Gay run Beckles Company dances into 11th year
Small dance companies often struggle just to stay afloat. Dallas’ Nova Dance Company, which formed in 1995, had a difficult time just surviving after founder Andre George died of HIV complications in 1996. His partner, Loris Anthony Beckles, then a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, took over for George and served as Nova’s artistic director. Two years ago, Nova changed its name to the Beckles Dancing Company. On Friday, the group presents “News at 11,” a performance that celebrates their 11 anniversary with repertory selections and guest dancers.
The three-act “Astu” piece is based on Kwanzaa principles and features music by Douglas Booth, Somei Satoh and Abbey Lincoln.
Domenico Scarlatti dances the double sonata piece “Scarlatti / W.” Originally created in 2002, “Wood” is a group dance to a composition by vocal wonder Bobby McFerrin.
Three guest companies will be joining Beckles: the Kumaasi African Ensemble will perform three traditional dances to live music; the New York Baroque Dance Company will perform two solos from the 1700s, including a masked dance; and the Lisbon Elementary School “Character Counts” Dance company premieres “Disaster/Response,” which was created by three choreographers as part of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs Neighboring Touring Program. Beckles Dancing Company is currently in residence at Lisbon Elementary School.
Daniel A. Kusner
Kurth Hall, Sammons Center for the Arts, 3630 Harry Hines Blvd. April 7 at 8 p.m. $15. Reservations recommended 214-559-3993. BecklesDancingCompany.org
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, April 07, 2006.