Ready to Rock: Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Photo by Rachel Neville, Courtesy GOGO Public Relations and Marketing.

When most people think of ballet, they also think of classical music. But for Complexions Contemporary Ballet's latest premiere by Dwight Rhoden, titled Strum, the dancers will be pirouetting to the heavy-metal songs of Metallica. Pointe spoke with company member YoungSil Kim before the piece debuts in Philadelphia Oct. 14-18.

What's it like mixing contemporary ballet with heavy metal?
When I heard we were doing this, I thought, How is Dwight is going to create this? He tried to choreograph on pointe for the first week before he decided to use flat shoes. It's still a contemporary work with classical ballet lines, but it's very emotional. For instance, one song is called "Bleeding Me," and it's about being in pain and feeling something from the heart.

What's most challenging about the piece?
Stamina. We have to use the whole body at 100 percent. We go for 30 minutes straight, and there are so many sections. At this point, it's hard to find when I can rest and how to catch my breath. And we're working on how we can show the audience even more emotion.

This is your third season with Complexions. How have you grown since joining?
At first, when I was performing, I'd try to dance like I did in rehearsal. But after working with Dwight, I learned that I have to do something new every time. Now I try to find the edges and go for it.
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