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Wylliams / Henry
Contemporary Dance Company
http://www.wylliams-henry.org

May 2008 White Recital Hall

View Slide Show: May 2008

Spring Season 2008 May 15th, 16th & 17th (17th was canceled for injury) at 8pm - White Recital Hall Performing Arts Center 4949 Cherry St. Kansas City, MO 64110 Map
Tickets (were): $24, $18 & $15 (Student & Seniors)
For more information and tickets call (816) 235-6222 - tickets online

Jerome (Nuney) Stigler, Gerard Alexander in City by Jennifer Muller
Jerome (Nuney) Stigler, Gerard Alexander in "City" by Jennifer Muller


The Program (Descriptions in the program section are from the release by W/H)

Shah Tah Tee by Leni Wylliams
Set to the driving rhythms of M. Shrieve this signature piece blends the sensuous movements of the Middle East with the bold, striking movement of contemporary dance to create a visual montage of vibrant images that explode with energy.
Dancers: Gerard Alexander, Matthew Carney, Holly DeWitt, DeeAnna Hiett, Mary Marshall, Nijawwon Matthews, Carolina Monnerat, Christina Mowrey, Drew Shuler, Jerome Stigler, Kaely Tieri, Rodni Williams

Minus Him by Leni Wylliams
music by Turtle Bay Quintet
A woman dances, imagining her love and partner in a solo, sensual dance of memory and yearning.
Dancer: DeeAnna Hiett

Games by Donald McKayle
A recognized as a modern dance classic and is in the repertoires of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and the Ballet Hispanico among other. Perhaps his best known piece, 'Games' juxtaposes the innocent imaginings of urban children with the real dangers they face. 'Games' will be presented with live singers.
Dancers: Gerard Alexander, Matthew Carney, DeeAnna Hiett, Carolina Monnerat, Christina Mowrey, Drew Shuler, Jerome Stigler

Trains by Mary Pat Henry
music by Steven Reich, 25 minutes, 12 dancers
Depicting a by-gone era, the dance travels through three historic periods, Pre-World War 2, World War 2, and Post-World War 2, capturing the relationships of people meeting on trains and the circumstances that bring them together and rip them apart.
Dancers: Gerard Alexander, Matthew Carney, Holly DeWitt, DeeAnna Hiett, Tracy Ray Kofford, Mary Marshall, Nijawwon Matthews, Carolina Monnerat, Christina Mowrey, Drew Shuler, Jerome Stigler, Kaely Tieri, Rodni Williams

Evidence of Souls Not Seen by Leni Wylliams
music by Mahler and Elgar, 3 dancers
Evidence of Souls Not Seen by Leni Wylliams set to the music of Mahler and Elgar the work is a beautiful and poignant trio for 3 men honoring those who have passed on and their spirit and love that remain with us.
Dancers: Gerard Alexander, Matthew Carney, Nijawwon Matthews, Drew Shuler, Jerome Stigler

The City by Jennifer Muller - (Premiere: 1988; Excerpts: Sections 1, 2 & 5)
Explorers the often painful tensions of comings and goings; meetings and partings; loves won and lost.
Revival assistants: John Brooks and Tracy Ray Kofford
Dancers: Gerard Alexander, Holly DeWitt, DeeAnna Hiett, Nijawwon Matthews, Carolina Monnerat, Christina Mowrey, Stephanie Ruch, Drew Shuler, Jerome Stigler, Rodni Williams
http://www.jmtw.org/


Holly DeWitt in City by Jennifer Muller
Holly DeWitt in "City" by Jennifer Muller

The Wylliams/Henry spring show for 2008 was a finely tuned set of pieces from the repertoire, adding a new piece, "City" by Jennifer Muller and a piece not seen for several years, "Evidence of Souls Not Seen." "City" is in constant motion, feeling, not unlike Koyaanisqatsi, like a hyperactive meditation, drawing you into the churning energy, which you can feel through the air, as you do when approaching New York City itself. The music and the energy level are not frenetic so much as just plain active.

City
"City" starts with soloists overlapping slightly and gradually increasing the number of dancers all of whom have their own active and solitary paths which overlap and intersect with each other, as do people in a city. Then, as in any natural pattern of interactions, the numbers of dancers onstage varies from soloists, to duets and other groups, sometimes overlapping groups, constantly moving on and off the stage. Some recognitions are challenges and some are playful. All are personal realizations.

"City" is more than 20 minutes (24 including bows). There is no overall story line, but there are numbers of small stories, one after another and often spinning off from each other.

