ARTICLES + REVIEWS
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
The mission of Bruce Wood Dance is to present high-caliber, original, contemporary choreography that
harnesses the power of dance as a tool for entertainment, enrichment, and healing. Fortified by Bruce Wood®’s
aesthetic, BWDP produces and maintains his repertoire, commissions new work by resident choreographers and
guest dance-makers, and contributes to the quality of life in Dallas Fort Worth, Texas, and across the nation.
Bruce Wood Dance Company is a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization. We are grateful for the support of our sponsors.
Bruce Wood is a registered trademark.