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Verzola’s Luminescent Inspired & Set to the Music of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges.

Program also Features Joshua Manculich’s Trust Me, Francisco Aviña’s Letting Go To Let In, and Amy Hall Garner’s Bluff City Blues.


October 17, 2023 (Schenectady, NY) — Collage Dance – recently named one of the 50 largest ballet companies in the nation by Dance Data Project – is performing at Proctors Theater in Schenectady, NY on Friday, November 3, 2023 at 8:00pm.

This will mark Collage Dance’s debut at Proctors and will be a special opportunity to see the company on tour in the Northeast.

The evening’s dynamic program of mixed repertory features the world premiere of Durante Verzola’s Luminescent, a vibrant new ballet inspired and set to the music of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Chevalier de Saint-Georges was a prolific Black composer from the 18th Century, who was believed to have inspired Mozart. The piece consists of four movements that demonstrate the technical and artistic abilities of the dancers, pushing them to connect deeply with the music, showing its intricacies and nuances.

Durante Verzola, who has choreographed multiple works for Miami City Ballet, remarks, “Luminescence is light that’s created without the use of heat. I wanted to give an abstract version of that quality through the movement of the dancers. I think what’s so beautiful about dance is that you don’t have to use words to communicate, you can feel a whole rainbow of emotions through something that does not have a story.” He continues, “I’m really excited for the audience to see not just the technical proficiency that the dancers have been working on, but how expressive and artistic they’re being through their movement.”

Collage Dance’s exciting and diverse program also includes: Princess Grace Award winner Joshua Manculich’s Trust Me, an intimate duet set to the haunting music of Mercedes Sosa which queries the very meaning of trust, Francisco Aviña’s chilling contemporary ballet Letting Go To Let In, and Amy Hall Garner’s jubilant Bluff City Blues, set to the brilliant music of Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and Koko Taylor, and drawing inspiration from Collage Dance’s hometown of Memphis.

Artistic Director Kevin Thomas says, “We’re looking forward to bringing exciting new works like Durante Verzola’s Luminescent to those beyond our Memphis community. Touring the nation is a thrilling journey for us and the Collage company artists, providing a special opportunity to share our collective love for the art form with avid dance lovers and new audiences alike. We’re incredibly intentional with the repertoire we present each touring season and this one is no different. It’s full of diverse, thoughtful programming that is sure to touch hearts and create incredibly memorable evenings in the community.”

Prior to the start of its 23-24 touring schedule, Collage Dance presents its 13th Annual Jazz Gala Fundraiser, a fall brunch benefiting the Collage Dance Conservatory, on Sunday, October 29, 2023 at 2:00pm at the FedEx Event Center at Shelby Farms in Memphis, TN. The company then follows its Proctors debut performing at the Grand Theatre in Frankfort, KY on Friday, November 10, 2023, the Glema Mahr Center for the Arts in Madisonville, KY on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, the Midland Center for the Arts in Midland, MI on Saturday, November 25, 2023, and the Whiting Auditorium in Flint, MI for Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker on Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3, 2023.

Collage Dance’s fourteenth season is made possible through generous support from the Mellon Foundation,
The Hyde Family Foundation, SouthArts, ArtsMemphis, Tennessee Arts Commission, Shubert Foundation, and
the International Association of Blacks in Dance.


Event Information

Collage Dance Collective at Proctors Theater
Friday, November 3, 2023 at 8:00pm
Proctors Theater | 432 State Street | Schenectady, NY 12305
Tickets: $20.50 – $55.50
Durante Verzola – Luminescent [World Premiere]
Joshua Manculich – Trust Me
Francisco Aviña – Letting Go To Let In
Amy Hall Garner – Bluff City Blues


About Collage Dance

Collage Dance, recently named a “Southern Cultural Treasure” by South Arts and the Ford Foundation, and listed among the 50 largest ballet companies in the nation by Dance Data Project, is one of the largest Black-led performing arts organizations in the South and one of just a few professional ballet companies in the world with a roster of BIPOC dancers.

Working to inspire the growth and diversity of ballet, Collage Dance Collective showcases a repertoire of relevant choreography and world-class dancers representative of the communities we serve. The professional company has presented thirteen full-length seasons in Memphis, plus national and international touring presenting a diverse range of classical and contemporary choreography from George Balanchine, Nacho Duato, Ulysses Dove, Joshua Manculich, Amy Hall Garner, Kevin Iega Jeff and more. The work of Collage Dance Collective has been featured in media outlets including Huffington Post, Allure, Yahoo!, The Commercial Appeal, Afropunk, Dance Magazine and Pointe Magazine.

Its institutional arm, the Collage Dance Conservatory, trains more kids of color in a classical art form than any other non-profit in the region. More than 1,000 students each week study dance through Collage’s in-school dance education programs and on-site at its new 22,500 square foot state-of-the-art facility, Collage Dance Center, opened in December 2020. The Conservatory’s unified curriculum coupled with a rigorous culture of excellence, hard work, and high standards provides students with a first-rate experience. Students are challenged, nurtured and prepared for the rigors of a professional career on or off the stage.

Collage Dance also runs the Collage Dance Continuum, which seeks to dramatically increase access to dance and movement classes for Memphians, regardless of age, ability, disability, or body type. The Continuum is a collection of community engagement initiatives, collaborative partnerships, adult classes, and courses for adults with no previous dance training. The Continuum offers affordable classes in a non-competitive, affirming environment with master teachers at the top of their craft.

Learn more at



Contact: Mallory McFarland | Morahan Arts and Media | (646) 241-0899

Shalishah Franklin
Cell (213) 949-3204