A Complete Guide to the Companies Performing at Dallas DanceFest This Weekend

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Friday's Performers: Dallas Ballet Company The Dallas Ballet Company, under the artistic direction of Judy and Brent Klopfenstein will be performing "Highland Daunce." Choreographed by Jason Fowler, "Highland Daunce," was created for the Dallas Ballet Company to premier at the 2014 Regional Dance America/Southwest Festival.

Fowler, a native of Dallas, trained locally with the Dallas Ballet Center and the former Dallas Ballet before he moved to New York to pursue his professional career with the New York City Ballet; he was a soloist. Fowler is now the ballet master for Christopher Wheeldon where he has set ballets on companies worldwide such as NYCB, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Royal Ballet in London. Bringing his voice back to his hometown is quite the experience for these young dancers, but that is part of the mission of the Dallas Ballet Company. They hope to inspire, train, and provide a pathway for pre-professional dancers who may wish to pursue dance, and this performance is a step in that direction.

"[We were] excited to be chosen for this inaugural event for Dallas," says Judy Klopfenstein. "Having been one of the few pre-professional companies chosen, [we consider] this to be a high honor and are proud to perform. The opportunity for these young dancers to be a part of the dance history of Dallas will be a life long memory."

Ewert & Company Ewert & Company, founded in 2000, is an eclectic modern dance company whose repertory is comprised of pieces that range from the dramatic to the hilarious, all marked by sinewy athleticism. Founded and directed by Anna Marie Ewert-Pittman, who holds a BFA in dance performance from Southern Methodist University and a MFA in Performing Arts/Dance for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she is pursuing a mission to provide exceptional dance performances for the widest and most diverse audience, to preserve a tradition of excellence in the art of dance and to cultivate and educate the public about dance as an essential art form. A mission her company continues as they were recently added to the line-up of performers.

"We are very fortunate to have been chosen since Dallas has such a diverse and rich dance community. We are just honored to be able represent a small part of what Dallas has to offer as a dance city," says Ewert-Pittman. "I am excited to serve the Dallas community in general and share an evening of dance with local and national artists."

They will be performing Ewert-Pittman's "Not so Carefully Kept."

Indique Dance Company Formed in 2008 by Sarita Venkatraman, Shalina Varghese, Latha Shrivasta, Anu Sury, Kruti Patel, Bhuvana Venkatraman, and Shilpi Mehta, Indique Dance Company fuses Indian classical, folk, and modern dance styles with contemporary themes to create an enjoyable and enlightening cultural experience. It has a standing collaboration with the Indian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which is a non-profit organization whose vision is to promote intercultural awareness by providing a platform for the interaction between Indian and American cultures through workshops, presentations and performances, through which Indique has had the opportunity to perform at Klyde Warren Park, the Crow Collection of Asian Art, and the Dallas City Performance Hall. In fact, they just performed at the Performance Hall two weeks ago, so the Dallas DanceFest will almost be like a homecoming. The company will present "Thillana," an excerpt from their longer work "Jeeva: Synergy in Nature." Choreographed by Varghese and Bhuvana Venkatraman to music by Indian Rock band AGAM, "Thillana." It is a classical Indian dance that has no definite story to it, unlike what you would think would come along with the style; instead, it is more about the movement of the feet and how the body works though intricate percussive musical patterns.

Rhythmic Souls This emerging company started with two of Dallas' top tap dancers strutting their stuff on local stages, now the company has grown to include a numerous tappers who all work together to entertain audiences with their unique blend of style, charisma, innovative choreography, and rapid-fire pace footwork.

Rhythmic Souls will be performing "The Consequence of Sound," an experiment in combining complimentary melodic and lyrical rhythms with harsh counter-rhythms. "The piece is designed to hint subtly at the everyday, mundane routines that we find ourselves in amidst the chaotic hussle-bussle of the world's politics and economics," says Artistic Director Katelyn Harris. The piece does end on an up-note and with an air of revitalization, at the same time touching upon the historical tradition of tap dance, with the Copacetics' famous B.S. Chorus and Chair dance. 

"We are [so] excited for the opportunity to demonstrate in front of the Dallas community how indigenous American tap dance has progressed as an art form, it's versatility as a musical and visual dance form, and it's ability to entertain and engage a broad range of audiences," says Harris. "We hope to give dancers and art lovers a new perspective on tap dance and expose it to those who haven't yet had the opportunity to see a live tap dance performance."

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Danielle Georgiou