Ballet Stars
Quinn Wharton

Candy Tong is Complexions Contemporary Ballet's resident fashionista. "I'm known in this company for bringing too big of a suitcase," she says. Tong shares her style tips (and life on the road with Complexions) on her vlog, Candy Coated, and notes that her style is always changing. "I like to switch up my look depending on my mood or where I'm going to be or what city I'm in."

Keep reading... Show less
Trending
Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Photo by Steven Trumon Gray, courtesy Complexions.

Complexions Contemporary Ballet is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, and we can hardly contain our excitement. Their longstanding commitment to diversity and daring, edgy repertoire has made them an exemplar of American contemporary ballet today. The company's season opener will be held at the Joyce Theater from February 19–March 3. Works include the world premiere of Complexions co-founder and choreographer Dwight Rhoden's WOKE; a compilation spanning 25 years of the company's repertory titled From Then to Now; the return of the David Bowie tribute Star Dust; and the New York City premiere of Bach 25. A gala evening will be held February 21, in which Complexions co-founder and co-artistic director Desmond Richardson will perform for the last time as a full-time company member.

Pointe caught up with Rhoden and Richardson in separate interviews to hear them reflect on what the past 25 years has meant to them, what audiences can expect from their anniversary season, and why Richardson is choosing to step away from his role as full-time company member.

Keep reading... Show less
Kyle Froman

Hoop earrings are a trademark for Melissa Anduiza. "They remind me of my Cuban side," she says. The Complexions Contemporary Ballet dancer draws inspiration from the bright colors and warm climate of her Miami hometown, and her Cuban and Filipino heritage. "I have a white pantsuit that I rock every once in a while—I feel like I'm part of 'Miami Vice' or something," she says. "And I like that islandy feel in the summertime. Whenever I go home, I'm always in a romper or a sundress." Anduiza prefers a casual yet polished look and gets ideas from fashion icons like blogger Marianna Hewitt, whom she follows on social media. "I like to dress kind of edgy, but classy at the same time," she says. In the studio, the company's contemporary rep calls for pieces that show off her lines. "At Complexions, we always wear things that are fitted to the body. Just our warm-ups are loose," Anduiza says. She'll often balance basic shorts with an unusual top to add flair for class or rehearsal. "I dress to make myself look great," she says. "It's comfortable, but always a clean look."

Keep reading... Show less

The dance film The Enemy Within premiered in New York four days ago. The short film features New York City Ballet's Tiler Peck, Alvin Ailey's Matthew Rushing, Complexions' Samantha Figgins, and freestyle dancer Marquese "Nonstop" Scott. It's hard to imagine that anything these dancers are in together could be bad.

The film describes itself as a "never-before-seen collaboration, which is a bit of an exaggeration considering that many dance films feature technically trained ballet dancers pairing up with street dancers. That said, the dream-like quaility of the narrative certainly sets it apart. I also appreciate that the director, Preston Miller, utilized dance as the preferred language to examine the universal struggle against self-doubt. By using dance itself to tell a story about something that all dancers (and all people) face, he does credit to the art form and the possibilities of dance on film.


NYC-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet will move to Atlanta, GA, in the spring of 2016.

According to ArtsATL, the company is seeking a permanent home and a less-saturated dance environment. Complexions has never had a permanent rehearsal space and that has acted as a major deterrent to expanding its education programs.

The company is in talks with the Woodruff Arts Center, and will have a fundraising performance in October before its inaugural season in the spring. 

mailbox

Get Pointe Magazine in your inbox