Doug Elkins Choreography, Etc. Returns with Two Witty Philadelphia Premieres March 6-8 (City Suburban News)

February 18, 2014

Known for an artful blend of hip hop and contemporary dance with a parodic twist, the inventive dance troupe Doug Elkins Choreography, Etc. comes to the Annenberg Center this March for a lively and original evening of dance. Two-time Bessie Award winner and Guggenheim Fellow Doug Elkins is "one of the most musical, witty and inventive choreographers of his generation." (77ie New York Times) The performance includes the Philadelphia premieres of Mo(or)town/Redux and Hapless Bizarre, two pieces that playfully pay homage to Shakespeare and silent film. Presented by Dance Affiliates and the Annenberg Center, performances will take place on Thursday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 7 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 8 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 - $55 (prices are subject to change). For tickets or for information, visit or call 215-8983900. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Annenberg Center Box Office.

Doug Elkins Choreography, Etc. opens with Hapless Bizarre, a new work that explores the intersections of physical comedy, choreography, flirtation and romance in silent film. Originally conceived by Elkins with Fraulein Maria collaborators and co-directors Barbara Karger and Michael Preston, this highly-energetic piece has a swinging, vaudeville era flair. Brimming with charm and cleverness, Hapless Bizarre features a cast of six versatile actor-dancers in Oana Botez's fun-loving colorful costumes. True to the title, the work explores the funnier side of choreography with hat tricks, eccentric entanglements and near-misses.

The program concludes with the whimsical Mo(or)town/Redux, a new school twist on Shakespeare's Othello and Jose Limon's classic modern dance work The Moor's Pavane. Praised as one of The New York Times' Top 10 Dance Favorites for 2013 and "one of the most compelling dance creations of this century" (New York Times), Mo(or)town/Redux features a score of Motown favorites Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, eclectic songstress Amy Winehouse and more. Exploring themes of power, love, jealousy and betrayal, Elkins transforms the text of Shakespeare's tragedy into a dance for four characters and a simple prop of a white handkerchief. Relationships are examined through intimate duets, riveting solos and dramatic quartets that bring new awareness to the classic pavane form, a majestic processional dance from the 17th century.

Doug Elkins Choreography, Etc. was part of the 09/10 Dance Celebration season with their award-winning, full-length work Frdulein Maria, an innovative deconstruction of 77ie Sound of Music. Dance Celebration Artistic Director Randy Swartz notes that "Elkins engages with humor but always has an underlying serious message that gives his work substance and value. Rarely can you find an artist that entertains and makes you think at the same time." Doug Elkins Choreography, Etc. came into being in summer 2009 as the next logical step in organizing independent dance, theatre and teaching projects for Doug Elkins. Founded by Elkins, Ben Munisteri, Lisa Nicks and Jane Weiner, the original Doug Elkins Dance Company debuted at the 11 O'clock News series at New York City's Dance Theater Workshop in 1987, and toured nationally and internationally for 15 years as an ensemble of eight. Doug Elkins has garnered numerous awards during his dance and choreographic career. He is a two-time New York Dance and Performance (BESSIE) award-winning choreographer and a 2012 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Creative Arts Fellow. Elkins' choreography has appeared throughout the U.S. and internationally, and he has worked with such companies as Batsheva Dance Company and MaggioDanza. In 2010. Elkins received an Elliot Norton Award for Choreography for his work Frdulein Maria, a loving deconstruction of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music. Most recently, Elkins became a full-time faculty member at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey. Elkins brings his wide range of experience to his work for Doug Elkins Choreography, Etc. and his precise choreographic work will certainly be on display at the Annenberg Center.