New York City’s most daring contemporary ballet company, Complexions will light up the stage at Kensington’s Parade Theatre next week with post-modern ballet that is both sassy and bold.
The modern dance company will perform several new works, including an exciting final act, Rise, that plays against a medley of music by U2.
The show also features the music of Muddy Waters, Rachmaninov and Billie Holiday.
Complexions founder and dancer Desmond Richardson, who has made a name for himself on US shows like So You Think You Can Dance, said the step which synchronized the 16 professional dancers from the contemporary dance company was they all had something else to say.
“It’s not just all about technique but it’s about soul and your spirit, we ask why are you in the room, why are you dancing. Because it can’t be superfluous, it has to be honest and real and that’s what the audience gets,” Richardson said.
The Tony-nominated performer who has bopped with Aretha Franklin and popped with Michael Jackson hails from a background of street and hip hop dance.
He started Complexions Contemporary Ballet 16 years ago with choreographer Dwight Rhoden with the aim of pushing the boundaries of what dance could be.
Richardson, who has also performed alongside Madonna and Prince, said his first step into commercial dancing was when he was handpicked by Jackson at 17 years to star in his “Bad” music video.
He said street quality helped him “because Michael wasn’t looking for me to do jets, he wanted me to do popping”.
Richardson said Complexions harnessesed the strengths of varied dance forms and it aimed to inspire its audiences through the passion and physicality of dance.
“Dancers are instruments,” he said. “And versatility is name of the game.”
Complexion’s world tour lands at the Parade Theatre from October 5-10.