What makes you shine? Together with guest choreographers and dancers, the Richland College dance program is asking that question and will be celebrating the collective, vibrant glow of our unique inner lights during its spring concert, “Illumination,” with performances at 12:30 and 7:30 p.m. April 5.
“Illumination” will feature student dancers and professional guest performances and choreography in the dance genres of contemporary modern, jazz, tap and hip-hop, and it is directed by Richland College dance director Gina Sawyer. When work began on this performance, Sawyer invited the dancers and choreographers to imagine and create pieces that reflected his or her own individual take on the subject, and the theme began to evolve and take shape into the idea of hope and light in a world of individuality.
“Our theme of ‘illumination’ is about the individual light that each one of us carries and contributes to the world,” said Cheryl Callon, dance faculty member at Richland College. “That light is important, even among the billions of other lights on our planet.”
Dance choreography and film work will include original pieces by Callon, Cooper Delgado, Lauren Schieffer-Holley and guest choreographer Laura Pearson. Featured guest performers include Dark Circles Dance Company, directed by Joshua L. Peugh, and Choreo Records Tap Company, directed by Keira Leverton.
A dancer, teacher and choreographer, Pearson trained at the Texas Ballet Theater School, attending numerous summer intensives with companies such as Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Texas Ballet Theater and Dallas Black Dance Theater. Her professional dance credits include Ballet Dallas, Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet, Bruce Wood Dance Project, a tour of China with Art.if.Act Dance Project, 6 O’clock Dance Theatre, Zion Dance Project and Wanderlust Dance Project.
Dark Circles Contemporary Dance was founded in 2010 in Seoul, South Korea. The company’s Dallas branch is led by Peugh, an international award-winning choreographer and one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch.” Dark Circles has been hailed by the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram as “the area’s most exciting dance company” and awarded “Best Dance Company” by D Magazine and the Dallas Observer. Since its inception, the company has performed both nationally and internationally.
Leverton comes from a dance background—her grandfather was Buster Cooper, an influential tap dancer who founded the dance program at the Hockaday School. Much of her exposure to the tap community was through tap festivals such as the Chicago Human Rhythm Project and the Third Coast Rhythm Project, and she trained with a variety of professionals, including Gregory Hines and Yuji Uragami. Leverton has performed worldwide at venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Wembley Stadium in London.
The Richland College dance program provides a challenging teaching and learning environment for students who value diversity. The program develops artistic excellence, fosters creative and collaborative practices and encourages personal agency and social responsibility in appreciating dance.
“Illumination” is free and open to the public in the Fannin Performance Hall on the east side of the Richland College campus. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road. Additional information is available at www.richlandcollege.edu/dance.