UPDATE: Bruce Wood let his choreography and dancer Nycole Ray do most of the talking Saturday afternoon at the TEDxSMU conference, where this year’s theme was “disruption.” “I usually don’t explain dances,” Wood said before briefly doing just that, then stepping aside for a performance of the solo he made for the Dallas Black Dance Theatre veteran a year ago, At the Edge of My Life…So Far. “Change happens when something needs to break…You can either resist it or pass right through it.”
Ray began the piece sitting at a table covered in flour but was soon jumping on and around it, scattering white powder in the air, on the floor and all over her long and elegant maroon dress. Wood’s movement patterns were sharp and angular, especially Ray’s arms, which wheeled and flapped as if acted upon by an unseen force or internalized frustration.
She pounded the table with her fists, rolled across it, and flailed into it with sudden changes of direction. Away from the table, she made tight turns and grasped at her head and face. While others at TEDxSMU talked of disruption, Wood and Ray brought the theme to physical fruition.
Ahead of his debut of three new dances Tuesday at Winspear Opera House, Bruce Wood is speaking and demonstrating at this year’s TEDxSMU at the Wyly Theatre. The theme of the all-day conference Saturday is “Disruption,” and Wood is bringing along Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Nycole Ray for a performance of the disruptive solo he made for her last year, At the Edge of My Life…So Far.
The dramatic dance is typical of Wood’s quasi-narrative style, depicting one woman’s distress with the help of a table covered in flour. The conference, which runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., is invite-only but will be live-streamed on the Web and at three venues, including the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff. Wood and Ray should be taking the stage between 2:30 and 3 p.m. during the second of three sessions, according to Unfair Park.
Wood returns to the Performing Arts Center on Tuesday night for A Gathering: The Dallas Arts Community Reflects on 30 Years of AIDS, where the Bruce Wood Dance Project will perform three new works.