UMS Concert Program, April 2, 1991: Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre --
Power Center For The Performing Arts Ann Arbor, Michigan
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Randy Duncan, Artistic Director Joseph Holmes & Lester Goodman, Founders
Tuesday Evening, April 2, 1991, at 8:00
Power Center for the Performing Arts
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Arturo Alvarez Cynthia Bowen Rohyn Davis Ariane Dolan
Keith Elliott Winifred Haun Kim McNamara
Patrick Mullaney Tabatha Russell Cuitlahuac Suarez Roger Turner
Harriet Ross, Associate Artistic Director
Mary F. Webster, Managing Director
Silvino da Silva, Communications Direcun
Lisa Janowsky, Development Coordinator
Birute Barodicaite, Company Ballet Instructor
Catherine Young, Production CoordinatorResident Lighting Designer
Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre is represented by Slegcl Artist Management, Washington, D.C.
The Ann Arbor residency of [he Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre is supported by Arts Midwest members and friends in partnership with the National Endowment lor the Arts.
Thirty-fifth concert of the 112th Season Twentieth Annual Choice Series
(A Musical and Dance Tribute to the late Marvin Gaye)
This dance is also dedicated to the memory of my dear friend Joseph Holmes Keith Lee
Choreography by Keith Lee Assistant to the choreographer Laverne Smith Lee
Music by Marvin Gaye Costumes by J. Kevin Draves Lighting Design by Dean Paul
What's Going On The Company
Inner City Blues
1st trio: Cynthia Bowen, Patrick Mullaney, Robyn Davis
2nd trio: Ariane Dolan, Arturo Alvarez, Winifred Haun
Quartet: Kim McNamara, Keith Elliott, Cuitlahuac Suarez,
Too Busy Thinking About You
Cynthia Bowen, Keith Elliott, Kim McNamara, Cuitlahuac Suarez, Robyn Davis, Patrick Mullaney
The Ecology Roger Turner, Winifred Haun, Ariane Dolan, and The Company
Trouble Man Roger Turner
Distant Lover Ariane Dolan, Roger Turner
Keep on Danciri The Company
COPLAND MOTETS (1991)
Choreography by Randy Duncan
Music by Aaron Copland Sung by The Oriana Singers
Costumes by Virgil Sanner and painted by Joe Brown Lighting Design by Catherine Young
Arturo Alvarez, Kim McNamara, Roger Turner
This work is based on the project originally commissioned by the Committee tor the Bicentennial Celebration of
the French Revolution.
Special thanks to Ira Antelis and SchaferAntelis Recording Studios for the generous use of their facilities.
WOMEN'S WORK (1990)
Choreography by Randy Duncan
Music by Tom Kast Costumes by Gregory Slawko Lighting Design by Ken Bowen
Cynthia Bowen, Robyn Davis, Ariane Dolan, Winifred Haun, Tabatha Russell
Costumes were made possible by a generous gift from Marshall Field & Co.
SPARRING PARTNERS (1991)
For my friend, Kamys
Choreography by Randy Duncan
Music by Tom Kast Costumes by Amiee Bae, John Daina-Palermo, Bryian Davis,
Dyanna Johnson, Patricia Vass Lighting Design by Catherine Young
First Duet Third Duet
Cuitlahuac Suarez, Tabatha Russell Cuitlahuac Suarez, Cynthia Bowen
Second Duet Fourth Duet
Cuitlahuac Suarez, Robyn Davis Cuitlahuac Suarez, Keith Elliott
Original music made possible through a generous gift given by Charles and Bunny Koppelman.
Costumes designed as a special project by the students of the fashion department of The School of The Art Institute
of Chicago under the direction of faculty member Joe Brown.
TURNING TIDES (1986)
Choreography by Randy Duncan Music by Bruce Roberts, Gavin Dillard, Sam Harris
Costumes by Nan Munn Lighting Design by Catherine Young
Adrift Patrick Mullaney
The Storm The Company
Turning Tides is dedicated to the memory of Joseph Holmes.