Three by Leni
Three pieces were choreographed by the late Leni Wylliams: "Evidence of Souls Not Seen," "Sha Tah Tee" and "Minus Him." Together they formed a smooth and powerful tribute to Wylliams' choreography which always feels transcendent but seems even more so with three pieces performed together.

"Sha Tah Tee" has the company in phalanxes of men and women crisscrossing on stage in pulsing, vibrant color driven by the music. "Minus Him" is a solo featuring DeeAnna Hiett. When Hiett is onstage with other dancers you are compelled to watch her. When she is solo you just watch. It is the combination of being in complete command of her placement and movement coupled with her fluidity. "Evidence of Souls Not Seen" is the kind of male ensemble piece which used to be less common, especially when Wylliams was choreographing. He is able to combine give us the beauty of male bodies in concert with soul-borne sensitivity.

Games
The company reprised Donald McKayle's "Games" with some of the roles going to some of the same dancers, such as Jerome Stigler (Nuney) and DeeAnna Hiett. Singing were dancers Rodni Williams and Christina Burton. Nuney was again hilarious playing with a pair of tin cans turning the cans into a variety of props for a wide range of imaginary characters. DeeAnna Hiett was again the sassy favorite kid who meets a tragic end. "Games" takes you in as with a fond and funny remembrance of childhood games and taunts, then throws a "hood" curve as suddenly we learn the danger of police, even to children. In a way, the entire piece is a setup for the ending.

We are entertained and charmed, laughing at the remembered silly innocence of childhood games and playtime conflicts. Yet for reasons not entirely clear the neighborhood is not truly a safe place, and there is always a counter note of inner tension in the piece. (We can imagine these are racial conflicts knowing that McKayle is African-American and that this was choreographed at the start of the 50's, but with a mixed cast it is hard to limit the range of conflicts, perhaps class, although the specifics become less important than the universal structure of groups and their actors in conflicts and our personal identification with these children at play).

When we are warned of "the cop" with his "billy" the children mock the cop and (Matt Carney) imitates the cop's swagger and swinging of his billy club. We, the audience, laugh at the caricature, but the characters are deadly serious and afraid children, under their seemingly childlike un-concern. We, the audience, will find out shortly, just how serious. Clearly they are well aware of the characteristics of the menace, but play as if innocent, until one of them is killed.

"Trains" choreographed by Mary Pat Henry was a significant new piece when introduced two years ago. Since then Henry has re-worked "Trains" adding detail in the choreography, the sets, new projections and even upping the lighting slightly, though this is still a dark piece (from my photographer's perspective) and not easy to photograph.

"Trains" takes us from pre-war Europe, through the holocaust and the gas chambers to the first post-war years as the population recovers its sense of normal life. Both "Trains" and "City" use encounters to show life. In "Trains" our dancers are commuters and travelers, meeting timetables and checking for the next train to head where they intend to go. Sometimes they bump into one another as a result of the criss crossing of routes. The music by Steven Reich is as unrelenting as a drumbeat pushing us along. Over the top of the music is a constant stream of vocal train-track announcements, keeping us abreast of where we are in the narrative.

The train-track announcements, giving us destinations, news and numbering the years by name. As the war years move onto the stage the trains become the means for government agents to transport the same populations to their deaths. They are arrested, imprisoned, stripped and gassed, even as they try to lift each other out of the chambers. At one point twin headlights, on opposite sides of the stage glare into the audience blotting out all detail with light. They are pointed, accusingly, back at us. There seems to be no one who can stop this, until the war ends.

Gradually people begin traveling for their own reasons again. As they do so the encounters include tormented and tormentors and lost lovers' reunions. Eventually they begin to resemble their appearance in the pre-war years, adding an awareness of each other which had not been their before. This time they lift each other, not unlike the lifts of those doomed in the gas chambers, but this time into beams of light.

Injury
The last show (saturday, 17th) for the Wylliams/Henry Spring Concert was canceled due to injuries. First Holly DeWitt turned her left ankle but still danced friday, although she limped to the bows after each number she was in. Then, company mainstay DeeAnna Hiett was injured, her knee again. It occurred, she said, coming offstage on an exit from a duet with Drew (late in the piece, the exit is at about 16+ minutes) although she continued to dance to the end of City, another five or six minutes, another eight minutes to the end of the bows.

