Complexions Is on the Move

July 1, 2015

Complexions Contemporary Ballet at the Joyce. Photo by Ruth Fremson, via The New York Times.

After 20 years in New York City, Complexions Contemporary Ballet has chosen Atlanta as its new home. According to a story published yesterday on ArtsATL, Dwight Rhoden, who directs Complexions with Desmond Richardson, said the southern hub was chosen because it is “less saturated” than NYC’s dance scene. But Complexions fans in the Big Apple needn’t worry. The article also mentioned that the company plans to continue performing at the Joyce Theater and holding summer intensives in NYC and other locations. Although they will perform in the Atlanta metro area this coming October, the company will not hold its official first season there until spring of 2016.


In the same article, Complexions insists that its upcoming move isn’t in response to the criticism they’ve received from The New York Times. For example, a review of their 2014 fall season at the Joyce called out the Complexions style for being “aggressively showy” and that “far from highlighting diversity (though, yes, the cast is multicultural), it flattens individuality.” None of this stops Complexions’ fans—who span the country far and wide—from routinely giving the explosive and athletic troupe standing ovations.


Something that was a huge factor in the company’s decision to move, though, was space. During its two decades in New York, Complexions hasn’t had its own dedicated studio, but it hopes to establish its own school in Atlanta.


At this time, it’s not clear if all of the current Complexions members will make the move, but it does up Atlanta’s ante as a growing hot spot for dance.