CriticalDance Forum

Complexions (Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson)
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Author:  Azlan [ Mon Aug 27, 2001 10:34 am ]
Post subject:  Complexions (Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson)

News Flash! I received this from a clandestine source Image :<P><B>November 1-4, 2001</B><BR>Music Center of Los Angeles at the Ahmanson Thearte Presents <I>Complexions</I>, a new company created by Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, formerly of Alvin Alley American Dance Theater.<P><I>Complextions</I> blends traditional and modern dance styles in their work.<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited October 28, 2001).]

Author:  Azlan [ Wed Oct 10, 2001 8:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Complexions (Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson)

From the flyer:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>IF YOU LIKE ALVIN AILEY, THEN THIS IS YOUR NEXT STOP!<BR> "RHODEN'S CHOREAGRAPHY IS LIKE A MOLTEN LAVA FLOWING WITH UNDENIABLE POWER" - New York Times - <P><BR>COMPLEXIONS<BR>Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson artistic directors<BR>MUSIC BY; Earth, Wind & Fire; James Brown; Charles Veal, Jr.; Antonio Carlos Scott<P><BR>Nov 1-4 Ahmanson Theatre - LA Music Center<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>[Thanks, MD]<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited October 28, 2001).]

Author:  trina [ Fri Oct 12, 2001 5:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Complexions (Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson)

Has anyone seen this company lately? Dwight Rhoden is an awesome choreographer. I saw a work of his "Igneous Rhapsody" set on Spectrum Dance Theater several years ago. I thought it was the strongest piece I've ever seen them do. Also, the word on Desmond Richardson is that he is a true, but largely unsung, virtuoso, an American Baryshnikov. A couple of different dancers have told me that. But we haven't seen nor heard much about him here on the West Coast! Anyone?

Author:  Azlan [ Sun Oct 28, 2001 6:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Complexions (Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson)

[Moving Basheva's post here]<P><BR>From the Los Angeles Times:<P><B>Where Each Movement Is Tailor-Made<BR>Complexions dance company dresses its members in the choreography that best suits each body.</B><P>By DIANE HAITHMAN<P> Image <P><font size=1>Complexions will make its L.A. debut at the Ahmanson Theatre.<BR>STEVE VACCARIELLO</font><BR> <BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>According to Funk & Wagnall, there are no gender restrictions on the word "muse." The dictionary defines the term as "any spirit or power that inspires an artist." Still, because the Muses of Greek mythology are goddesses who preside over the arts and sciences, it's hard not to envision the muse as a woman.<BR> Not so in the case of New York City's Complexions, a multicultural contemporary dance company that performs Nov. 1-4 at downtown's Ahmanson Theatre. For company choreographer Dwight Rhoden, 39, the muse is 31-year-old Desmond Richardson, a fellow former dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater who founded Complexions with Rhoden in 1994.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF=",1419,L-LATimes-Theater-X!ArticleDetail-45786,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><P><BR>

Author:  Basheva [ Mon Nov 05, 2001 6:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Complexions (Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson)

From the Los Angeles Times:<P><B>DANCE REVIEW<BR>Complexions Troupe Puts on Its Best Face<BR>Superb performances put a brilliant sheen on Rhoden's mostly dull, uninspired choreography in genre-fusing program at the Ahmanson.</B><P>By LEWIS SEGAL, Times Dance Critic<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Complexions is essentially a pickup company enlisting 21 dancers (plus guests) on loan from some of the finest ballet and modern dance ensembles in America. But everyone worked together skillfully enough to redeem an evening of shallow, derivative, in-your-face Dwight Rhoden choreography on the opening night of a four-day run at the Ahmanson Theatre on Thursday. <BR> A former dancer in the Alvin Ailey company, Rhoden specializes in rootless, desperate-to-please choreography. However, when his work is in the keeping of paragons such as Uri Sands, Miho Morinoue, Jamal Story and Complexions co-director Desmond Richardson, his crude effects matter less than their inspired execution.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF=",1419,L-LATimes-Search-X!ArticleDetail-46180,00.html?search_area=Blended&channel=Search&search_text=%22Dance+Review%22" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A>

