By Steve Sucato
16 April 2019
Point Park’s student Conservatory Dance Company closes out its dynamic 2018-19 celebrating the opening of the University’s new 60 million dollar Pittsburgh Playhouse at Fourth and Forbes Avenues with its Spring Dance Concert, April 18-21 at the Playhouse’s PNC Theatre.
Following in the footsteps of prior programs on the season, the Spring Dance Concert is a mixed repertory program featuring works by high profile choreographic names and Point Park alumni.
One of the biggest names in dance, Christopher Wheeldon, the 2015 Tony Award-winning choreographer for An American in Parisand artistic associate of The Royal Ballet, puts CDC’s dancers to the test in his ballet “The American.”
Premiered by Carolina Ballet in 2001, the 26-minute ballet derives its title from and is set to Antonin Dvorak’s “String Quartet in F Major Op. 96 (American Quartet)”. Says former New York City Ballet dancer Michele Gifford who staged the ballet on a dozen (six male/female couples) of CDC’s dancers, it gets its inspiration from “America’s topography and skylines”.
One of two works on program by former Point Park students, visiting teaching artist in Jazz and 1999 graduate Kiki Lucas’ “The Vessel” has had several iterations since its premiere by Houston Metropolitan Dance Company in 2013 that featured male soloist and fellow Point Park faculty member Jason McDole. For this latest incarnation, Lucas has set three sections of the original 35-minute work on CDC’s dancers that she felt were the most dynamic.
Danced to original music by Ben Doyle and the United Kingdom’s Matthew Barnes (a.k.a. Forest Swords), the 11-minute excerpt for nine women and six men takes its inspiration from research Lucas did on “the learning patterns and trials and tribulations of kids with cochlear implants,” she says.
Read the full article in the Pittsburgh Current.