Texture Contemporary Ballet looks to go Boundless | Dance | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Texture Contemporary Ballet looks to go Boundless 

“I have some dancers in sneakers, some in socks and some in pointe shoes.”

Texture Contemporary Ballet’s Katie Miller and Alan Obuzor

Photo courtesy of Mark Simpson Photography

Texture Contemporary Ballet’s Katie Miller and Alan Obuzor

Named for the freedom of expression dance can offer, Texture Contemporary Ballet’s new program, Boundless — Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at the New Hazlett Theater — features four world-premiere ballets. And per usual for the troupe, all but one will be created by Texture’s prolific resident choreographers, Alan Obuzor and Kelsey Bartman. 

The 100-minute program in two acts opens with lone guest choreographer Robert Poe’s new ballet “Suspended Menagerie,” danced to an eclectic music mix ranging from George Frideric Handel to Icelandic ambient music duo Jonsi & Alex. Poe, speaking by phone from St. Louis, says that the 13-minute ballet for five dancers was inspired by his work with Alzheimer’s-disease patients as a company member and rehearsal assistant for St. Louis’ The Big Muddy Dance Company.

“We think of memories as very solid and ongoing, but really they are not, because this disease can snatch them away in a second,” says Poe.  

The Aiken, S.C.-native performed as a guest dancer with Texture in 2011. He says of his contemporary ballet’s title that it reflects the idea that memories are fragile; he imagines them as precariously suspended by a thin wire that could be snapped at any time.

Next, Bartman and Obuzor join forces on the five-minute duet “YES,” danced to music by Denver ambient-rock band Anesthesia. Obuzor describes it as being all about the individual movement qualities of dancers Rachel Harman and Victoria McWilliams, who will perform it.

Bartman’s new 28-minute ballet “Journey to Closure” is performed to music by Max Richter. Bartman says the struggle she experienced trying to realize her initial ideas for the work led her to relate it to other people’s everyday struggles, and how we can find resolutions in ways we hadn’t foreseen. 

Closing the program is Obuzor’s 37-minute ballet “Timbre,” set to music by Alt-J, The Airborne Toxic Event and others. Says Obuzor, “For my piece, I have some dancers in sneakers, some in socks and some in pointe shoes. I wanted to push myself to create a unique piece that explores differences and similarities.”  



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