Eight dancers leap and bound across the floor, hitting the ground lightly before flying up again. A young girl effortlessly launches over the head of her partner.
Jackson's TALK Dance Company brings a new interpretation to Handel's "Messiah" Friday, April 2, to Jackson Academy's Performing Arts Center. The concert combines elements of contemporary ballet and modern dance.
Proceeds will go toward "Merging Musical Worlds," TALK's international tour of Russia. The group hopes to leave for Moscow at the end of May after raising $30,000.
Six opera singers, a 300-voice choir, and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic will accompany TALK's Russian production. The company's venues include the Shostakovich in St. Petersburg and the Kremlin in Moscow. It will be the first presentation of Handel's "Messiah" performed at the Kremlin complex.
The troupe of eight performers and three choreographers--Caleb Mitchell, Brittany Nunes and Stephen Wynne--use extended motion and fluid connection of contemporary ballet to set the tone for Aaron Copland's "Rodeo," beautifully blended with Handel's more sacred "Messiah."
"We eventually want to show Handel as he wrote the Messiah." Wynne, a native of Philadelphia, Pa., said.
This perhaps explains Wynne's choice of Copland's "Rodeo" as the other half of Friday's concert.
"Because the tour is 'Merging Musical Worlds,' we wanted to bring in an American composer ... and explain that this is who we are, this is the American past," Wynne said.
Wynne, who is also an associate professor of dance at Belhaven College, and his dancers have spent the last six months designing a show that exemplifies the sense of community found here in America. "Overseas, people will be really surprised that all this is coming out of Jackson," he says.
TALK Dance Co.'s performance is April 2 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and $10 students. Purchase tickets at http://www.talkdance.org, or call 601 291 0158 to reserve tickets.