Dance Dialogues - Detroit Opera

Dance Dialogues

Welcome to MOT’s Dance Dialogues. Similar to a book club, this is a monthly virtual gathering to view and discuss dance together. MOT will share digital dance works of certain themes to view on your own. Then we will all meet via ZOOM on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 6:00 PM (ET). Each meeting will be hosted by Jon Teeuwissen, MOT Artistic Advisor to Dance and Kim Smith, MOT Dance Coordinator. They will be joined by a guest facilitator of discussion for the selected dance works; the guest facilitators will be comprised of choreographers, artistic directors, dance scholars and dance critics. Themes will vary from comparing similar pieces of dance works, celebrations of cultures through dance, highlighting legendary artists, and more.

July 2021- Complexions Contemporary Ballet - WOKE

Complexions Contemporary Ballet – WOKE – Photo: Nina Wurtzel


This month we are highlighting Complexions Contemporary Ballet, a company known for its groundbreaking mix of styles ranging from ballet to hip hop. Founded in 1994 by Master Choreographer Dwight Rhoden and the legendary Desmond Richardson with a singular approach to reinventing dance through a groundbreaking mix of methods, styles and cultures. Today, Complexions represents one of the most recognized, diverse, inclusive and respected performing arts brands in the World.  Having presented an entirely new and exciting vision of human movement on 5-continents, over 20-countries, to over 20-million television viewers and to well over 300,000 people in live audiences, Complexions is poised to continue its mission to bring unity to the world one dance at a time.

We will be looking at a piece titled ‘WOKE.’ This peice is a physical reaction to the daily news. A bold and dynamic socially conscious one-act ballet featuring the full company that examines our humanity in conjunction with today’s political climate.

Join Jon Teeuwissen and Kim Smith on July 20 for a discussion with Dwight Rhoden, Founding Artistic Director/Resident Choreographer of Complexions dance company.

MOT is happy to support this presentation that will take place in Music Hall’s brand-new outdoor amphitheater just adjacent to its historic building July 31, 2021. For more information and tickets please click the button below.



Premiered February 2019 - New York, NY
Choreography by Dwight Rhoden
Music by Various Artists
Lighting Design by Michael Korsch
Costume Design by Christine Darch
Sound Design by Corey Folta
Performed by The Company
A physical reaction to the daily news.
WOKE was generously commissioned in part by Detroit's Music Hall. Special thanks to Meg and Vince Paul.


More on Complexions

Companies like Complexions are game-changing: they’re forging a path for what ballet can be instead of what it historically has been. –The Guardian, Alexandra Villarreal

Complexions Contemporary Ballet redefines contemporary dance by serving up a groundbreaking mix of styles ranging from ballet to hip hop. Hailed as a “matchless American dance company” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Complexions transcends dance tradition through a groundbreaking approach to the art.
WOKE is a physical reaction to the daily news. A bold and dynamic socially conscious one act ballet featuring the full company that examines our humanity in conjunction with today’s political climate. It is a galvanizing protest rally of a ballet that explores the essence of “wokeness” to injustice, brutality, and political chaos, set to a remix of music by Kendrick Lamar, Logic, Drake, Diplo, and more. WOKE doesn’t clamp down on a singular definition, it demonstrates the reward of confronting faults and ambivalence.

Guest Facilitator

Dwight Rhoden

Founding Artistic Director/Resident Choreographer of Complexions

Dwight Rhoden has established a remarkably wide-ranging career, earning distinction from The New York Times as “one of the most sought out choreographers of the day.” A native of Dayton, Ohio who began dancing at age 17, Rhoden has performed with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Les Ballet Jazz De Montreal and as a principal dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. As a performer, he has appeared in numerous television specials, documentaries and commercials throughout the United States, Canada and Europe and has been a featured performer on many PBS “Great Performances” specials. In 1994, Rhoden and legendary dancer Desmond Richardson founded Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Together they have brought their unique brand of contemporary dance to the world for nearly 2 decades. CCB is widely considered as “America’s Original Multicultural Dance Company”, and is celebrated for its pioneering spirit, and the building of a universal brand that continues to challenge traditional ideas, and redefine possibilities in the dance arena. Under Rhoden’s direction, Complexions has become a dance institution that is much in demand. Leading the way, as a destination for innovation through courageous and cutting-edge programming, Complexions has become a force to be reckoned with. Over the years, Complexions has remained consistent in delivering a profound passion for diversity, that has framed its vision and become its hallmark.

Continued at

Past List of Moderators


Tuesday, July 20

Subject: Complexions Contemporary Ballet
Videos: Woke - Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Guest Facilitator: Dwight Rhoden - Founding Artistic Director/Resident Choreographer of Complexions

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