DeeAnna has had ACL injuries and had ACL surgery five years before. This time it was a torn meniscus, one of two main cresent-shaped shock absorbing pads (menisci) between the upper and lower leg (separating tibia and femur), one on the outer side of each knee joint and one on the inner side of each knee joint. This can mean arthroscopic surgery and/or weeks or months of recovery time. In any case, the injury was too severe for her to go on the next (saturday) evening.

Try for a work-around as they might, the company was really not able to replace DeeAnna in time for the last performance. So the decision was made saturday afternoon to cancel that evening's show.



For information and illustrations on meniscal tears see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meniscus_(anatomy) http://www.zimmer.co.uk/z/ctl/op/global/action/1/id/8085/template/PC/navid/621
http://www.centraliowaortho.com/meniscaltears.htm

Except where noted the pictures on this page are from performance on thursday the 15th.


Evidence of Souls Not Seen
Choreography: Leni Wylliams

Dancers: Gerard Alexander, Matthew Carney, Nijawwon Matthews, Drew Shuler, Jerome Stigler

Evidence of Souls Not Seen by Leni Wylliams - (top to bottom) Drew Shuler, Gerard Alexander, Jerome Stigler.
Evidence of Souls Not Seen by Leni Wylliams - (top to bottom) Drew Shuler, Gerard Alexander, Jerome Stigler.

Evidence of Souls Not Seen by Leni Wylliams - Gerard Alexander (top) and Drew Shuler.
Evidence of Souls Not Seen by Leni Wylliams - Gerard Alexander (top) and Drew Shuler.


Evidence of Souls Not Seen by Leni Wylliams - (l-r) Gerard Alexander and Matthew Carney.
Evidence of Souls Not Seen by Leni Wylliams - (l-r) Gerard Alexander and Matthew Carney.

(From top) Drew Shuler, Gerard Alexander, Jerome Stigler  in Evidence of Souls Not Seen by Leni Wylliams in Wylliams-Henry May 2008 concert
(From top) Drew Shuler, Gerard Alexander, Jerome Stigler


Trains
Choreography: Mary Pat Henry

Dancers: Gerard Alexander, Matthew Carney, Holly DeWitt, DeeAnna Hiett, Tracy Ray Kofford, Mary Marshall, Nijawwon Matthews, Carolina Monnerat, Christina Mowrey, Drew Shuler, Jerome Stigler, Kaely Tieri, Rodni Williams

Trains by Mary Pat Henry - (at the front) Jerome Stigler and Matt Carney
Trains by Mary Pat Henry - (at the front) Jerome Stigler and Matt Carney

Trains by Mary Pat Henry - (at the front) Jerome Stigler and DeeAnna Hiett
Trains by Mary Pat Henry - (at the front) Jerome Stigler and DeeAnna Hiett

Trains by Mary Pat Henry - recovery - (left to right across the back) Christina Mowrey and Rodni Williams, DeeAnna Hiett and Nijawwon Matthews, Carolina Monnerat and Tracy Kofford. (in shadow, l-r, [heads] across the front) Drew Shuler, Jerome Stigler, Mary Marshall, Matthew Carney.
Trains by Mary Pat Henry - recovery - (left to right across the back) Christina Mowrey and Rodni Williams, DeeAnna Hiett and Nijawwon Matthews, Carolina Monnerat and Tracy Kofford. (in shadow, l-r, [heads] across the front) Drew Shuler, Jerome Stigler, Mary Marshall, Matthew Carney.

Trains (L-R) Christina Mowrey, DeeAnna Hiett, Carolina Monnerat in Wylliams Henry Spring concert 16 May 2008
Trains (L-R) Christina Mowrey, DeeAnna Hiett, Carolina Monnerat


City
Choreography: Jennifer Muller - The Works: http://www.jmtw.org

Dancers: Gerard Alexander, Holly DeWitt, DeeAnna Hiett, Nijawwon Matthews, Carolina Monnerat, Christina Mowrey, Stephanie Ruch, Drew Shuler, Jerome Stigler, Rodni Williams

Note, costumes change from all black in the first part to vari-colored with suit coats

City by Jennifer Muller - Jerome (Nuney) Stigler in front, DeeAnna Hiett (behind Nuney), (l-r in back) Nijawwon Matthews, Tracy Kofford, Carolina Monnerat, Drew Shuler, Christina Mowrey
City by Jennifer Muller - Jerome (Nuney) Stigler in front, DeeAnna Hiett (behind Nuney), (l-r in back) Nijawwon Matthews, Tracy Kofford, Carolina Monnerat, Drew Shuler, Christina Mowrey (rehearsal shot)

City by Jennifer Muller - DeeAnna Hiett
City by Jennifer Muller - DeeAnna Hiett (rehearsal shot)

City by Jennifer Muller - Tracy Kofford and (behind) Nijawwon Matthews
City by Jennifer Muller - Tracy Kofford and (behind) Nijawwon Matthews.
Tracy Kofford is a company member of Jennifer Muller's The Works and a choreographer.

