In just about a week, Complexions Contemporary Ballet will perform on the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage, April 15-17. An overview of the engagement and full programming information are available on our WEBSITE, but in this post we’ll tell you a little bit more about the history of the company and background of each dancer you will see perform.
Complexions Contemporary Ballet was founded in 1994 by two esteemed alumni of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden, with the mission to create a world without boundary. Desmond, hailed as “one of the great modern dancers of his time” (The New York Times), continues to perform with the company while Dwight acts as Artistic Director & Resident Choreographer and has earned distinction from The New York Times as “one of the most sought out choreographers of the day.”
From the beginning, as evidenced by the company’s name, the two co-founders were enthralled with the idea of diversity and today Complexions is widely considered “America’s Original Multicultural Dance Company.”
Desmond Richardson. Photo by DAHLEN.
This April, we are lucky to be presenting the west coast premier of Imprint/Maya, a piece honoring the legacy of Maya Angelou that will be performed by Desmond and was choreographed by Dwight. Another piece, Innervisions, plays tribute to the universal sound of Stevie Wonder.
Below we present the company’s 14 exceptional dancers that will be performing in Los Angeles.
Doug Baum has a BFA from Fordham University in collaboration with The Ailey School, where he apprenticed with Ailey II for two years. Since then Doug has toured internationally, acted and joined Complexions in 2014.
Greg Blackmon was actually a vocal music major at Emerson School for the Visual and Performing Arts but began formal dance training during his last two years there. He still loves to sing!
Born and raised in New Orleans, Andrew Brader has danced principal roles with the Los Angeles Ballet and was a 2009 Lester Horton Award nominee for Outstanding Achievement in Performance. And if that wasn’t enough, he is also a high-fashion model.
Jillian Davis started her training as a classical dancer but later changed her focus to contemporary ballet and joined Complexions in 2014. She is also a dance teacher, fitness trainer and director/choreographer at Jillian Davis Dance Project.
Addison Ector began his dance training at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy and was later a recipient of the Alvin Ailey Scholarship. He joined Complexions in 2013 and also works as a fitness model.
Larissa Gerszke is from Canada and a senior in the Ailey/Fordham BFA program in Dance. This is her first season with Complexions!
Shanna Irwin has a BFA in dance from Marymount Manhattan College and has been touring with Complexions since 2014. She also used to be a diver!
YoungSil Kim was born in Japan but moved to NYC at age 18. She’s also one of the founders of the MOMENTUM Dance Project along with fellow Complexions dancers Ashley Mayeux and Kelly Sneddon.
Kelly Marsh IV studied at University of North Carolins School of the Arts and in addition to dancing with Complexions, he is also a high fashion model.
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Ashley Mayeux has been with Complexions since 2012 and is also a fitness model and one of the founders of the MOMENTUM Dance Project along with fellow company members YoungSil Kim and Kelly Sneddon.
In addition to becoming a member of Complexions in 2012, Kelly Sneddon became a soloist in Cirque du Soleil’s The Beatles LOVE show in 2014 and founded the MOMENTUM Dance Project along with fellow Complexions dancers Youngsil Kim and Ashley Mayeux.
A recent graduate of The Juilliard School and CEO of The Nehemiah Project in Ohio, this is Nehemiah “Nemo” Spencer’s first season with Complexions.
Tim Stickney began dancing at the age of three and in addition to being a member of Complexions since 2014, he is also a tap and hip-hop dancer!
A longtime Complexions member (joined in 2010), Tercell “Terk” Lewis also raps as TERK LEWIS.
Don’t miss your chance to see all these dancers on stage together this April for three shows only! Tickets still available at musiccenter.org/complexions.