2001 Concert Press Release | Back to Archive

For Immediate Release
January 22, 2001

March 23, 24, 2001
Cullen Theater, Wortham Center

HOUSTON, TX – Dance Salad will present its ninth annual evening of curated dance on Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24, 2001 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cullen Theatre at Wortham Center. Producing Director Nancy Henderek has orchestrated an artistically rich evening of contemporary dance, harmoniously blending a diverse program that presents some of the world's most compelling dancers and choreographers. This year's Dance Salad presents a mixed repertoire including contemporary ballet works performed by the well-known European company, the Dutch (Het) National Ballet from Amsterdam in their first-ever appearance in Houston; soloists from the renowned Donald Byrd/The Group of New York City; the sensational Chinese dancer, Xing Liang, who performed to critical acclaim in last year's Dance Salad Asia; RhythMEK, a new company comprised of three former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater principals; soloist Jan-Erik Wikstr¶m, a Royal Court and principal dancer of the Royal Swedish Ballet; Terese Capucilli, associate founder of Buglisi/Foreman Dance and a former star of the Martha Graham Dance Company, with Kevin Predmore, also from Buglisi/Foreman Dance; and the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company.

Tickets for this spectacular evening of dance are available from $15 to $35 at the Wortham Ticket Center box office by calling (713) 227-ARTS (2787) or purchased at the ticket window located at 550 Prairie.

The Performance Program
Sixteen dancers from the Dutch (Het) National Ballet will perform three contemporary ballet pieces. Artistic director Wayne Eagling, choreographer of last year's Dance Salad Asia ballet excerpt from The Last Emperor, leads the company. Eagling is a former principal dancer of the Royal Ballet in London; he has been artistic director of the Het for the past ten years.

The company will perform A Million Kisses to My Skin, choreographed by rising British star David Dawson, to music from Bach's First Piano Concerto. Het principals will perform a pas de deux from Three Pieces for Het by renowned Dutch choreographer Hans van Manen with music by Arvo Part and Erkki-Sven Tuur. Dance Salad will also present another groundbreaking historic work by Hans van Manen, Twilight. Set to a piano score written in 1972 by American experimental composer John Cage, the perilous night, makes use of a prepared piano, one of Cage's innovations from the 1940s. Household objects from nuts and bolts to bamboo strips are inserted between the strings of a grand piano, transforming the piano notes. The result concentrates the listener's attention on sound effects and rhythmic structures, rather than melody. A visiting Dutch pianist, Michail Mouratch, will play the score live, on-stage. This provocative pas de deux – set amidst an oil refinery – is performed by the female dancer in high heel shoes, which creates tension between the dancer and her partner.

Renowned New York-based choreographer Donald Byrd celebrates the subtlety and sophisticated beauty of Duke Ellington°s lesser known jazz compositions through In a Different Light: Duke Ellington. Olivia Bowman and Jamal Story of Donald Byrd/The Group will perform a sultry duet, Not the Shack, excerpted from this full-evening work that premiered in March 2000 at the Joyce Theatre in New York City to critical acclaim.

Jan-Erik Wikstrom was recently honored by his appointment as a Royal Court dancer by the King of Sweden. He is a principal dancer of the Royal Swedish Ballet will dance a solo to Bolero, a work created by Argentinean choreographer Norberto dos Santos to Ravel's inspirational music. Wikstrom has performed with the Royal Swedish Ballet since 1991. He has received numerous dance awards including the Philip Morris Ballet Flower Award in 1995, and in June of that year he was The Dancing Times' dancer of the month. He has partnered American Ballet Theatre's Susan Jaffe in La Bayadere and Nina Ananiashvili in Don Quixote.

Noted as "one of the most exquisite and exciting dancers in contemporary choreography," by Dance magazine, Xing Liang, will perform a commissioned piece of his own choreography. His new work, I want to fly, is set to music by Italian composer Ennio Morricone. Liang is currently the newly appointed artistic director of the Guangdong Modern Dance Company in Guangzhou, China.