Ms. Munn's costuming efforts were made possible through a gift from the Academy of Movement and Music in
Oak Park, Illinois.
About the Artists
When Joseph Holmes Chi?cago Dance Theatre takes to the stage, audiences are exhilarated by its special brand of modern jazz. The dancers consistently command standing ova?tions with their athletic intensity, engaging personalties, and award-winning choreogra?phy. A three-time nominee for the National Association for Campus Activities' Perform?ing Artist of the Year award, the Dance Theatre is a multiracial, multicultural dance company whose mission is to impact the quality of life and cultural awareness of audi?ences of all ages through its performances and arts education and outreach programs.
Founded in 1974, Joseph Holmes Chi?cago Dance Theatre was led for 12 years by Joseph Holmes, founder and director. Upon his death in 1986, Randy Duncan was chosen as Mr. Holmes's successor to carry out his vision and bring the company to world-class prominence. Mr. Duncan has created a stun?ning reputation for the company and himself, through his strong artistic leadership and exciting, original choreography.
The Dance Theatre's unique style of dancing is derived from a combination of modern, jazz, and ballet training. In addition to the choreography of Mr. Holmes and Mr. Duncan, the company's repertoire also con?tains works by guest choreographers.
Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre has an extensive national and international touring roster that takes it throughout the United States and around the world. Having previously toured through Mexico and Israel,
the 1990-91 season finds the company mak?ing its first European tour, performing in France, Belgium, and Switzerland.
Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre is nationally recognized for its "Chance-to-Dance" outreach program, and the Musical Society was pleased to incorporate this special feature in its Youth Program during the company's visit to Ann Arbor. Yesterday, the "Chance-to-Dance" experience involved more than 1,000 sixth-, seventh-, and eighth grade area students who gathered in the Power Center for this hour-long program in the style of a lecture-demonstration. With this program, the company annually exposes over 30,000 young people to dance, promot?ing dance as a viable vocation as well as an art form. Founded in 1979, "Chance-to-Dance" has become an integral part of the company's miniand full residencies and is often presented by itself throughout the school systems of major cities across the country.
Recognized by its peers through the Chicago Dance Coalition's Ruth Page Awards, the Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre is the recipient of several of these honors, including two for Outstanding Chor?eographer of the Year (Mr. Duncan in 1988 and 1990), Outstanding Dancer of the Year (Patrick Mullaney, company member, in 1988), and Outstanding Artistic Achieve?ment (1988).
Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre also operates the Joseph Holmes School of Dance, managed by DeShona Pepper, giving instruction in ballet, modern, and jazz dance.
Growing by Leaps and Bounds
Excerpts from an article by Lauren Bufferd in the Windy City Times, March 1990
Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre has heen called the hottest dance com?pany in town and with good reason. A multiracial company with a strong jazz tradition, they have emerged from their reputation as a fine local troupe to a company with an international reputa?tion.
Initially a modern company founded by Joseph Holmes, the focus was on performing original works. Holmes's experience with Alvin Ailey and the Dance Theater of Har?lem was the basis for the company's style. When Holmes died in 1986, dancer Randy Duncan was appointed artistic director, and his background in jazz and musical comedy altered their emphasis. In addition, the danc?ers have become technically more proficient and their style is more polished, steps toward professionalism that have been vindicated by the overwhelming response the company has received.
Last year, the company inserted "Chicago" into its title. Aware of the city's increasingly high profile in the dance scene and the company's extensive traveling, both nationally and internationally, they wanted a way to be immediately identified with their Chicago origins. This hometown pride, com?bined with business savvy and a determina?tion to grow, signifies much of what accounts for the company's success.
The major new piece to premiere at the Civic Theatre is Women's Work, choreo?graphed by Randy Duncan. An abstract ex?ploration of domestic rituals, it features an original score by composer Tom Kast. Duncan explained that the piece was created partly in response to the dancers' request.
