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Department of Theatre and Dance

  • Male and female dancer on left next to Complexions Contemporary Ballet logo on right.

Complexions Contemporary Ballet | April 6, 2024

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The Betsy Blackmon Dance Program at the University of SC will host the world-renowned Complexions Contemporary Ballet for a collaborative performance with the USC Dance Company at the Koger Center for the Arts, April 6, 2024.  

Show time is 6:30pm. Admission is $15 for students, $20 for USC faculty/staff, military, and seniors 60+, and $22 for the public. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 803-251-2222.  The Koger Center is located at 1051 Greene St.

Founded in 1994 by dance icons Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, former principals with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Complexions has awakened audiences to a new, exciting genre with their singular approach of reinventing dance and contemporary ballet. Fusing a groundbreaking mix of methods, styles and cultures, Complexions’ exciting vision of human movement has been seen on 5 continents in over 20 countries to over 20 million television viewers and over 300,000 live audience members.  According to Dance Magazine, “Complexions makes it sensationally, jaw-droppingly clear that we live in the age of the super dancer, at a time when technical virtuosity is being redefined as an expressive state.”

In advance of the April 6 performance, two members of the Complexions company, Larissa Gerszke and Miquel Solano, will be in residence at the University to create two brand new works for the USC Dance Company utilizing Complexions’ distinctive movement vocabulary.  The guests will also teach daily technique classes and host a free open community class on March 16.  The dancers’ residency and the performance by Complexions have been made possible in part by support from the McCausland Innovation Fund, an initiative of USC’s College of Arts and Sciences. 

Key to Complexions’ singular approach is what the company’s founders have termed NIQUE, defined as a total body fusion of classical and contemporary dance techniques.  As explained on their website, “the technique uses a Classical Ballet structure as its foundation, yet allows momentum, and the integration of a fully mobile torso, weight shift, and dynamics to enhance the outcome.” 

“This type of collaboration is so important for our dancers to explore the full potential of the movement,” says Jennifer Deckert, an Associate Professor and the Director of the dance program. “In addition, having professional artists in residency for 4 weeks provides important links to the professional dance world and supports the students as they make the transition to professional aspirations.” 

For the larger community, Deckert says the chance to experience Complexions on stage is a not-to-be-missed opportunity.  

“Complexions is recognized as one of the most diverse and inclusive companies in the world, and their work inspires feelings of awe, connection and a visceral link to beauty,” she says. “To see Complexions is to witness one of the great acts of physical generosity and virtuosity.” 

In addition to the two original works being created for USC dancers, the concert repertory will include Star Dust, a ballet tribute to David Bowie set to many of the prolific musician’s most loved songs. Additional works include an excerpt from Hissy Fits, set to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, the duet Choke, and an excerpt from Snatched Back from the Edges, a 2021 work inspired by the turbulent year that preceded it, when the COVID pandemic was at its height and struggles against systemic racism and police brutality came to the forefront of the country’s awareness.

A gala fundraiser will accompany the April 6 performance.  A special ticket will admit guests to the gala, which will include pre-show cocktails and a post-show party featuring delicious cuisine by Horseshoe Catering and music by the Reggie Sullivan Band. Gala guests will also receive complimentary valet parking and preferred seating during the concert.  Gala tickets are $150 per person and are available by contacting Susan Anderson by phone at 803-777-0704 or by email at  Sponsorship opportunities for the evening are also available. 

Proceeds from sponsorships and tickets to the gala benefit scholarships for students in the university’s dance program. In addition to the College of Arts and Sciences’ McCausland funding, the event is made possible in part by the generous support of the Robert S. Handler Foundation (Michael Donkle and Martin Dreesen, Trustees) and Grace Outdoor.  

For more information on the Complexions/USC Dance Company performance or the Betsy Blackmon Dance Program at the University of South Carolina, contact Kevin Bush by phone at 803-777-9353 or via email at 




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