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Complexions Contemporary Ballet opens 27th season with live performances at The Joyce Theater

Complexions Contemporary Ballet in 'LOVE ROCKS'. Photo by Justin Chao.
Complexions Contemporary Ballet in 'LOVE ROCKS'. Photo by Justin Chao.

Complexions Contemporary Ballet (Complexions) returns to live performance at The Joyce Theater from November 16-28. Now in its 27th season, the company rolls onto the stage with two soulful programs featuring its signature boundary-breaking style and a roster of some of today’s most exciting performers.

In its first week (Program A), the company will present the world premiere of SNATCHED BACK from the EDGES. Originally conceived as a series of episodic dance films in early 2021, dance enthusiasts will be captivated by emotive movements that force us to consider the challenging time we are faced with in America. Themes of isolation, racial injustice, fear, loss, power, pride, activism and love are examined through the lens of today’s generation. SNATCHED BACK from the EDGES celebrates the strength and resilience of the human spirit as we navigate an unprecedented time in history. Set to a diverse soundtrack featuring spoken word by Terrell Lewis and music including Beethoven, Jon Batiste, Shirley Caesar, Tye Tribbett, Jessye Norman, Le’Andria Johnson and Aloe Blacc; each vignette builds its own story by invoking a raw and unfiltered response to real emotions. For the second half of this program, Complexions will present last season’s hit ballet LOVE ROCKS, a full company piece set to works by the iconic Grammy Award-winning singer, producer and songwriter, Lenny Kravitz. Inspired by his vision and eclectic musicianship, this piece will follow Kravitz’s musical exploration where his lush melodies and retro musical style lay a foundation for passionate storytelling through edgy, athletic and theatrical movement that examines humanity and its vulnerability.

Complexions' Simon Plant and Tatiana Melendez. Photo by Rachel Neville.
Complexions’ Simon Plant and Tatiana Melendez. Photo by Rachel Neville.

SNATCHED BACK from the EDGES is meant to be a chronicle of the human spirit with all of its vulnerabilities,” said Dwight Rhoden, co-founding artistic director and choreographer for Complexions. “As the world faces a momentous time in history, we as people must face one another. We know that the challenges and our response to them ultimately determine our future. We naturally dig in for the answers and are aware that the solutions — yet to be realized — may be simple, but never easy.” 

In the second week’s program (Program B), guests can experience Truly, Madly, Deeply, a suite of repertory favorites that capture the infinite beauty and grit of the heart. Included will be the soul-stirring solo Elegy dedicated to and inspired by Rhoden and Desmond Richardson’s belated mothers, excerpts from Bach 25 and SNATCHED BACK from the EDGES, amongst others. For the second half of this program, Complexions will present LOVE ROCKS.

During the run, November 18 will be dedicated to Complexions’ annual benefit performance.Proceeds from the benefit performance will continue to help build Complexions’ educational initiatives through scholarships, mentorship programs and the continued development of Rhoden and Richardson’s methodology of dance training. The benefit performance will give audiences an opportunity to see the next generation of performers as they grace the Joyce stage. In addition to the company performing excerpts from SNATCHED BACK from the EDGES and the full LOVE ROCKS program, there will be a world premiere performed by the students of Complexions’ pre-professional program.

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