Poetry and Dance Collide: Pegasus Contemporary Ballet’s Innovative Mix Coming in April

Featuring poetry by Dallas-based poet Lisa Huffaker, the company's April 12-13 performances will unveil "the parallel power of words and movement to ignite the imagination and offer insight into the human condition."

Dancers often convey a kind of poetry in motion as they move about the stage. But on April 12 and 13, poetry will be whole the point of two innovative evenings of dance presented by Dallas’ Pegasus Contemporary Ballet.

The contemporary ballet company will be debuting its new production, Words for a Resonant Space, in collaboration with The Writer’s Garret at the historic Kalita Humphreys Theater in Dallas.

Combining poetry by Dallas-based poet Lisa Huffaker, the performances will interweave dance and poetry into an artistic experience, featuring “the parallel power of words and movement to ignite the imagination and offer insight into the human condition.”

The production promises to bring unique and theatrical elements” to the stage, featuring choreography by Diana Crowder, the company’s founder and artistic director, and dialogue by Aaron Glover, executive director of The Writer’s Garret, who wrote the script.

[Photo: Pegasus Contemporary Ballet]

‘Unlike any performance I’ve ever seen’

“Poetry speaks to me as an art form that has structure and discipline yet holds vast space for interpretation and unique human expression, much like ballet,” Crowder said in a statement. “The meaning I have found in Lisa’s work and the collaborative brilliance that she and Aaron bring to the production are truly inspiring. Words for a Resonant Space is unlike any performance I’ve ever seen or been a part of, and it’s a really special project to bring to life.”

“Poetry and dance ask big questions” is a line that will be voiced during the work. To help answer those questions, the performances will explore “ideas about beauty, art, the life of an artist, and the human experience.” Also intermingled will be “moments of levity in the form of refreshing and witty vignettes.”

Glover said he was excited when Crowder first brought the idea for the production to The Writer’s Garret, a non-profit organization serving the literary and educational communities of the Dallas area. 

[Photo: Pegasus Contemporary Ballet]

“I’m continually impressed by the thoughtfulness and sharpness of the work and contributions from Lisa and the dancers,” Glover said in a statement. “Both the script and staging came together with input from everyone. This process has created its own resonant space for this group of talented, dedicated artists from differing disciplines to find our own resonance as collaborators. I’m grateful to be a part of this unique, singular work.”

Huffaker, the poet behind the production, lauded Crowder’s “ability to listen between the words to create the flow of something wordless.”

“There’s something so moving about the way the dancers shift between formal shapes and the naturalistic movements an untrained body might make,” Huffaker said. “It creates a tension between the classic elegance of ballet and the human vulnerability of the non-balletic movements.”

Pegasus says it focuses on creating “innovative performances to engage diverse audiences and provide unique, meaningful experiences that have the potential to change a person’s perspective and relationship to dance.”

Crowder says you needn’t be a ballet afficionado to fall under the spell of the coming production.

“You don’t have to have knowledge or experience with ballet or poetry to enjoy      Words for a Resonate Space,” she said. “It’s truly a one-of-a-kind production combining dance, poetry, and theater that has something for everyone.”

For ticket information, you can go here.

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