ARTICLES + REVIEWS
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Bruce Wood Dance has overcome the loss of its founder to become one of America’s most exciting dance prospects
Bruce Wood Dance (BWD) is poised to join the ranks of international touring companies and bring the big heart of Dallas to the rest of the country and beyond. A dynamic, compelling, contemporary dance company, it is built on the vision and prolific output of acclaimed Texan choreographer Bruce Wood.®
Lynne Richardson I International Arts Manager
August 1, 2017
New Moves for a Revered Dance Company
Bruce Wood® is the best choreographer of the past 20 years whom most dance fans have never heard of. That oversight should change when the late Fort Worth native’s company begins touring his unparalleled body of work outside Texas. Formerly known as the Bruce Wood Dance Project, the group has shortened its name to Bruce Wood Dance to reflect its permanence and signed with Austin-based KMP Artists for both national and international bookings.
Its first showcase for presenters comes next month at the Arts Midwest Conference in Columbus, Ohio, but tour dates likely won’t be set for a year or two. The project formed in 2011, four years after Wood closed his first troupe. If not for the strength of the 80 or so pieces he created between 1996 and his death in 2004, the 53-year-old’s legacy might have been lost. Instead, the project has carried on with revivals of his humanistic dances and new work by like-minded choreographers.
Manuel Mendoza I The Dallas Morning News
July 19, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 12, 2017
Bruce Wood Dance Project Changes Its Name to Bruce Wood Dance and Signs with KMP Artists for National and International Touring Opportunities
DALLAS, Texas—Now in its seventh year, Bruce Wood Dance Project continues a tradition of excellence and growth established by its late founder, the acclaimed Texan choreographer, Bruce Wood.® The company announces its name change to Bruce Wood Dance (BWD) to reflect its evolution, success, and stability.
Says BWD president Gayle Halperin, “The name change to Bruce Wood Dance reflects our permanence and strength. We are here to produce and preserve the artistic legacy of Bruce Wood® (1960–2014), and cultivate new works by in-house dancemakers and national artists whose work is about the emotional undertones of daily life.”
BWD also announces its contract with KMP Artists. Established in 2004, KMP Artists is one of the foremost international arts agencies representing dance, theater, family, and music programs. In its new relationship with BWD, KMP will represent the company as its agent for touring outside Texas.
KMP’s founder, Kristopher McDowell, states, “We are happy to partner with and represent this outstanding company from Texas for domestic and International touring.”
“We’re excited to partner with KMP to share our invigorating, inspiring repertoire with new audiences. BWD’s future is bright with possibilities, and I’m grateful to Bruce, whose brilliance paved the way for all of them,” says artistic director Kimi Nikaidoh.
BWD is available for performances and residencies that consist of dance classes for all ages from beginners to professionals. Its repertoire comprises 17 Bruce Wood® revivals. Ranging from poignant to hilarious, and from fiercely dramatic to holiday cabaret, these dances showcase the dynamic breadth of Wood’s oeuvre. The company also performs commissions from acclaimed choreographers Katarzyna Skarpetowska, Bryan Arias, and Andy+Dionne Noble. New works by artistic director Kimi Nikaidoh, rehearsal director Joy Bollinger, and artistic associate Albert Drake III round out the company’s exceptional offerings.
To book the company, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 512–888–9895.
BWD has experienced many significant milestones in its short history: BWD received a 2015–2017 Bloomberg Philanthropies/Arts Innovation Management Grant; and was named to the 2016–2018 Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Roster. The company was awarded the 2016 TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works grant for the creation of Chasing Home, a collaboration between New York composer Joseph Thalken, Albert Drake III, and the Dallas Chamber Symphony to raise awareness of refugees in this region. BWD has been featured on every Top Ten Dance Media List in Dallas since 2011 and was listed as the #1 dance company for three years running by the Dallas Voice in 2015, 2016, and 2017, and 2013 and 2014 Editors Choice in the BEST of BIG D in D Magazine. Resident choreographer Joy Bollinger’s Carved In Stone was named the #1 best work in the 2016 Top Ten Dance Events by critic Mark Lowry of The Star-Telegram. BWD has toured in Texas, Colorado, and New York.
Review: Journeys I Bruce Wood Dance Project I Dallas City Performance Hall
The Bruce Wood Dance Project debuts Albert Drake’s ambitious work about refugees, Chasing Home
“War took everything away, war took everyone away,” a voice says, setting the tone of Chasing Home, Albert Drake’s ambitious new work dealing with the plight of refugees.
Making its debut Friday at the Dallas City Performance Hall as the closing work of Bruce Wood Dance Project’s Journeys, Chasing Home set a somber tone, low key and yet full of yearning, hope, fear, and yes, boredom. How do you cope in a refugee camp when all is in flux and the future a blank?
Margaret Putnam I TheaterJones.com
June 19, 2017
A Dance About The Refugee Experience Debuts Tonight. Meet The Choreographer.
