Event Calendar

Conservatory Dance Company presents ‘Contemporary Choreographers’

Featuring four cutting-edge choreographers of national and international renown, performances run Nov. 14-23 at the George Rowland White Performance Center, downtown.

Point Park University’s Conservatory Dance Company continues its 2014-2015 season with its annual performance that brings cutting edge choreographers from around the country to Pittsburgh.

Contemporary Choreographers runs Nov. 14-23 at the George Rowland White Performance Center, downtown.  Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18-$20; student tickets are $7 or $8; senior tickets (65 and older) are $9 or $10, depending on performance date. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Pittsburgh Playhouse box office at 412.392.8000, or online at www.pittsburghplayhouse.com.

This year, the show features pieces by Roni Koresh, David Morse, Troy Powell and Point Park alum Luke Murphy.

Roni Koresh received early dance training from his mother, a folk dancer in the Yemenite tradition, and from teachers Alida Gera, Micha Deri, Nira Paz and Moshe Romano. He joined Martha Graham’s Batsheva 2 Dance Company before enlisting for three years in the Israeli army. In 1983, he moved to New York to study with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He began performing with Shimon Braun’s Waves Jazz Dance Company in Philadelphia and, in 1991, founded Koresh Dance Company in Philadelphia, followed by the Koresh School of Dance in 1993. Koresh has established a repertoire of over 40 works and develops two to three new works each year. These have included commissions for the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Giordano Dane Chicago, GroundWorks Dance Theatre, Las Vegas Contemporary, Odyssey Dance Theatre, Spectrum Dance Theater, the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, and Dance Celebration, a co-presentation of Dance Affiliates and Penn Presents.

David Morse is a choreographer, musician, and a member of Charlotte Ballet (formerly North Carolina Dance Theatre). He trained under Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride, Kathryn Moriarty, and Mark Diamond. His choreography has been performed around the United States and been recognized by various awards and accolades. He choreographs annually on the Charlotte Ballet Repertory Ensemble, and the Chautauqua Festival Dancers. His work has been presented at Regional Dance America's South Eastern Regional Ballet Association for six years. Regional Dance America has awarded him the "Habich-Corey Choreography Award" and the "Project Tier Award for Excellence in Choreography." In 2011, he was asked to create a work for the School of American Ballet through the New York Choreographic Institute. In the fall of 2013 David returned to the New York Choreographic Institute to create a new work for members of the New York City Ballet.

A 2009 graduate of Point Park University, Luke Murphy is a performer and choreographer based between New York City and Ireland. Luke has been working with Punchdrunk since 2009 in productions of Sleep No More in Boston and New York and The Drowned Man in London. In addition, he currently dances with the Belgian company, Ultima Vez in Booty Looting. Past engagements include Martha Clarke’s Angel Reapers ('10-'11), Kate Weare Company (’11-’13), Pavel Zustiak's Palissimo Company (‘11-‘13) Erik Hawkins Dance Company (‘09-‘11) as well as performing in special projects with Jonah Bokaer, John Kelly, Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Heidi Latsky and Sean Curran. His own work has been presented throughout New York, Ireland, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His first evening length work Drenched premiered at the Absolut Fringe Festival in 2012 and toured throughout the U.S. In June 2013, he premiered his second evening, Icarus as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival. He is currently working on Triumph and Trauma (due to premiere 2016) and Your Own Man/Mad Notions (premiere February 2015.)

In July 2012, Troy Powell became only the second person to lead Ailey II since its inception in 1974. A native New Yorker, he began his dance training at the age of nine as a scholarship student at The Ailey School. Following his graduation from The High School of Performing Arts, he became a member of Ailey II and then joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1991. He toured throughout the United States, South America, Europe, and South Africa for 10 years with the Company before becoming a master teacher at The Ailey School and resident choreographer of Ailey II. Powell has choreographed ballets for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, The Ailey School, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, National Dance Company of the Bahamas, and Alaska Dance Theater, as well as three episodes of “Sesame Street.”

Lighting design for Contemporary Choreographers is by Mark Bailey, costume design is by Erin Heintzinger, staging by Melissa Rector. Jonathan Surmacz is production manager, Shane Richardson is stage manager.

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