ARTICLES + REVIEWS
Gayle Halperin: Dance Maven
After Launching the Dallas DanceFest and Positioning Bruce Wood Dance Project for Its Future Following Wood’s Death, Gayle Halperin Is a Major Force in the Dance Scene’s Growth
When Gayle Halperin comes up with an idea that could benefit the Dallas dance scene, it is full steam ahead, regardless of the budgetary and timeline pressures associated with producing a large event such as the new Dallas DanceFest, or the personal challenges that can arise from continuing the legacy of the Bruce Wood Dance Project after the passing of choreographer Bruce Wood last May. While Halperin is quick to credit her “village of supporters, patrons and passionate dance lovers, it is clear that she is nonetheless an invaluable part of the local dance community, with her arts organization knowledge, list of contacts and passion for the dance art form . . . Halperin’s ultimate legacy may be succeeding in her goal of making Dallas a “dance destination” in the same vein as New York, Los Angeles, Miami or Chicago. The development of new local performance opportunities, and paying jobs, through projects and events such as those Halperin has helped spearhead are going a long way in helping artists make Dallas home rather than just another stop on a performance tour.
Katie Dravenstott I theaterjones.com
December 22, 2014
More to Come
The Bruce Wood Dance Project’s newly appointed Artistic Director Kimi Nikaidoh talks about preserving Wood’s legacy and the company’s performance of Lovett + MORE this weekend in Dallas
“Since the unexpected passing of choreographer Bruce Wood in May of this year the North Texas dance community has been wondering about the status of the Bruce Wood Dance Project (BWDP), which Wood reinvigorated in 2011 at the urging of arts patron Gayle Halperin. The Fort Worth native started his second company four years after he disbanded his first, Bruce Wood Dance Company, due to financial issues. Since returning to the dance scene three years ago Wood has created six critically acclaimed and original works, including Happy Feet (2011), I’m My Brother’s Keeper (2012) and love, B. (2014). Wood’s chorography is most recognized for its emotional undercurrents, rich imagery and wide range of subject matters.
“Working with Bruce really was magic,” says veteran Bruce Wood dancer Kimi Nikaidoh. “It’s so rare for a dancer to find a choreographer who perfectly fits them and that’s what Bruce was to me. I was never disappointed by what he produced.”
Katie Dravenstott I theaterjones.com
September 12, 2014
Dancing Into a New Season
As the Dallas Chamber Symphony Enters Its Third Season, It’s Adding Dance to the List by Accompanying Bruce Wood Dance Project This Weekend
“Richard McKay is a young conductor, fresh out of the Peabody Conservatory, who took the initiative to start a new performing arts organization in Dallas: The Dallas Chamber Symphony . . . This weekend at Dallas City Performance Hall, the DCS collaborates with the Bruce Wood Dance Project, accompanying the late Wood’s work Piazzolla en Prisa. “‘I was familiar with Bruce Wood and met with him,’” McKay says. “‘We started talking about collaboration about a year ago. We got along really well. His recent death is a real loss. He had a good musical mind and knew a lot of scores. We considered [Aaron Copland’s] Appalachian Spring or some works by Astor Piazzolla . . . ’”
Gregory Sullivan Isaacs I theaterjones.com
September 11, 2014
You Make Me Feel Like Dancin’: Gayle Halperin on Dallas’ Dance Scene
“Dallas’ performing arts scene has been growing tremendously in the past recent years, and although that momentum has mainly been propelled by theater, dance is on its heels. “We have seen a surge, over the past four years, and it’s wonderful,” says Gayle Halperin about the dance scene. “There are more dancers here now, and there are older professionals who want to create and produce work. Everything has been invigorated; it’s been the hope of the Dallas Arts District and it was this chain reaction. You can find funding; it’s hard, but you can . . . ”
Mark Lowry I dallasvoice.com
August 15, 2014
Review: Touch I Bruce Wood Dance Project I Dallas City Performance Hall
The Bruce Wood Dance Project Gives An Extra Emotional, Powerful Performance at Dallas City Performance Hall
“In a dance world full of irony and power, what we love about Bruce Wood is that he offered so little of that. He was the ultimate Romantic, bravely venturing into that forbidden territory of mood and feeling, of love and loss, of yearning for what is forever out of reach.
But he was a Romantic with a modern sensibility, holding back at one point, pouring it all out at other times. Such was the case Thursday night in Bruce Wood Dance Project’s program called Touch, where the opening work, Home, works its way slowly, only to end with an emotional whammy, where in contrast The Only Way Through is Through starts bold and gets increasingly fierce, pulling you along in a raging current . . .
That visceral effect is rare in dance, sweeping the viewer out of his or her mundane world and into one both grand and glorious.”
Margaret Putnam I theaterjones.com
June 15, 2014
Dances with Bruce Wood
Longtime Dance Critic Margaret Putnam Remembers Bruce Wood, the Choreographer Whose Work Brought Hope to the Local Dance Scene
“Seventeen years ago, the Bruce Wood Dance Company seemed to have dropped from the heavens straight onto the stage of Fort Worth Convention Center. In less than three minutes I was hooked. The polish and sophistication of The Intercession of Grace was on a level with Paul Taylor or Twyla Tharp, and I wondered, “could this be a one-shot deal?” . . .
I need not have feared, for from that point on I continued to feel the same awe of Bruce Wood’s work, as well as a tinge of pride. Why pride? Because Bruce was a Texan, his company was based here, and I was part of it—if only as an onlooker.”
June 8, 2014
Bruce Wood, 1960-2014
The Renowned Choreographer of Bruce Wood Dance Project Has Died at Age 53.
“Very sad news in the dance world: Bruce Wood, the choreographer who changed the landscape of local dance and ballet when he formed the Bruce Wood Dance Company in Austin in 1996, moving it to Fort Worth in 1997, has died at age 53. Here's what the folks at Bruce Wood Dance Project, the new edition of his company that resurfaced in Dallas in 2011 . . . ”
Mark Lowry I theaterjones.com
May 29, 2014
Review: Spring Celebration I Dallas Black Dance Theatre I Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House
Love Letter to Ann
Dallas Black Dance Theatre, along with special guests, brilliantly celebrates the career of retiring artistic director Ann Williams.
“There is no better way to honor Ann Williams as she retires from 37 years as the founder and artistic director of Dallas Black Dance Theatre than with dance. And that the company did Friday night with performances that also included guest artists from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, Texas Ballet Theater and Bruce Wood Dance Project . . .
With his usual gift for sophistication and wit, in love, B., Bruce Wood created a romantic frolic with the usual rejections, flirts, switching of partners and new alliances. Jasmine C. Black, Alyssa Harrington and Nycole Ray (Dallas Black Dance Theatre) frolic with Albert Drake and Harry Feril (Bruce Wood Dance Project). But in You Made Me Love You, set to the lyrics of Nat King Cole, Mr. Wood outdid himself: Mr. Drake leaps, bobs, stumbles, falls splat to the ground, bounces up, slides and falls again, unhinged with unrequited love. It is a comic masterpiece.”
Margaret Putnam I theaterjones.com
May 20, 2014
The mission of Bruce Wood Dance Project 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.
My Brother’s Keeper
“Strong, competitive, angry, tender, loving and forgiving. My Brother’s Keeper, a 75-minute (with no intermission) contemporary work choreographed by Bruce Wood conveyed all of those emotions in the sometimes-complicated context of male relationships.” For the full article, please visit insidedance.com.
Lynn Singer I Inside Dance Premier Issue 2014