On the Rise: Alexandra Karigan Farrior
With her ability to make people laugh and cry, often at the same time, Alexandra Karigan Farrior takes dance theater to a new level. As muse and most frequent partner of Joshua L. Peugh, artistic director of up-and-coming Dallas troupe Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, she navigates his world of whimsy and internal turmoil with a confident finesse. Though she only joined the company in 2014, she fully inhabits Peugh’s offbeat characters, while managing to make his bizarre partnering look easy.
Farrior is one half of Dark Circles’ most dynamic duo. Here, in Peugh’s Slump. Photo by Chadi El-Khoury, courtesy Farrior.
Company: Dark Circles Contemporary Dance
Hometown: Dallas, Texas (Born in Toronto, Ontario)
Training: Chamberlain School of Ballet, Texas Ballet Theater School, BFA in dance performance from Southern Methodist University
Breakout career moment: Right out of college, Farrior landed a job with Amy Marshall Dance Company in New York City. It was a huge validation for her. In a strange coincidence, her landlord knew Marshall. “I cold-called her and she invited me to an intensive,” Farrior says. “We clicked immediately.” With Marshall, she performed at Jacob’s Pillow and toured Europe and Asia.
Dallas/New York/Dallas: Farrior’s husband transferred to a Texas law school in 2012 so she could enroll in Texas Christian University’s MFA program in classical and contemporary dance. In Dallas, she reunited with fellow SMU alum Peugh at Bruce Wood Dance Project. He then asked her to join his new company, Dark Circles, where they are well on their way to becoming Dallas’ most prominent partnership.
What she’s working on: Onstage, Farrior continues to plumb the tricky nuances in Peugh’s work. “Joshua encourages me to pursue precision and virtuosity, but also keep my curiosity alive,” she says.
What Peugh is saying: “In performance, Alex is so absorbed in the work. She has great instincts and sensitivity; she reacts to what’s happening around her onstage and also what’s happening beyond the proscenium.”
On the horizon: Because Peugh is traveling more often to create for other companies, Farrior has taken a leadership role at Dark Circles, teaching company class and running rehearsals. She will be featured in Peugh’s The Rite of Spring, premiering in March, and in Italian choreographer Fabio Liberti’s new work for the company in April.
We'd love to know what it is that has Pina Bausch, Rudolf Nureyev and Gerard Violette so amused, or what Toer van Schayk (far right) is thinking here, but one thing's for certain: We're terribly envious of the journalist (second from right) who got to be there when this shot was taken in 1986.
It's the end of a long rehearsal day for the dancers of Abraham.In.Motion. They're reviewing phrases of a new work, Dearest Home. It's a pretty typical rehearsal scene. Some dancers cluster around a laptop trying to piece together steps learned long ago. Others review choreography together, working to figure out who remembered which arms correctly.
What isn't typical: The company's director and choreographer, Kyle Abraham, is nowhere to be seen.
That's because while the company is based in New York City full-time, Abraham spends most of his year teaching at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he joined the faculty last September. It's an unconventional model for a single-choreographer–led troupe, almost functioning like a repertory company in which choreographers drop in for a week to set a piece, leaving it up to the rehearsal directors and dancers to keep the momentum going.
La Scala Ballet has a knack for snagging exceptional guest artists, and the company's rare West Coast appearance this weekend at Segerstrom Center for the Arts is no exception. Principal dancer étoile Roberto Bolle will partner both Misty Copeland and Marianela Nuñez in Giselle. And in an extra international twist, they'll be accompanied by the Mikhailovsky Orchestra for the engagement. July 28–30. scfta.org.
Serious dancers interested in musical theater face a difficult choice when applying to college: Should you major in dance or musical theater? "You can make a career following either pathway," says Lynne Formato, associate professor of performing arts at Elon University. If you choose to go the musical theater route, find a program that will challenge your dance technique:
The 2017 Princess Grace Award winners have just been announced! Over the years, the Princess Grace Foundation-USA has demonstrated a knack for picking out future stars in the dance world, so it should be no surprise that several of the honorees are familiar names.