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DYING SWANS

Dying Swans, choreographed by Artistic Director Kevin Thomas, was created in response to a 2007 New York Times article entitled Where Are All the Black Swans. The piece re-imagines the Dying Swan solo made famous by Anna Pavlova for 4 swans. Collage presents this work as both an homage to the many Black swans, often uncounted, who have contributed to the art form and as a call to action to address the gross inequities that exist in classical ballet so that articles like these no longer need to be written.

Choreography: Kevin Thomas, inspired by M. Fokine
Music: Camille Saint-Saëns
Lighting Design: Wilburn Bonnell
Costumes: Gabby Moros
Dancers: Company

Now, like so many of us, Collage is navigating a new way to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our students are being tasked with continuing to train from their homes with live virtual classes each week. Our company members, whom we’re committed to continuing to employ amidst canceled tours and performances, are awaiting reopened venues. Our studios, typically bustling with activity, remains closed for now. Your support, large or small, will help our organization survive such uncertain times.

DANCER SPOTLIGHT

THE RATE IN WHICH I AM – RE-ENVISIONED

Choreographed by Joshua Manculich, The Rate In Which I Am explores the rate in which we live our lives. Manculich believes that our life’s speed determines the quality of our relationships and overall experience.

Collage company members re-envision this powerful piece about life and living. Separated not by light this time, but by sheltering in place.

Joshua Manculich
Music: Mike Wall, Dustin O’Halloran
Dancers: Company

SAINT GLORY

SAINT GLORY the latest work by Amy Hall Garner draws inspiration from her grandparents’ Catholic and Baptist roots. In her own words, “SAINT GLORY honors the memories I have of accompanying my grandparents to Sunday church services in Louisiana. My Grandmother, a devoted Catholic, and my Grandfather, a choir member for over sixty years in the Baptist church, instilled in me the importance of faith, the ritual of religion, and the exclusive richness of African American culture. Sharing those moments with them are sound imprints of my childhood, one that I cherish and carry with me each day.

Choreography: Amy Hall Garner
Music: Madison’s Lively Stones, Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin, and Wynton Marsalis
Lighting Design: Wilburn Bonnell
Costumes: Gabriela Moros Diaz
Dancers: Company

FRANKLY SPEAKING

Darrell Grand Moultrie’s crowd-pleaser Frankly Speaking performed to the music of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.

Choreography: Darrell Grand Moultrie
Music: Aretha Franklin
Lighting Design: Mac Smith
Costumes: Kilby Yarbrough
Dancers: Company

GRAVITY

Gravity, featuring words by Charlie Chaplin from the film The Great Dictator is an inspiring cry for more kindness, gentleness and humanity for all.

“You, the people have the power – the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure….”

Featuring company members Luisa Cardoso, Rickey Flagg II, Miyesha McGriff, Leonard Perez and Ashley Simpson in Memphis, Tenn. Captured by Jacob Geyer for Pigeon Roost.

SWAN LAKE (ACT II) – EXCERPT

Swan Lake is a timeless love story that mixes magic, tragedy, and romance into four acts. It features Prince Siegfried, performed by Fábio Mariano, and a lovely swan princess named Odette, performed by Paunika Jones. Under the spell of sorcerer Von Rothbart, performed by Caio Rodrigo dos Santos, Odette spends her days as a swan swimming on a lake of tears and her nights in her beautiful human form.

In fall 2019, Collage performed Swan Lake Act II set to music performed live by The University of Memphis’ The Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Harvey Felder.

Choreography: Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov
Revised Choreography and Stage Direction: Kevin Thomas
Music: Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Performed by University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music University of Memphis Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Professor Harvey Felder
Costume Design: Peter Farmer
Costumes courtesy of Royal Winnipeg Ballet Wardrobe
Set Design: Sets courtesy of Nashville Ballet
Lighting Design: Wilburn Bonnell
Coaches: Lisa Ballo and Yosek Prieto

Dancers:
Odette: Paunika Jones
Prince Siegfried: Fábio Mariano
Von Rothbart: Caio Rodrigo dos Santos
Big Swans: Collage company members and guest artists Courtney Cochran, Trinity Cox and Cortney Key
Swans and Cygnets (Little Swans): Collage Ballet Conservatory

COME RAIN OR SHINE

Choreographed by Princess Grace award recipient Joshua Manculich for Collage, and premiering spring 2019 in Memphis, Come Rain or Shine gives into the emotive power of movement and change.

Challenging himself to create a piece that is different from his previous two works with Collage, Manculich crafted a quartet with two distinct pairs of dancers – one group is dressed in blue and the other in dark yellow, symbolic of rain and shine respectively. Throughout the entire piece, each pair is in constant conversation with the other, signifying that life’s journey is full of ups and downs, but despite the fluctuations, we must keep the faith and trudge forward.

Choreography: Joshua Manculich
Music: Ezio Bosso and Nina Simone
Lighting Design: Wilburn Bonnell
Costume Design: Gabby Moros
Dancers: Luisa Cardoso, Miyesha McGriff,
Fábio Mariano and Caio Rodrigo dos Santos

TRILOGY

Choreographed by Kevin Iega Jeff, TRILOGY is an emotionally charged work reflecting on the painful struggle for civil and human rights from 1863 to present in three movements. Movement I: Lamps – 1849 and Movement II: Bridge – 1963 were originally commissioned by the National Civil Rights Museum for presentation during their annual Freedom Award. Movement III: Mood – 2014 had its world premiere during RISE 2020 presented by Collage Dance Collective in Memphis, TN

Choreography: Kevin Iega Jeff
Dancers: Company
Music: Bobby McFerrin, Cantus and Roberta Flack
Lighting Design: Wilburn Bonnell
Costumes: Gabriela Moros
Videography: Pigeon Roost

WE GO ON

WE GO ON follows Collage Dance Collective 3,000 miles to French Guiana to host master classes and perform for the country. But not without incident. This short film documents our tumultuous tour, our resilient dancers and the togetherness that helped us to prevail.

Captured by David Roseberry for Pigeon Roost.

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