City by Jennifer Muller - Stephanie Ruch, Christina Mowrey, Jerome Stigler
City by Jennifer Muller - Stephanie Ruch, Christina Mowrey, Jerome Stigler

City by Jennifer Muller - Jerome Stigler (Nuney)
City by Jennifer Muller - Jerome Stigler (Nuney)

City by Jennifer Muller - Gerard Alexander (in front)

City by Jennifer Muller - Gerard Alexander (in front), Tracy Kofford and Nijawwon Matthews just behind.

City by Jennifer Muller - (l-r) Drew Chuler, Gerard Alexander, DeeAnna Hiett, Carolina Monnerat
City by Jennifer Muller - (l-r) Drew Chuler, Gerard Alexander, DeeAnna Hiett, Carolina Monnerat

City by Jennifer Muller - DeeAnna Hiett being lifted by Carolina Monnerat and Drew Shuler. (across the back, l-r) Jerome Stigler, Stephanie Ruch, Nijawwon Matthews, Tracy Kofford, Christina Mowrey, Gerard Alexander
City by Jennifer Muller - DeeAnna Hiett being lifted by Carolina Monnerat and Drew Shuler. (across the back, l-r) Jerome Stigler, Stephanie Ruch, Nijawwon Matthews, Tracy Kofford, Christina Mowrey, Gerard Alexander

City: Bows for on thursday night: Jennifer Muller, choreographer in front. (L-R, behind) DeeAnna Hiett, Jerome Stigler, Nijawwon Matthews, Christina Mowrey
Bows on thursday night: Jennifer Muller, choreographer, in front. (L-R, behind) DeeAnna Hiett, Jerome Stigler, Nijawwon Matthews, Christina Mowrey


Artistic Director
Mary Pat Henry
Company Co-Founder
Leni Wylliams
Assistant Director
Paula Weber
Rehearsal Directors
Paula Weber
DeeAnna Hiett
Admin. Assistant
Jered Solace
Development Consultant
Kathy Hanis
Marketing Consultant
Lorna Dempster

The Company
Gerard Alexander
Mathew Carney
Holly DeWitt
DeeAnna Hiett
Mary Marshall
Nijawwon Matthews
Carolina Monnerat
Christina Mowrey
Drew Shuler,
Jerome Stigler
Rodni Williams

Guest Artists
Christina Burton
Tracy Ray Kofford

Apprentices
Stephanie Ruch
Kaely Tieri

Crew
Lighting Designer
Rocco DiSanti
Light Board Operator
David Diaz
Master Electrician
EJ Reinagel
Sound
Bob Beck
Stage Manager
Laura Claus

Tech Crew
Vance Baldwin
Cat Johnson
Beverly Marsh
Stephanie Morrow
Miyesha McGriff
Jered Solace
Skyler Taylor

Website Arthur Pemberton
Program Design ErinBrenda

Board of Directors
Carol B. Bayer Chairman
Caroline Frence Vice-Chairman
Carolyn Cameron Secretary
Stephen White Treasury
Erin Benda
Kyle Danner
David Donovan
Mary Pat Henry
Carolyn Holtman
Robert Leipold
Bernie Levine
Michael Shook
Advisory Board
Penny Chappell
Elizabeth Danforth
SuEllen Fried
Anthony Galvan, Jr.
Jeannine Glore
Janine Mutchnick
Barbara Rafael
Judith Roth

www.wylliams-henry.org



Unless otherwise noted photos and copyright 2017 Mike Strong KCDance.Com and Mike Strong Photo Gallery and CV Site - Email This Page
Wylliams/Henry links on this site
To their website - www.wylliams-henry.org

Specific Pieces

Otis Redding
Angelitos Negros

New Dance Partners JCCC
Sept 2015
Sept 2014

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2016 September
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Back On Cyprus Avenue - 22 Oct 2011
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Nelson
24, 25 Sept 2010 - On Cyprus Avenue

3 Sept 2010 Crossroads
2010 May
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