KDHDC and Dark Circles Contemporary Dance used classical music to launch into playful patterns and absurd rituals

Choreographer Kathy Dunn Hamrick invited the Dallas-based Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, a youthful troupe that has appeared at Hamrick's Austin Dance Festival, to share the program for her company's winter show. For the first half of the performance, Hamrick's company presented her new The Four (3) Seasons, danced to a recording of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons as recomposed by Max Richter. For the second half, the Dark Circles danced company director Joshua L. Peugh's The Rite of Spring, set to a recording of the Stravinsky, with its scratches amplified.

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BWW Review: THE GREAT AMERICAN SH*T SHOW at Dark Circles Contemporary Dance

Dark Circles Contemporary Dance once again doesn't shy away from commentary and comedy in their new program: The Great American Sh*t Show. Comprised of four pieces (in order "The Great American Sh*t Show", "For Allen", "Coyotes Tip-Toe", and "Gal Friday"), the evening's performances range from solemn to joyous, as Artistic Director and Choreographer Joshua L. Peugh and Guest Choreographers Jonathan Campbell & Austin Diaz ("For Allen") explore modern life, loss, and deceptively - love.

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2016 in dance: How did local troupes fare against the national acts?

Artistic director Joshua L. Peugh's politically charged program was well-timed, particularly The Great American Sh*t Show, his interpretation of our culture's excesses. The dancers wore surgical gloves, groping their way through a garbage-strewn landscape. Earlier in the year, Peugh unveiled his gender-bending, darkly humorous version of The Rite of Spring, set at a 1950s prom.

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Dark Circles Contemporary Dance preps for its most ambitious program yet with new works by artistic director Joshua L. Peugh and Madboots Dance co-founders Jonathan Campbell and Austin Diaz.

One minute the five female dancers are motionless and the next they are a flurry of heavy-footed traveling steps, concaved shapes, hip undulations and subtle hand gestures which are emphasized by the musical nuances in Leroy Anderson’s “The Typewriter.” The dancers’ rigorous modern and balletic moves are layered with continuous shifts in speed, level and texture as well as moments of stillness punctuated with repetitive body ticks such as head tilts and pelvic thrusts.

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Dark Circles Keeps On Rolling

Choreographer Joshua Peugh may have thoroughly wrecked his right knee two months ago — leaving his leg in a geared-and-strapped, black plastic rig. But that doesn’t mean Dark Circles isn’t in the last days of rehearsal for its new fall show next week. It does mean, though, that Peugh just has tweaks and reminders for them as he stands, gingerly, in front of the dancers.

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10-Year-Old Girls Helped Choreograph Gal Friday, a Dance Piece About Femininity in America

The term "Gal Friday," slang for a female office secretary, originated in the '40s. But on Saturday Dark Circles Contemporary Dance (DCCD) will place it in an entirely new context. The company's artist director, Joshua L. Peugh has given that name to a collaboration with Girls Inc., a nonprofit that teaches leadership skills to young women. The dance performance will explore the American woman’s experience in the home and workplace.

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Performania: Curious Connections

It was at Dallas DanceFest in 2013 where I first spotted the work that Dallas native Jonathan Campbell had set on the students of Booker T. Washington. I went mad over Confetti & Razor Blades before knowing he was half of the two-man team known as MADBOOTS Dance (his collaboration with Austin Diaz), which I would later see at Jacob’s Pillow. It was also at the very same show that I first set eyes on Joshua L. Peugh’s work, Marshmallow, performed by his company, Dark Circles Contemporary Dance. I was so struck by his idiosyncratic style that I named him one of “25 to Watch” in Dance Magazine in 2015. I was filled with joy when I heard the MADBOOTS team was setting a new work on Dark Circles, which will be performed Nov. 18 & 20, 2016. Peugh happened upon MADBOOTS while he was still in Korea and kept track of them via social media. “The work Jonathan and Austin have created for us revolves around the poem, Tears written by Allen Ginsberg in 1956. It excavates humanity in a really beautiful way,” says Peugh. “Their work is a great match for our existing repertory and complements our dancers and mission.”

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Review: Dark Circles Contemporary Dance

FORT WORTH
In 1913, Stravinsky’s ballet The Rite of Spring and Nijinsky’s choreography for Ballet Russes nearly caused a riot in Paris. The music, with its jarring experiments in meter, tonality and dissonance, along with themes of human sacrifices and pagan rituals, was a bit much for audiences.

More than a century later, hundreds of choreographers have created their own ballets to that music (for its centennial in 2013, there were dozens), and now you can add Joshua L. Peugh and his Dark Circles Contemporary Dance to that list.

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Dancing in Tongues

Dark Circles Contemporary Dance explores movement through text in Italian choreographer Fabio Liberti’s Here Is Not There, part of the company’s Spring Series in Fort Worth.

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Dark Circles Contemporary Reimagines Rite of Spring as Gender-Bending Prom Night

Opening night of Le Sacre du Printemps, better known to English speakers as The Rite of Spring, created one of dance history's most infamous stories. With music by Igor Stravinsky and choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky, this ballet concert opened in 1913 with the subtitle, "Pictures of Pagan Russia in Two Parts." Both the music and dance were wild, dissonant and primal, and the choreography's narrative included a virgin sacrifice. Much of the audience stormed out.

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JOSHUA PEUGH BRINGS SENIOR PROM BACK TO LIFE WITH DARK CIRCLES CONTEMPORARY DANCE

The 2015/16 Season for Dark Circles Contemporary Dance will finish off with Spring Series on the Texas Christian University campus at the Erma Lowe Hall, Studio Theatre. The series will include The Rite of Spring by Joshua L. Peugh who was featured in The Scene Stealers in the December/January issue of Patron. The series will also include the world premiere of Italian choreographer Fabio Liberti’s Here is Not There.

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The A+C Top Ten: April 2016

DALLAS—Dance fans have another chance to see Dark Circles Contemporary Dance artistic director Joshua L. Peugh’s The Rite of Spring on April 29-May 1 at Erma Lowe Hall Studio Theatre in Fort Worth.   All on the program is a work by Italian choreographer Fabio Liberti.

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