Complexions Contemporary Ballet – at the Music Center

Complexions Contemporary Ballet's Jillian Davis (photo by Vikki Sloviter Photography)
Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s Jillian Davis (photo by Vikki Sloviter Photography)

Three nights only – this weekend – Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center hosts Complexions Contemporary Ballet (Complexions) as it returns to The Music Centers Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on April 15-17, 2016 with three performances of mixed repertory. Billed as Americas Original Multicultural Dance Company, Complexions focuses on reinventing dance with an emphasis on the artistic and aesthetic appeal of performances that celebrate the similarities and differences of a multicultural nation.

Under the artistic direction of Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, who were hailed by The New York Times as two of the greatest virtuosos ever to emerge from Ailey land, Complexions presents a compelling contrast in one evening, from contemporary ballet en pointe to contemporary dance. With a multicultural cast of 14 dancers who are trained in both the classical and the contemporary, the company will perform six pieces that showcase their technical precision and passion for exploring the delivery of important societal messages through movement and music. This engagement includes the west coast premiere of a choreography that honors the legacy of Maya Angelou, as well as a tribute to the universal sound of Stevie Wonder.

According to Rachel Moore, president and CEO of The Music Center, Complexions exemplifies the type of risk-taking and innovation that compels audiences. As artists, Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson are dedicated to delivering transformative work that is rooted in diversity and have committed themselves to what they call a world without boundary, Moore said. The Music Center is excited to provide the platform for a company that has redefined the possibilities for dance, she added.

Complexions repertory will feature:

Ballet Unto, a neoclassical full-scale work, en pointe. Set to music by Johann Sebastian Bach, this piece rolls onto the stage with a bold and sprawling emotionality as seven couples interact in an intimate abstraction of love;

Gone, with music by Odetta. In Gone, three men explore states of destitution, loneliness and hopelessness, only to find in each other the will to survive through camaraderie and brotherhood;

Cryin to Cry Out (excerpt), with music by Jimmy Scott. This piece uses the composers delivery of ponderous lyrics and his elongated vocal style to send a message of resilience in the face of adversity;

Choke, with music by Vivaldis The Four Seasons/summer section. Choke is a duet for two men that highlights opposing qualities and competitive energies;

Testament, set to Amazing Grace/traditional. This excerpt explores the tension of spiritualism within the context of faith and devotion;

Imprint/Maya, with music by David Rozenblatt. A salute to author, poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou, this piece conveys a struggle through an intense movement dialogue that stems from within. It combines a street vernacular with a classical articulation to express verse and rhyme in a solo of truth; and

Innervisions, set to the music of Stevie Wonder. Featuring classics such as Fingertips, Livin for the City, Ghetto Land, Uptight, My Cherie Amour, Superstition, and As, among others, Innervisions celebrates Wonders singular, distinctive musical sound and impact.

Winners of numerous awards, including The New York Times Critics Choice Award, Complexions has appeared throughout the United States and internationally. Heralded by the Washington Post as Cross-cultural ballet with attitude and by The New York Times as sculpture in motion, the company creates an open, continuously evolving form of dance that reflects the movement of the world and all of its cultures as an interrelated whole.


Complexions Contemporary Ballet


The Music Centers Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012


Friday, April 15, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 16, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 17, 2016, 2:00 p.m.

Ticket prices: Start at $34.00

Box office:

The Music Centers Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office, 135 N. Grand Avenue,

Los Angeles, CA 90012


Phone: (213) 972-0711

For 10 tickets or more, call (213) 972-8555 or email

Pre-performance DANCETALKS in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Stern Grand Hall one hour prior to each performance, led by USC Kaufman School of Dance School Director and Vice Dean Jodie Gates. DANCETALKS are also available in real time by calling 1-800-371-8200 (access code 314902#) and can be heard after the engagement on The Music Centers Soundcloud channel at

For more information about the performance, visit

Flex subscriptions for Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center are available online at or by calling (213) 972-0711. Single tickets for Complexions Contemporary Ballet start at $34 and are available at The Music Centers Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office, 135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012; by calling (213) 972-0711; and online at musiccenter/complexions. For groups of 10 or more, call (213) 972-8555 or email

Ticket holders can get a behind-the-scenes perspective by joining DANCETALKS, on-site discussions held at the theatre one hour before curtain. For Complexions, DANCETALKS will be led by Jodie Gates, inaugural director and vice dean of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance at the University of Southern California. DANCETalks are also available in real time by calling 1-800-371-8200 (access code: 314902) and can be heard after the engagement on The Music Centers Soundcloud channel: Visit The Music Centers blog, OneThirtyFive//Grand, at for more information about the performance.

About Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Founded in 1994 by Master Choreographer Dwight Rhoden and artistic director and dancer Desmond Richardson, Complexions takes a singular approach to reinventing dance through a groundbreaking mix of methods, styles and cultures. Today, Complexions represents one of the most recognized and respected performing arts brands in the world, having presented an entirely new and exciting vision of human movement on five continents in more than 20 countries, to more than 20 million television viewers and to well over 300,000 people in live performances. For more information, visit

About The Music Center

The Music Center is Los Angeles home to the worlds greatest artistic programs and events. With four iconic theaters and four renowned resident companies  LA Phil, LA Opera, Center Theatre Group and the Los Angeles Master Chorale  and recognized for its illustrious dance programming, Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, The Music Center is a destination where audiences find inspiration in the very best of live performance, as well as nationally recognized arts education and participatory arts experiences. The Music Center also programs and manages Grand Park, a 12-acre adjacent greenspace, with year-round free programming. For more information, visit and follow The Music Center on Facebook and Twitter (@MusicCenterLA).

About Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center

As The Music Centers highly regarded dance series, Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center is one of the leading presenters of dance on the West Coast. The celebrated series offers significant works by prestigious ballet and contemporary dance artists from around the world. Entering its second decade, Dance at The Music Center continues to be a powerful commissioning force through the support of new works and artists-in-residence projects by todays most influential companies and choreographers. Performances take place throughout The Music Centers historic Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, its distinctive Ahmanson Theatre, and its iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall, providing the ideal setting for inspiring dance experiences. For more information, visit

Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


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