Author:  Azlan [ Mon Nov 05, 2001 11:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Complexions (Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson)

LaraH's post moved from another thread:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Complexions was created by Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden in 1994. Richardson was formerly with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and American Ballet Theater, where he performed the lead role in the company’s premiere of “Othello.” <BR>Rhoden, who is the company choreographer, also danced with Alvin Ailey as well as several other companies but is known now for his innovative choreography.<P>This company is really different than anything I have seen to date. A eclectic mixture of styles from contemporary ballet to Broadway-type show-stoppers, gymnastics to modern. I was amazed!<P>I preferred the balletic numbers overall but enjoyed the rest as just pure entertainment.<P>The opening number “From Me to You in About Half the Time” was incredible. All through it I kept thinking “wow!” Rock solid ballet technique displayed by innovative choreography. Think if you will, “Steptext” by Forsythe, but with more emotion. <P>Edwaard Liang, a former NYCB soloist, deserves special mention. My seat had terrible site lines so much of his performance was lost, but what I saw was outstanding and he received a large ovation from the audience.<P>Dance legends Carmen de Lavallade and Gus Solomons, Jr. performed a piece called “It All” to music by Bjork consisting of lots of arm movements and emotions. I figure that the lady must be in her 70s but still elegant and together they were very expressive. <P>Since I was having such a hard time seeing, I decided to move from my Row C center seat to the back of the theater during the first intermission. Much much better! I wasn’t being beaten to a bloody pulp by the music and I could see! <P>The orchestra seats in the front of the Ahmanson are horrid. Not raked and one seat directly behind the other. So, if one has a big-headed guy sitting in front of one, one can’t see!<P>After the intermission Sheri “Sparkle” Williams performed a piece call “Growth” and her skills as a physical fitness trainer were well used. The audience loved her non-stop athleticism. After the first two numbers, this one was rather a surprise and I finally figured out this was not your mother’s night out at the ballet kind of company.<P>Music by James Brown set the tone for Sarita Allen and Marc Mann dancing the blues in an excerpt from “Please Please Please”. Another crowd pleaser.<P>And then the dancer I most wanted to see — Desmond Richardson in a solo. <P>First off this man has a body that has no fat on it, nary an ounce and every muscle is finely delineated. He looks like a moving sculpture, body that is art, passing through time and space with power and grace — all parts connected, never stopping but heart-stopping in beauty and complexity. A hand movement that looks like Michelango’s David come to life. <P>The only number after that that made any real impression on me was Ave Maria performed by Valerie Madonia and Meredith Rainey. Her steely strength en pointe was another highlight and he was a perfect partner. <P>It was too bad that this powerful number followed Richardson’s as I was still rather stunned from his solo.<P>The last two numbers in the Act I were nice, but, just nice. “Givin’ Up” with Don Bellamy and Michael Thomas and “Wiegen Lied” with a host of dancers were not striking. Just nice.<P>Act II was not exactly my cup of Earl Grey. “Higher Ground” set to music by Earth Wind & Fire was just too Broadway for me. Not that it wasn’t good, I just preferred the ballet numbers more. It was a fun and highly energetic piece — I don’t think the dancers hardly stopped moving at all while they were on stage. But after the first numbers this was a light-hearted let down. Although the rest of the audience would disagree with me!<P>For more on this fascinating company including some awesome photos check out their web site<BR> <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited November 05, 2001).]

Author:  trina [ Mon Nov 05, 2001 9:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Complexions (Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson)

Wow...that LA Times review was not pretty. I must say, the one piece I've seen of Dwight Rhoden's I absolutely LOVED, done here in Seattle for Spectrum Dance Theater. A piece called "Igneous Rhapsody". And it appears that this Complexions concert featured some serious heavy hitter dancers, including Carmen deLavallade (an early Ailey collabortor and charter member of Lester Horton's original company) and Gus Solomons JR. And Desmond Richardson I've just heard awesome things about...hmmmm. Anybody out there seen this group recently. Any other opinions?

