Atlas Performing Arts Center’s Lang Theatre
Three Performances May 18, 19 and 20, 2007
Five Contemporary Dance Works to Include Premieres of Three New Works
Washington choreographer/performer Natalie Moffett Smith’s acclaimed contemporary ballet company, DanceSmith, takes the stage for the first time as the resident performing dance company of the Atlas Performing Arts Center next month.
Three performances Friday May 18, Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20 will include five dance works choreographed by Moffett Smith, including the world premieres of three new works: one solo and two group works. Moffett Smith’s new group work for four women, Bach on the Run, is an uplifting quartet in which contemporary ballet is juxtaposed with a classical score by Johann Sebastian Bach. The shapes and floor patterns combine simple movements of walking and running with complex choreographic structures to create an energetic "contemporary classical" work.
The second premiere is a taut abstract work for five women set to the music of John Adams and John Donne’s poem, Negative Love. An emphasis on the strong use of the arms and a contrast between angularity and fluidity define the movement vocabulary of the work. The movement is tense, at times pulling against itself. Dualities run through the piece. The dancers are at times quite separate, in solitude and unconnected, while at other times they move in unison. Sharp movements bring clarity while more fluid movements reflect a search for that clarity.
Also on the program is Moffett Smith’s duet Arm’s Length. This work was\ described by the Washington Post as "an electrically charged pas de deux" following its premiere at the Kennedy Center last year. The two dancers co-exist in moments of dependency contrasted with moments where they are oblivious to each other. Theirs is a relationship of trust, yet restrained, reticent, at times resisted. There is a magnetic pull that brings them together; they know that they are each other’s safe haven, yet they show little emotion. The work begins and ends in silence, like the unspoken words between them.
Also on the program is Within, a striking trio that unveils three different states of internal introspection. Charlie Barnett’s original score for Within was awarded the 2004 Metro DC Dance Award for Original Composition. "[A]n extraordinarily penetrating look at three different states of human feeling, as danced by three women . . . The dancers created a taut, strained but emotionally authentic atmosphere, aided by Charlie Barnett’s intriguingly acid score." The Washington Post, November 20, 2004.
Following the success of her post-performance audience discussion at the Kennedy Center last year, Moffett Smith will again conduct a post-performance discussion with the audience following the performances at the Atlas on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.
DanceSmith’s Atlas performances take place Friday May 18th and Saturday May 19th at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday May 20th at 2:00 p.m. at the Lang Theatre of the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C. Admission is $25 and $35. Tickets are available from the Atlas Performing Arts Center Box Office at (202) 399-7993 and online at www.dancesmith.us and www.atlasarts.org.
About DanceSmith. DanceSmith is a contemporary ballet company, rooted in classical technique informed by modern dance. Founded by Natalie Moffett Smith in 2002, DanceSmith makes ballet accessible to a wide range of audiences. The company redefines the experience of ballet by the innovative use of classical ballet technique combined with a more contemporary emotional component. The company’s style contrasts the flowing movement and extended lines of ballet with the angularity and weight of modern dance. DanceSmith is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC.
About the Atlas. The Atlas Performing Arts Center is the only community-based performing arts center in Washington. Located in a historic movie theatre complex on H Street in Near Northeast D.C., a once-vibrant corridor of the city that was devastated by riots in 1968, the Atlas formally opened its doors in November 2006 after four years of renovation. In addition to DanceSmith, the Atlas is home to a diverse group of outstanding resident arts organizations including theatre companies, symphony orchestras, choral groups and arts education programs.
Note to Editors: Photographs (electronic or camera- ready) available on request. .
Previous Press Releases
March 19, 2007
December 14, 2005
November 18, 2004
Excerpts from Reviews and Other Press Coverage
DanceSmith Hot & Cool
"Moffett Smith, who founded her highly trained, finely tuned DanceSmith just four years ago, knows her way around a choreographic challenge."
". . . the world premiere of Natalie Moffett Smith's ‘Arm's Length,’ an electrically charged pas de deux on the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater . . . Windom displayed an agitated sensibility, steely attack and coolly detached regard for her partner, Florian Rouiller, who couldn't hide his heartfelt regard for this unyielding partner."
". . . ‘Interior Lining,’ a smartly designed piece apportioned out to a vivacious score by Charlie Barnett. Here those women snapped to attention, with military heel-thrusting walks, sharply timed kicks, dashed out leaps and a tightfisted restraint that lent a mid-20th-century feel."
" ‘Disquiet’ also suggested an edgy alienated mien and, underscored by a lushly baroque Handel composition, the dancers seethed through the work, ready to pounce."
Palisades Resident's Dance Company Is On The Move
""In this day of instant gratification, it’s no secret that dance performances are somewhat of a hard sell to the movie-going public . . . Moffett Smith is grateful for supportive audiences that grow bigger with every performance . . . ""
In Rockville, Keeping Hampton's Legacy Alive
Dancesmith: Extraordinarily Well-Armed
A Variety of Styles Keeps Dancesmith On Its Toes
DanceSmith's Debut: An Energetic Kickoff
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