RhythMEK, is a New York City dance company created in 1998 by former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancers, Michael Thomas, Elizabeth Roxas and Karine Plantadit-Bageot. They will perform recent works Nabta Playa and Secret Self. Choreographed by Bill Hastings, Nabta Playa, refers to the location of an ancient civilization, predating and possibly giving birth to ancient dynastic Egypt. Secret Self, an excerpt from Chairs, created by Zvi Gotheiner, is set to Preludes by Rachmaninov, and the soundtrack from "Talk Radio" by Stewart Copeland. RhythMEK premiered these new works at the prestigious Jacob's Pillow Festival this past summer to wide critical acclaim.

Buglisi/Foreman Dance, founded by four former Martha Graham principals, will be represented in Houston by Associate Founder Terese Capucilli and Kevin Predmore. Capucilli, noted as one of the "most powerful and dramatic dancer of the decade" will dance a solo work, Against all Odds. Inspired by the French actress Sarah Bernhardt, the piece is set to a Rachmaninov piano concerto. Capucilli and Predmore will perform the duet, Sospiri (translated from Italian as to take breath), about an historic Argentinean woman who was executed by a firing squad in the 1840s for her relationship with a priest. This ballet is set to a score also entitled Sospiri by composer Edward Elgar. Jacqulyn Buglisi, the Co-Director/Choreographer of Buglisi/Foreman, has choreographed both works. The New York Times dance critic Anna Kisselgoff cited Bugilisi as "wondrously extravagant in her choreography, which is sharp and clear in its penetrating images."

Houston Metropolitan Dance Company will perform a re-staging of Ready, Set, Go by renowned jazz choreographer Pattie Obey, set to a score also entitled, Ready, Set, Go, by jazz composer Woody Herman. Obey was the first woman to teach at the Jazz World Congress in 1992, and is the recipient of the 2000 Jazz Dance World Congress Award in recognition of her considerable contribution to the world of jazz dance. She currently resides and teaches in Amsterdam and the United States.

Nancy Henderek is re-staging a part of her 1997 work, Odetta. Olivia Bowman of Donald Byrd/The Group will perform the role of Odetta, and Ayisha McMillan, a member of the Houston Ballet and Dorrell Martin, Artistic Director of the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company will also dance in this piece. Odetta is one of the great figures of American folk and blues music – the work will be danced to one of her soulful recordings.

Related Events
Master Classes
Since its inception, Dance Salad has always had an educational element as a part of the project. Master teachers from RhythMEK and Buglisi/Foreman will offer their professional insights to public school students at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

Two other master classes will be offered at the University of Houston and the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company during the week of Dance Salad.

Dance Salad Sponsorship
The Houston Dance Coalition presents Dance Salad. Dance Salad is supported in part by ExxonMobil; Shell Oil Company Foundation; The Houston Endowment, Inc.; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; The Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts; The Ray C. Fish Foundation; Westlake Group/Titan Group; Cathay Pacific Airways; Emery Worldwide; KUHF-FM; Tindall and Foster Immigration Attorneys; Sterling Bank; Excelsior, Inc.; Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County and the Texas Commission on the Arts; the Theater District Association; Consulate General of the Netherlands, NYC and Houston; and Jet Setters Printgraphics, Inc. Dance Salad has received additional support from the Houston Ballet, the Society for the Performing Arts and Air France.

Dance Salad History & Mission
Dance Salad is a project of the Houston Dance Coalition, and is committed to a multi-cultural presentation of diverse dance disciplines. Dance Salad provides a venue for local, national and international choreographers, across dance disciplines, to present their work to the Houston community in a collaborative performance.

Nancy Henderek
Nancy Henderek, Founding Director of Dance Salad, created the concept of this curated evening of dance in 1992. She produces, directs and co-choreographs in each Dance Salad production, including the first three in Brussels, Belgium. She continues to bring to Houston audiences this wonderful evening of mixed repertoire, a dance "salad," and this year will present the sixth annual performance of this highly anticipated dance concert in Houston.

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