Dance preview: Texture goes 'Wild'


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Texture Contemporary Ballet is about challenging norms.

Think ballet is all pointe shoes and port de bras? The troupe's dancers, under the direction of founding artistic director Alan Obuzor and associate artistic director Kelsey Bartman, turn these expectations inside out with choreography and approaches unafraid to try new things.

It's fitting, then, that the company's latest show, "Nearly Wild," will offer a mixed bag of classical and contemporary treats, including some revivals of past works and a couple of fresh offerings by choreographers contributing to Texture for the first time. It opens tonight at the New Hazlett Theater, North Side, for a three-day run.

'Nearly Wild'

Where: Texture Contemporary Ballet at New Hazlett Theater, North Side.

When: 8 p.m. today and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets: $20 in advance at www.showclix.com or $25 the day of the performance.

Information: www.textureballet.org.

"We wanted to bring somebody in who would fit in with Texture but would have different styles than Kelsey and I," Mr. Obuzor said, so they tapped Point Park University student Oscar Carrillo and James Barrett, a Point Park grad and current Reed Dance member.

"James is very grounded in modern type of dance, but it still has ballet influences to it," Mr. Obuzor said. "This piece in particular has very distorted positions and shapes to it." Similarly, Mr. Carillo's aesthetic defies labels, maintaining an organic air to his movements, he said.

Ms. Bartman also will premiere a solo titled "The Rose," an examination of what it means to receive the gift of flowers.

"In some ways, it's such a meaningful thing and in another way it's not because it's become so cliche," Mr. Obuzor said.

He and Ms. Bartman also teamed up on "Broken Flow," a five-minute work debuted in 2011 that the pair has extended to 25 minutes.

"I feel [the show] has nice snippets," Mr. Obuzor said, with music ranging from live music by Pittsburgh-based OvreArts to hip-hop from Kid Cudi. "It will take you to a completely different place with each piece."

theater

Sara Bauknecht: sbauknecht@post-gazette.com or on Twitter @SaraB_PG.


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