Stories from the Night Before
What happens when you bring together some of the best dance artists from the worlds of ballet, modern dance and musical theatre with a director-choreographer who has a penchant for making narrative dances? You get an event that Maurice Brandon Curry calls “Stories from the Night Before.”
Stories from the Night Before is an evening of dance-theater choreographed by internationally acclaimed director and choreographer Maurice Brandon Curry. The evening presents some of the best dancers working today from the companies of American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Momix, and the casts of hit Broadway shows. It is also a celebration, through dance, of some of the most prolific musical artists in the world ranging from J. S. Bach to Miles Davis to The Rolling Stones. The performances will be held March 16-17, 2014 at 7:00pm at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City.
Maurice Brandon Curry has assembled a dazzling array of artists from ballet, modern, and Broadway casts. He proudly states, “Working with just ONE of these dancers would be any choreographer’s dream. But to have them all together is almost an embarrassment of riches.”
Stories from the Night Before will feature company members from American Ballet Theatre (Nicole Graniero, Sean Stewart, Katherine Williams, and Calvin Royal III), New York City Ballet (Savannah Lowery, Soloist and Sara Mearns. Principal), Momix (Todd Burnsed), former members of Parsons Dance Company, Les Grands Ballet Canadiens, and Joffrey Ballet as well as cast members of four currently running Broadway shows (Motown the Musical, Cinderella, Wicked, and After Midnight).
“Whenever two people are on stage, there is an implied relationship,” says Mr. Curry. “Every aspect of the piece: choreography, music, lighting, costumes, are all evocative of narrative work. So in my creative process, I just assume to, go for it! Tell a story!”
Mr. Curry feels that dance, when used as a device to tell a story, sometimes comes up a little short. However, it happens to be Mr. Curry’s strong suit. As a result of his work as both a stage director and filmmaker, Maurice Brandon Curry uses narrative devices effectively in his choreography that result in bold, provocative, and often touching portraits of his characters. This evening of his work is definitely a defining chapter in his very diverse career.
“It’s wonderful to see all genres of dance come together in one piece”, Savannah Lowery of New York City Ballet told Dance Informa. “Working with and getting to know everyone has been amazing. It has made me open up to new ideas and inspired my own dancing in new ways. When we are all in one room together you really see how versatile and widely talented Mr. Curry is. He allows me to try new things and expand beyond the world of ballet. Stories from the Night Before is my chance to escape the bun and let my hair down. I even trade in my pointe shoes for a pair of heels! Maurice challenges his dancers to always be better. It’s an incredibly, inspiring experience.”
The show is designed to take you on an artistic and emotional journey through several short works, that culminates in what we ultimately set out to do as dancers, which is to entertain.
“I am beyond thrilled and honored to be reunited with Mr Curry, and dancing in this incredible production,” said Broadway performer Sterling Masters. I met Maurice when I was 14 and a student at the Joffrey Ballet School. We just clicked artistically! After dancing professionally with other former students of his in A Chorus Line and Wicked, it is amazing to collaborate and work together on the professional level. He is a joy and an inspiration to dance for.”
Dancer Eric Bourne agrees: “Working with Maurice Curry has been one of my first highlights of 2014. After our first rehearsal for Stories From the Night Before, I knew that I was working with one of the most passionate, exciting artists in the dance world. He has an ability to marry movement with the music, like no one I’ve worked with before. It has value, thought, and substance. The group of talent he has collected for his show is beyond words, all professionals of different backgrounds who bring so many amazing facets to his work.”
Part of the proceeds from the evening will benefit Dancers Care Foundation, an organization that provides funding for cancer research and awareness. Since its inception since 2002, Dancers Care Foundation has raised over $925,000! This year, with the help of Stories from the Night Before and other fundraising efforts, they hope to make it to $1 million.
For more information and tickets visit www.storiesfromthenightbefore.com.
Photos by Andrew Holtz.