Before I arrived in St. Louis to become the Artistic & Executive Director of Dance St. Louis, I was very much involved in the creation of new works. Over 45 years have passed since I created my first work for The Joffrey Ballet and I must have done over 100 small works, created some 6 to 8 full length ballets and choreographed and/or directed countless operas. So, when taking over Dance St. Louis, I knew I would have to curtail that aspect of my career. Fortunately, those creative juices have been allowed to flow thanks to the kindness of Saint Louis Ballet, who has asked me in the past to re-stage two of my duets, and MADCO, who performed my Bach Cantata.
Recently, The Big Muddy Dance Company and Paula David came to me and requested that I stage on them “A Media Luz,” a work that I created in 2002 (I think) for the New World Dance Ensemble. The work became a huge hit and was their second calling card along with a work by Robert Battle, director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. I was thrilled to have an opportunity to revisit the work! Tina Santos, my assistant at New World, came to St. Louis to help re-stage it and what an amazing week that was. By the end the dancers were exhausted and already relished in the work. When I returned from touring with New Dance Horizons II, I was able to work with them for a couple of hours. Their energy and performance quality was already at a high peak, just a few touches here and there and the work begun taking incredible shape. I could not hide my satisfaction with their commitment and dedication to the work. Unfortunately, we have to wait until January 18th to see it on stage. But, that will give me the opportunity to be surrounded by the dancers a few more times and feel the connection to the art form we, Dance St. Louis, tries to promote.
If you can, join The Big Muddy Dance Company for their performance in January. It should be fun and so far I am really proud of how they dance this piece and how well the work itself works.
*photos courtesy of The Big Muddy Dance Company