ON THE MOVE
New Moves for a Revered Dance Company
By Manuel Mendoza I The Dallas Morning News I July 19, 2017
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.
On August 29–30, the company performs excerpts from Bruce Wood®’s compelling repertory, including RED, My Brother’s Keeper, and Lovett! in Columbus, Ohio at the Midwest Conference. A beautifully written article by Dallas dance patron and freelance writer Lynne Richardson appears in the August issue of the UK-based magazine, International Arts Manager. Click here to read it.
PHOTO BY JENNIFER FERMAINT
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, BWD 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.
VIDEO BY JEVAN CHOWDHURY
VisitDallas partnered with visionary British director Jevan Chowdhury to produce Moving Dallas, an acclaimed short film that celebrates the marriage of dance and transportation in Dallas. Capturing international performers in real settings, Moving Cities features cities through the medium of film and dance and the concept of shared space between city life, art, and locomotion.
In 2016, Chowdhury selected Dallas as the latest Moving Cities project to showcase the city’s vibrant growth, amazing architecture, and rich cultural landscape of working artists. Dallas is the first American city to be featured, joining cities such as London, Prague, Athens, Brussels, and Paris in the Moving Cities movement.
“There’s no better time to explore the cultural heart of America,” Chowdhury said. “Dallas, a mythical city rich in American legend, has accelerated full speed into this century. Big cars, trucks, and skylines—it truly is a stage for amazing dance talent.”
Moving Dallas premiered at the VisitDallas Annual Meeting on December 1, 2016 and will be shown at art and film festivals around the globe, where these stunning films have been celebrated and awarded, including at the Aurora public art event in Dallas.
“We’re honored that Moving Cities chose Dallas as their first film project in America,” said Phillip Jones, President and CEO of VisitDallas. “It makes perfect sense. We have the largest contiguous arts district in the United States and a rich diversity of people, dance styles, and cultures. It’s a modern and moving demonstration of Dallas’ performing arts scene.”
Using Chowdhury’s trademark kinetic cinematography, Moving Dallas marries classical ballet, line dancing, contemporary dance—and even cheerleading—with the iconic Dallas cityscape, hidden streets, freeways, and Fair Park, all showing the vibrant, exciting energy that is Dallas.
The almost eight-minute film features Bruce Wood Dance Project, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dance Council of North Texas, TITAS, and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, among others.
“The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are thrilled to have been chosen to represent Dallas in Moving Cities,” said Shelly Bramhall, Associate Choreographer. “We love that the iconic uniform was taken out of the stadium and into the cityscape of downtown Dallas, showcasing the art and movement of dance. Being one of several established performance groups on this project is truly an honor.”
The project was sponsored by VisitDallas and executed by a steering committee that was instrumental in bringing the film to fruition.
“Moving Cities celebrates our city like never before,” said Charles Santos, Executive Director of TITAS and steering committee member. “Our skyline, ever evolving with cranes and buildings, big personalities and big ideas—this film pays homage to the diversity and excitement of growing Dallas.”
Shot during three grueling weeks in the blazing heat of Dallas’ September weather, the film features 17 locations and 56 dancers from 10 dance companies and organizations.
“When people think of Dallas they tend to think of us in only one way, and we wanted to show off the breadth of Dallas dance, from folklorico to classical Indian to hip-hop,” said Gayle Halperin, steering committee member and President of the Bruce Wood Dance Project.
Chowdhury founded Moving Cities in 2014. It stems from his love of dance and fascination with the standardization and mechanization of cities. The project has transformed from a cultural European initiative to an award-winning global inventory with productions in Nairobi and Barcelona planned for 2017.
Cities are mesmerizing. Moving Cities celebrates this.
“This film shows our city in a completely different light—expression, energy, progress, change, diversity. I’ve never seen a city through dancers’ motion, and it just graced everything so beautifully.”
PHOTO BY JEVAN CHOWDHURY
MOVING CITIES CAPTURES THE SPIRIT OF DALLAS THROUGH DANCE