current political and cultural events through the abstract interpretation of the 3 colors of the American flag. Consisting of 3 sections, Red/The Force, White/The Clearing, and Blue/The Game, ANTHEM was conceived pre 9/11, but is inspired by the new world that we live in post 9/11.



Wednesday, October 4th, 5:30-6:30

City Center Studios (130 West 56th Street. Between 6th and 7th Avenues.)

Members of the press are invited to preview an excerpt of COMPLEXIONS performing Ulysses Dove’s Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven. Clips will be shown from the 1995 Emmy Award winning documentary, Dance in America: Two by Dove. A reception with Artistic Directors, Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, will follow. Space is limited- Please contact Michael J. Moore at (212) 777-7771 or managementATComplexionsdanceDOTorg to reserve a spot.


Sunday, October 15th, 12:30-5:30

Day trip from New York City to NJPAC in Newark, New Jersey.

Friends of COMPLEXIONS will travel by charter bus to NJPAC for the Sunday matinee performance. The trip will feature an on-board screening of the 1995 Emmy Award® winning documentary, Dance in America: Two by Dove. At NJPAC, guests will attend a champagne brunch reception with Artistic Directors, Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson before viewing the 3:00 pm performance. Tickets are $150. Please contact Michael J. Moore at (212) 777-7771 or managementATcomplexionsdanceDOTorg for more information.

Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven was made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts’ American Masterpiece: Dance initiative, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts. Hissy Fit and Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven were both made possible by commissioning support from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. This season and Red/ The Force were both made possible by R. Brandon Fradd, Chairman of COMPLEXIONS’ Board of Directors.

* * * * * *


Conceived by Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, two former stars of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, COMPLEXIONS Contemporary Ballet aims to bring together artists of diverse artistic and cultural backgrounds, using their interaction as a springboard for cutting-edge creativity. “We pushed the envelope from the very beginning, giving artists who never would have had a chance to dance together an opportunity to do so,” says co-Artistic Director, Desmond Richardson. “Pointe shoes, flats, high heels – from ‘pointe’ to ‘pop,’ our goal is to explore each dancer’s individuality and to come up with something completely new and extraordinary.”

Rhoden adds, “as a diverse company, we reflect the fabric of America – a melting pot of differences, a huge bouquet of distinctly separate parts that together amount to an amazing, awe-inspiring whole. We are experimental – we have dancers of all ages, we do pointe work that is informed by the emotional sensibility of modern dance, we work with theatrical concepts, we use texts, we do site-specific works. Our company also carries a strong social and cultural message – if you use dance to bring people together, and the audience sees all these different colors, qualities and textures together on one stage, it sends a very important message of unity, which is, ultimately, what our company is all about.”

Following their sold-out debut performances at Symphony Space in 1994, COMPLEXIONS went on to tour extensively throughout the United States and abroad, including U.S. performances at The Joyce Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Lincoln Center in New York; the Mahalia Jackson Performance Arts Center in New Orleans; The Paramount Theater in Seattle; the Music Hall in Detroit; and the Los Angeles Music Center, among many others. International tours have included Italy’s Festival of Dance; Isle de Dance Festival in Paris, France; Holland Dance Festival; Steps international Dance Festival in Switzerland; the Dance Festival of Canary Islands, Spain; Festival des Arts de St. Saveur in Canada; and recent tours to Russia, Korea, Greece, and Australia.


Desmond Richardson (Co-Artistic Director) received his early dance training at New York High School for the Performing Arts, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, and the International Academie des Tanz in Koln, Germany. In 1986, he received a Presidential Scholar Award for the Arts. Richardson has performed as a principal dancer with many companies around the world, including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, the American Ballet Theater and Ballett Frankfurt. He has also performed as a guest artist with such companies as the Swedish Opera Ballet, Teatro a La Scala, and the San Francisco Ballet. Richardson received a 1999 Tony Award Nomination for his performance in the Broadway musical, Fosse, and appeared in the Oscar-winning film of Chicago, as well as in Patrick Swayze's film, Without a Word. Richardson co-founded COMPLEXIONS with Dwight Rhoden in 1994.

Dwight Rhoden (Co-Artistic Director, choreographer) has been choreographing for over 22 years. He has created over 60 ballets for COMPLEXIONS, as well as for numerous other companies, including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York City Ballet/Diamond Project, Dance Theater of Harlem, Philadanco, Washington Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Arizona Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company, Oakland Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Phoenix Dance Company in England, and many others. He has also choreographed for film, including Patrick Swayze’s feature, Without a Word. Rhoden is a recipient of the 1998 New York Foundation for the Arts Award and the 2001 Choo San Goh Award for Choreography. He has performed with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater before co-founding COMPLEXIONS with Desmond Richardson in 1994.

* * * * * *

COMPLEXIONS Contemporary Ballet is performing the following schedule at the

New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Victoria Theater:

Saturday, October 14th – 7:30pm

Sunday, October 15th – 3:00pm


Hissy Fit by Dwight Rhoden

Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven by Ulysses Dove

Red/ The Force (Excerpt from the full length ballet, ANTHEM) by Dwight Rhoden

Tickets, $38, can be purchased by calling 1-888-GO-NJPAC (1-888-466-5722), Mon.- Fri., 10am - 6pm. Tickets can also be purchased online at http://www.njpac.org

For more information about the Company, please visit www.complexionsdance.org

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