"It's a big party," says emerging Atlanta choreographer Juel D. Lane of his up-coming dance show "A Night of Choreography with Juel D. Lane and Friends,” playing for one night only this Thursday, May 10, at the Southwest Performing Arts Center. "It's me saying thank you. These are people who I respect so much, and a lot of them have been in my corner."
Lane recently made a bit of Atlanta dance history, wowing audiences with his piece "Moments of Dis" at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in March as he became the first independent Atlanta-based choreographer ever to be commissioned by the Atlanta Ballet. As his own career as a choreographer takes off, the evening is a way of celebrating and saying thank you to the teachers, mentors, colleagues, collaborators, dancers and choreographers who have helped him out along the way.
The buzz around Lane and the opportunity to see so much talent on one stage in Atlanta have turned "Lane and Friends" into one of the hottest tickets of the dance season.
Lane himself will perform a short solo in addition to showcasing two pieces at the performance. The Atlanta Ballet will perform excerpts from his hip-hop inflected work "Moments of Dis," and his students from North Carolina School of the Arts, where he currently teaches as part of a year-long residency, will perform the work "Touch and Agree."
The program also includes a solo performance by renowned New York choreographer and dancer Camille A. Brown. Lane and Brown attended North Carolina School of the Arts together. The duo also danced together in the Ronald K Brown/Evidence dance company, and he continues to work with her and her New York-based company. "Watching Camille A. Brown dance in person for the first time is like watching a hummingbird in nature for the first time," raved the Boston Globe about a recent Brown performance.
"You're going to see a lot of contemporary work but with very different voices," says Lane of the mixed program featuring the work of eight choreographers in all. "You'll see a little bit of hip-hop, a little contemporary, a little contemporary ballet."
New York-based choreographer Ja’Malik of BalletBoyProductions will present a duet inspired by William Shakespeare’s sonnets, and North Carolina choreographer Rachel Sherertz will offer “To Have and To Hold,” a meditation about the challenges of married life. Daryl Foster, founder of the LIFT evening of dance for African-American men, offers “Lost in Translation," and North Carolina choreographer Kristin Taylor of KT Collective in Durham will bring her solo "The Lost." Atlanta-based choreographers on the program include Spelman College’s Meredith A. Moore and Ursula Kendall Johnson, producer and performer in the recent “SHE created it” showcase, who will present an all-female group work.
"I've always been a collaborator with different people, and I've been featured on other people's programs, but I felt like 'Let me host a show,'" says Lane about creating the evening. "And I always knew I wanted to have some really cool friends be a part of it."
“A Night of Choreography with Juel D. Lane and Friends” is scheduled for May 10, 2012 at 8 pm
at Southwest Arts Center. Tickets are $15.00. For more information or to purchase tickets please visit www.jueldlane.net.
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