Author:  laraH [ Tue Nov 06, 2001 9:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Complexions (Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson)

Well I just wrote my uneducated impressions after seeing the company Saturday night.<P>Desmond Richardson is one of the amazing dancers I have ever seen!<P>lara

Author:  Misa_danseuse [ Mon Jan 07, 2002 9:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Complexions (Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson)

<B>The Artistry Found at the "Low" End of Art</B><BR>Article in the NY Times By Jennifer Dunning<P>Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson gave a party for friends, acquaintances and total strangers on Friday night when their Complexions company performed at the Joyce Theater as the second attraction in the Altogether Different Festival.<P>The urge to dance was almost irresistible on both sides of the stage when Mr. Rhoden, the evening's choreographer, allowed himself to erase the divide between high and low art. With one exception Mr. Rhoden was most persuasive when he reveled in the considerable artistry that may be found at the "low" end of the range. And at the evening's best and worst, there were always exciting dancers to enjoy.<P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A> <BR>

Author:  Azlan [ Tue Jan 22, 2002 11:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Complexions (Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson)

Writes Deborah Jowitt in the Village Voice:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Non sequiturs are a way of life in Dwight Rhoden's From Me to You in About Half the Time, shown at the Joyce as part of "Altogether Different." The super-dancers of Complexions (the company Rhoden runs with Desmond Richardson) kick high, smack the floor, turn, clap, whirl one arm, look to the right—that kind of thing.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href= target=_blank>More</a>, in the second article of the linked page.

Author:  Azlan [ Tue Sep 24, 2002 10:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Complexions (Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson)

Entertainment, Fashion & Automotive Industries Raise $750,000 For Entertainment Industry Foundation's National Arts Education Initiative
Rodeo Drive Transformed For JAGUAR'S TRIBUTE TO STYLE ON RODEO DRIVE September 23, 2002


A performance under the stars by the renowned New York-based dance group, Complexions finished the evening.
<a href= target=_blank>More</a>, on Yahoo!

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Oct 21, 2002 11:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Complexions (Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson)

Patrick Swayze introduces dance company to Detroit
By Barbara Hoover / Detroit News Dance Writer

Struggling dance companies, give Patrick Swayze a call.

Swayze, the hunky dancer turned movie star ("Dirty Dancing," "Ghost"), and his dancer-wife, Lisa Niemi, like nothing better than to shout the praises of dance companies they admire.

That's why Swayze will be in Detroit today and Saturday to introduce an edgy, multimedia, modern dance company called Complexions, founded in 1994 by Alvin Ailey dancers Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson. It's making its Detroit debut at Music Hall. Swayze will say a few words from the stage before each concert and also host a benefit afterglow at the Detroit Athletic Club following Saturday's performance.

click for more

Author:  trina [ Mon Oct 21, 2002 12:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Complexions (Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson)

It's so wonderful that someone like Swayze, who has gone into the movie world, still keeps his roots in dance. And vocally supports groups that he likes-I find this heartwarming. In these days of waning support for the arts, at least public money, the private sector and private citizens are really crucial for our survival. :D

Author:  Malcolm Tay [ Thu Nov 28, 2002 12:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Complexions (Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson)

Jack Anderson in The New York Times (25 Nov. 2002):

Complexions, the dance company directed by Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson offered a gala program called "Live and Let Dance" on Saturday night at the Hudson Theater. It was full of life and the virtuosic dancing never seemed to stop. The troupe thrives on high-voltage choreography and its dancers, trained in both balletic and modern-dance techniques, know how to sweep across the stage in gales of energy.
<A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>More...</B></A>

Author:  Azlan [ Tue Dec 31, 2002 10:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Complexions (Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson)

Eva Yaa Asantewaa writes in the Village Voice (I have to admit I sympathize with her):

I must admit a bias against dances that fuse ballet's extensions, kicks, jumps, and swift turns with jazzy, funky moves, sexy costumes, and pumped-up music—and have nothing else to say.
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