"The women in the company wanted a strong piece. They're used to dancing a more passive role or dancing as a unit, a body, neither male nor female. They requested something that would show off their strengths as dancers and as women, so I created a piece about how hard women have worked for so long. I thought first about my mother and how she raised seven children all by herself. I continued along those lines and realized that women have it really difficult. In a family, they're often first to get up and last to go to bed, fixing everyone's meals, cleaning up. It's been this way for years.
"It's a fun piece to watch, hut very taxing for the women to do. The six dancers are cm stage the whole time as a way to suggest the constancy of their work. It opens with the women emerging from hehind a curtain as if they're coming out of a womh. They are joined together by a rope, which for me suggested a few meanings -the linking to?gether of prisoners on a chain gang, an umbilical cord. The dancers also use the rope to indicate tools or clothing, such as shawls or skirts. I think it's an entertaining piece, but also mind-opening for people who may not have considered how much women do."
Duncan stopped dancing recently, pre?ferring to devote his time to administer the company, but also to create dances.
"I have been blessed with the ability to choreograph, not just creatively, but also systematically. I can create a varied program. I attribute my ability to be diverse to my training in musical theater. On the other hand, I do like the freshness that happens when a new choreographer comes in, and so do the dancers."
Duncan seems confident about his abil?ity to create new works for the company, and part of this confidence in the company's artistic path comes from their audience re-
sponse. Wherever they have traveled, they have been warmly received and critically praised. The Israeli press raved about the company, using words like "sizzling" and "explosive." Duncan suggests that the com?pany is presenting something long unseen by contemporary audiences.
"They miss the American jazz style. Everywhere we go, in the U.S. and outside, people really want to see jazz because it seems so new. There are so many ballet and modern companies, but very few with more than a jazz base. We feel a deep connection with our audience. We know they are there to see 'art,' but also to enjoy themselves. They want a chance to feel, to get emotional, to be up there with the dancers. That is what Joseph Holmes offers."
A critical aspect of the Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre is the ethnic diver?sity of the dancers. The troupe has had members from Mexico and South Africa, as well as from all over the United States. Part of the Holmes legacy was the desire to main?tain an interracial company, as "multiracial as the universe." Duncan also considers it a crucial part of the company's artistic state?ment.
"What is art It's colors. It's universals. Being multiracial makes us more accessible. I know that for a fact. We can go to any part of the city the South Side, the West Side -and be welcome because anyone in the audience can look up on stage and say, 'Ah! 1 want to be like that!' What is interesting to me is that after a while the audience totally forgets that we're an interracial company. At first they see black and white, then they just see dance. That's the way it should be."
Artistic director Randy Duncan is the recipient of Chicago's Ruth Page Award in 1988 and 1990 for Outstanding Chore?ographer of the Year and the Kizzy Award from the Black Women Hall of Fame for Outstanding Leadership in the Community. He has been with Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre since 1974 as dancer, soloist, assistant to the artistic director, choreographer, and since 1986, the artistic director.
Mr. Duncan began his dance training with Geraldine Johnson and has studied at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Sammy Dyer School of The Theatre, and
Illinois State University. He also studied with Joseph Holmes and current associate artistic director Harriet Ross. Mr. Duncan's perfor?mance career began in high school with the Chicagoland Theatrical Troupe. He was a member of the Illinois State University Dance Theatre and has returned there numer?ous times as a guest artist. Additionally, he has been a guest artist at Barat College Repertory Ensemble in Lake Forest, Illinois. Mr. Duncan teaches master classes and con?ducts workshops worldwide.
Randy Duncan's performance credits include choreographing and appearing in Street Dreams at the Apollo Theatre of Chi?cago in 1982 and several television commer?cials and music videos. He has also appeared in West Side Story, Carouse!, Hello Dolly, Don't Bother Me, Can't Cope, and Guys and Dolls. In 1987, he choreographed what is believed to be the first all black cast of A Chorus Line at Kennedy King College. He also co-choreographed the 1988 version of Mi?chael Butler's Hair.
A member of Actor's Equity, Mr. Dun?can currently sits on the boards of the Illinois Arts Alliance and the Chicago Dance Coali?tion and has served on the dance panels of the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Midwest, and the Illinois Arts Council.
University Musical Society