Run For Your Life ! . . .

. . . it’s a dance company !











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Carolyn Carvajal as Marrianne Humainette in 'A Short Solo' from 'Les Sillyphides'

San Francisco Funnyman Fractures Festival

Carolyn Carvajal as Marianne Humainette in 'A Short Solo' from 'Les Sillyphides'

(Friday July 29, 2005 at 7:30 pm)
Saturday July 30, 2005 at 2:00 and 7:30 pm
Community College of Southern Nevada, Cheyenne Campus
Nicholas J. Horn Theatre
3200 East Cheyenne Avenue
Las Vegas, NV


View a very short MPEG of Marianne Humainette
performing A Short Solo here

CCSN’s seventh annual Dance in the Desert Festival is proud of its record of providing Las Vegas with contemporary dance from some of America’s most innovative choreographers, but that does’t mean it takes itself too seriously. Evidence of the festival’s jocose side was clearly visible in this year’s presentation of San Francisco’s Run For Your Life! ... it’s a dance company!, under the direction of choreographic comedian, Dudley Brooks.

In a genre that is sometimes accused of belly gazing, Brooks’s hilarious send-ups of the dance world’s sacred cows have garnered enthusiastic reviews from a wide array of sources. As Rita Felciano of the San Francisco Bay Guardian observed, “Given the anguishing subject matter of so much recent choreography, it was refreshing to see pieces with a sense of the ridiculous and an ability to look at human nature with less than total angst.”

Brooks, aided by his sister and co-conspirator, Deborah, delighted Vegas audiences with performances of what has become a signature work, A Short Solo, from his own twisted version of Les Sylphides, set to the familiar music of Frederic Chopin. The familiarity, however, ends there, as Brooks described in his program notes: “Moonlight, sweet perfume on the breeze, the passionate strains of a waltz, and ... sheer idiocy.  “Everybody can dance” is a truism in the modern dance world. This ballet proves that every BODY can dance. Les Sillyphides bears no resemblance to Fokine's original, except in its heart-rending (or is it side-splitting?) pathos.”

Apparently critics haven’t been disappointed with Brooks’ departure from tradition. Rachel Howard of the San Francisco Examiner called the work “delightful”, and Renee Renouf, writing in Ballet.Co Magazine, noted: “Chuckles and guffaws punctuated the course of the Nocturne and the narrative. Brooks’s sense of the ridiculous is world-class.”  Not just a parody, this dance is also an homage to and admiration of the classical romantic ballet. The son of a balletomane, Dudley Brooks grew up immersed in this world, both in front of and behind the proscenium. But like everyone born in the 20th century he also grew up immersed in the world of the animated cartoon, so this work is as much a homage to Chuck Jones and Tex Avery as to Coralli, Perrot, Petipa, or Fokine.

As Artistic Director of Run For Your Life!'s a dance company!, Brooks has taken his patented brand of choreographic comedy to audiences throughout the United States and Europe. He has also led a long and distinguished career in the service of other arts organizations. He was choreographer and stage director of Bay Area Youth Opera, and has choreographed for Peninsula Ballet Theater, City Summer Opera, and the SF Conservatory of Music. He performed with the Nikolais Dance Theater, SF Opera Ballet, SF Dance Spectrum, and Peninsula Ballet Theater. He has served on the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Committee, the Board of Directors of the SF School of Circus Arts (where he taught Stilt Dancing and Dance for Clowns), and on several dance grants panels. Not surprisingly this Renaissance man also sports a BA in Mathematics from UC Berkeley. However, no math degree is required to calculate that this year’s festival offers a great opportunity to laugh.

Other featured festival participants included Kannon Dance Company of St. Petersburg, Russia; Indigo Dance Theatre, Metropolitan Ballet, and Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre , all from southern California; Southern Utah University Dance Company under the direction of Kay Anderson;Catherine Schaeffer from Georgia; Mindy Krasner, Julie Fotheringham, Katrina Currow, Marko Westwood, Ballet Mink Colbert, inc., CCSN's Concert Dance Company and Dance Ensemble, and Kelly Roth & Dancers, all from Las Vegas.

Though there was some repetition of works from one performance to the next, the three separate programs for the most part offered different repertory. With this in mind the Festival offered the public reduced rate tickets for those wishing to attend more than one program.

A production of the CCSN Dance Program in association with the Nevada Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Festival has become a "summertime tradition, [that] strives to maintain integrity and highlight diversity." (Carin Fox, Las Vegas City Life)

Performance schedule

Friday July 29, 7:30 pm
Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre
Ballet Mink Colbert, inc.
Catherine Schaeffer
Concert Dance Company
Indigo Dance Theatre
Kannon Dance Company

Saturday July 30, 2:00 pm
Metropolitan Ballet
Southern Utah University Dance Company
Julie Fotheringham
CCSN Dance Ensemble
Concert Dance Company
Marko Westwood
Indigo Dance Theatre
Katrina Currow
Run For Your Life!'s a dance company!
Kannon Dance Company

Saturday July 30, 7:30 pm
Southern Utah University Dance Company
Mindy Krasner
Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre
Catherine Schaeffer
Run For Your Life!'s a dance company!
Kelly Roth & Dancers
Metropolitan Ballet
Kannon Dance Company

A reception followed each performance, allowing the audience to mingle with the dancers and enjoy light refreshments in the lobby.


CONTACT: Kelly Roth, Festival Director, 651-4201