Complexions co-artistic director Dwight Rhoden danced for Dayton Contemporary Dance Company as a teenager, and that’s where he first met choreographer Ulysses Dove. Dove had just returned from Paris and was excited to teach the DCDC dancers the Floor-Barre technique he’d learned there, to open up the hips and work on rotation.
“Ulysses wanted me to pull myself through a split in second position on the floor, and I wasn’t yet flexible enough to do it. He had me grab his neck and hold on as he pulled me through. Well, I was so tight that I ended up putting my nails in his neck and scratching him badly. I was horrified. But he looked at me and said, ‘One day, you’ll be able to do this.’ Later in my career, I had to do the same move in his Episodes. He looked at me in rehearsal, right after I did it, and said, ‘I told you so.’ I had no idea he’d even remember that.”
Complexions will perform at The Joyce Theater in New York City, November 18–30.
Photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of Complexions Contemporary Ballet