National Refugee Day is Tuesday, and this weekend, Bruce Wood Dance Project will debut a work created to speak to the refugee experience. It’s called Chasing Home and the company received a $70,000 grant from TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund to make it. Journeys—three dances from Bruce Wood Dance Project, including Chasing Home, is tonight and Saturday at City Performance Hall.
The big grant allowed the company to commission original music for the piece, from Joseph Thalken, a composer from New York. And it created an opportunity for Albert Drake. He’s a founding performer with the company, and lately, he’s also choreographing. Chasing Home will be his second major piece for Bruce Wood.
Anne Bothwell I ArtandSeek.org
June 16, 2017
Bruce Wood Dance Project humanizes the refugee crisis in Albert Drake’s Chasing Home, part of the company’s Journeys performance this weekend.
Emily Drake tenderly cups David Escoto’s face in the palm of her hand before he scoops her up and spins her around in childlike glee while the rest of the dancers quietly celebrate in the background. As the duet processes, the two twist, duck and arc around one another while always maintaining their connection through physical touches and eye contact. This marriage ceremony is just one of many poignant moments viewers get to witness in Albert Drake’s new work, Chasing Home, which depicts the day-to-day activities of those currently living in refugee camps as they seek to reclaim their identities. The work features an original score by Joseph Thalken, which will performed live by the Dallas Chamber Symphony at Bruce Wood Dance Project’s (BWDP) Journeys performance June 16-17 at Moody Performance Hall, formerly Dallas City Performance Hall. The program also includes Bruce Wood’s Schmetterling (2004) and Zero Hour (1999) . . .
Katie Dravenstott I TheaterJones.com
June 13, 2017
Creating a work about refugees, Bruce Wood dancer aims for the heart
Creating a dance work that reflects the plight of Syrian refugees has been a daunting task, admits choreographer Albert Drake III. A company member of the Bruce Wood Dance Project, Drake did his research, watching films about the crisis and meeting with aid workers at the International Rescue Committee office in Dallas.
In the end, he and his collaborator, music composer Joseph Thalken, decided to take a universal, humanistic view of the subject rather than trying to tell a linear story. "It's going to be abstract," Drake says of the piece, Chasing Home, which premieres this weekend at Dallas City Performance Hall as the Dance Project opens its seventh season.
Manuel Mendoza I Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News
June 12, 2017
Leap of faith: Composer Joseph Thalken wades into new waters via his collaboration with the Bruce Wood Dance Project
You could call Joseph Thalken a late bloomer. Take for instance: He didn’t compose his first piece, which he dubbed Late Autumn Leaf, until he was already six years old! His first Latin mass didn’t come until he was pushing double digits.
Yeah, you could call him a late bloomer . . . but you’d be dead wrong.
Except in this instance: After decades as a professional composer, musician, conductor, arranger and accompanist, Thalken waited until now to compose his first work specifically as a dance piece.
Arnold Wayne Jones I DallasVoice.com
June 9, 2017
The Next Wave: Young Choreographer Tackles Migration Crisis
Home can be an elusive place. It can be a place of origin or an unknown destination. As the current international refugee situation unfolds, for those caught between worlds, it is the latter. It is this crisis that served as the inspiration for Bruce Wood Dance Project’s world premiere, Chasing Home.
While two of the works on BWDP’s June program, Journeys, will be Dallas premieres of work choreographed by the late founder, Bruce Wood,® Chasing Home is the work of choreographer Albert Drake III.
Nancy Cohen Israel I Patron Magazine I Best of the Arts
June I July 2017
Growing from Within: Bruce Wood®’s Legacy Alive in Journeys
Three years after the death of choreographer Bruce Wood,® his Dallas dance company is thriving. That’s not something anyone could’ve assumed at the time, even the people now building on his considerable body of work so well. It turns out that the Fort Worth native was such a positive influence on his dancers and supporters that he inspired them to become successful stewards of his legacy.
Manuel Mendoza I Arts+Culture Texas
May 23, 2017
CityDance’s 2017 DREAMscape Benefit Gala
Moments into a dimmed house at the historic Lincoln Theatre, an off-stage voice over a loudspeaker made a promise to a buzzing audience: “We’re going to light up the night sky, so dance!”
CityDance’s 2017 DREAMscape Benefit Gala, which brought CityDance DREAM and Conservatory students, professional ballet, and contemporary notables from Washington, D.C. and nationally and internationally touring companies under one roof, delivered on that promise with its whole heart.
From start to finish, the performers created a palpable energy that, by the sound of it, elicited low murmurs to full exclamations of joy in the audience—and pulled us further and further to the edge of the seats, until the standing ovation.
Every facet of its ensemble—the students, professional guest dancers, and special host, performing arts legend Debbie Allen—worked magic with a message. An entire dance community sent a bright signa—loud, clear, each of its phrases marked by powerful, fully arched feet—into the here and now.
Madeline Duff I DC Metro Theater Arts
May 8, 2017