Dance Matters: Going Out with a Bang

March 22, 2012

Milestones for Philadelphia’s dance scene



Jeanne Ruddy Dance, here in Ruddy’s
MonTage à Trois. Photo by Bob Emmott, Courtesy JRD.



Philadelphia’s Koresh Dance Company and Eleone Dance Theatre are celebrating their longevity in the midst of a recession—while Jeanne Ruddy Dance takes a bow in its 12th and final performance season. While the three companies’ styles vary, they have two things in common: a clear artistic vision and strong connections with their audiences.

Koresh Dance Company, known for its blend of contemporary jazz, modern, and ballet, wraps up its 20th season, April 26–29 at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. Ronen Koresh, the company’s tireless director, makes organic and unpredictable new works each season. High-energy pieces, such as the 2005 classic Standing in Tears, end with deafening applause and standing ovations from audiences around the globe.

The rhythmic and inspirational Eleone Dance Theatre marks its 15th season with performances May 5–6 at the Freedom Theatre. Artistic director Shawn-Lamere Williams has been patient, taking small steps to grow the company. Carols in Color, their holiday classic, has grown from a cast of 40 to 90 over 20 years. Audiences keep coming back for more of Eleone’s athletic dancers, versatile repertoire, and entertaining performances.

Jeanne Ruddy Dance, known for its classical modern technique and strong partnering, stages its 12th and final performance season May 10­–12 at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. Jeanne Ruddy, director and former Graham principal dancer, has often tapped preeminent choreographers, including Robert Battle, Ann Reinking, Mark Dendy, Susanne Linke, and Martha Clarke. With an inno­vative repertoire including Ruddy’s triumphant MonTage à Trois, a site-specific work exploring the intersection of dance, visual art, and multimedia, Jeanne Ruddy Dance will go down in history as one of Philadelphia’s brightest dance gems.