Archive for the ‘Bruce Wood’ Category

UPDATE: Here’s my review of the show in The Dallas Morning News, though you may need a subscription to read the whole article.

The largest gathering of North Texas performing artists in memory will raise money for local AIDS organizations Tuesday night at Winspear Opera House. The dance world will be represented at A Gathering: The Dallas Arts Community Reflects on 30 Years of AIDS by Texas Ballet Theater, Bruce Wood Dance Project and student ensembles from SMU and the Booker T. Washington arts magnet.

TBT artistic director Ben Stevenson has made a pas de deux set to the so-called “Caccini Ave Maria” for company members Heather Kotelenets and her husband, Alexander Kotelenets. The aria will be sung by countertenor John Holiday, who won this year’s Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition.

Bruce Wood has choreographed three new pieces for the show: Blue for dancers Dallas Blagg, Albert Drake and Harry Feril, set to the Joni Mitchell tune to be performed by Denise Lee; a solo to the Chopin Prelude in E Minor for Kimi Nikaidoh that will use panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt as decor; and Blackbird for Nikaidoh, Feril and Jennifer Mabus to the Beatles song, with Robin Hackett on vocals.

SMU dance professor Millicent Johnnie has worked up MAW Expensive (A Tribute to Fela) for a company of 12 students. And from Booker T., dance coordinator Lily Cabatu Weiss has choreographed This Woman’s Work for Mabus, Dallas Black Dance Theatre company members Katricia Eaglin and Richard Freeman and six students, and faculty member Bridget L. Moore has made Human for six students, and The Road Home for DBDT’s Claude Alexander III and Sean Smith and student Mason Manning.

Both good and inexpensive seats remain for the fundraiser, with the organizers offering half-price tickets. Just use the promo code “artist” without quote marks.


Photo by Sharen Bradford/The Dancing Image

¬†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.

Nycole Ray/Photo courtesy Dallas Black Dance Theatre

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.

Michael Serrecchia (left) touring with Chita Rivera/Photo courtesy Dance Council of North Texas

The Dance Council of North Texas hands out its annual awards Sunday afternoon at the Arts District studios of Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Among the honorees is Michael Serrecchia, an original cast member of A Chorus Line now ploughing his trade as an actor and choreographer for Theatre Three and other local companies. Serrecchia will receive the Natalie Skelton Award for Artistic Excellence.

The ceremony also features performances by DBDT, Bruce Wood Dance Project and eight Dance Council scholarship students. The scholarship program is the beneficiary of the Dance Council Honors. Tickets to the 2:30 p.m. event are $35 and available at the Dance Council website or by calling 214-219-2290. Discounts are available for Dance Council members and students. Press release after the jump.

The other honorees are:

Revathi Satyu, Mary McLarry Bywaters Award for Lifetime Contribution to Dance

Danny Curry, Mary Warner Award for Service to Dance

Dorothy "Dottie" Williams Hunt Kleeb, Larry White Dance Educator Award

Gene Pflug, Texas Tap Legend


Photo courtesy Sharen Bradford/The Dancing Image

Update: Here’s a link to my review in the Morning News, which you’ll need a subscription to fully read; Margaret Putnam’s on Theater Jones; and Mark Lowry’s in the Star-Telegram.

Bruce Wood is the only Dallas-Fort Worth choreographer not named Ben Stevenson to make a name for himself in the past 20 years. But when he lost most of his funding in 2006, Wood was forced to close his decade-old modern dance company. Now, he’s back with a new troupe, Bruce Wood Dance Project, that will test the waters during two nights at the Montgomery Arts Theater inside Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts this weekend. Read my preview story from today’s Dallas Morning News after the jump and check out reports from Art & Seek’s Jerome Weeks here and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Punch Shaw here.