Opening the program is the premiere of Confluence, a new contemporary ballet for eight dancers by Adam Hougland, set to music by current British composer Joby Talbot (Everest, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland). “The work shows the evolution of a relationship,” said Hougland. “There is an uncertain meeting, a youthful encounter, a dark turning point and then finally a resolution. Six dancers serve as a chorus providing the impetus for change, the energy that propels the couple on their journey. In creating this work I was really inspired by the dancers’ youthful exuberance and artistry – the piece is a beautiful distillation of all their passion, energy and strength!” Hougland, a Dallas native and principal choreographer for the Louisville Ballet, has won the Princess Grace Award for Choreography, the Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography and a New York State Council on the Arts grant and was one of Pointe magazine’s “10 VIPs of 2006.” He was also named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to watch” for 2011.
The program continues with To Have and To Hold, choreographed by Danial Shapiro and Joanie Smith in 1989 in response to the devastation of the AIDS epidemic. Images of love and loss emerge as six dancers move on three simple wood benches. At times they dive fearlessly across them but then use the simple wood spaces to find connections with others. The work is to an original score by Scott Killian and is dedicated to “those we have loved and lost but not forgotten.”
The concert concludes with Avalon (1985), choreographed by jazz dance professor Danny Buraczeski on commission for the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. It is an athletic and sparkling romp for eight dancers set to jazz classics by the great Lionel Hampton and Buddy Rich. The score will be played live by members of the Meadows Jazz Orchestra. Buraczeski, a nationally known jazz dance artist, created the work while he was artistic director of the acclaimed Minneapolis-based company Jazzdance. The New York Times said, “It packs a lively wallop”!
Performed in the Bob Hope Theatre.