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It is artistic directors Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson’s lifelong appreciation for the artistic and aesthetic appeal of the multicultural that forms the cornerstone of Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s singular approach to reinventing dance. Founded in 1994, Complexions’ groundbreaking mix of methods, styles, cultures has created an entirely new and exciting vision of human movement over the past 20 years. The company’s foremost innovation is that dance should be about removing boundaries, not reinforcing them. Whether it be the limiting traditions of a single style, period, venue, or culture, Complexions transcends them all, creating an open, continually evolving form of dance that reflects the movement of our world—and all its constituent cultures—as an interrelated whole. Together, Rhoden and Richardson have created in Complexions an institution that embodies its historical moment, a sanctuary where those passionate about dance can celebrate its past while simultaneously building its future. In the 21 years since its inception, the company has bore witness to a world that is becoming more fluid, more changeable, and more culturally interconnected than ever before—in other words, a world that is becoming more and more like Complexions itself.
Jamel Gaines is the artistic director and founder of Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn. Gaines began dancing under the direction of Diane and Adrian Brown. His choreographic career began at Purchase University, where he received the Harry Bellefonte Scholarship graduation with a BFA. Under the tutelage of Kevin Iega Jeff, and as a member of Jubilation Dance Company, Gaines developed his unique and nurturing approach to teaching and composing dance art. His work has been staged by Actors Theatre Workshop, The NYC Department of Parks, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, the Paramount Theatre, and the Martha Graham School. He has worked with such artists as Jennifer Holiday, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Savion Glover, Malik Yoba, George Fasion, Ornette Coleman, Ossie Davis, Olatunje Babatunde, Max Roach, Cassandra Wilson, and Rick James. He has also taught and choreographed dance for productions in Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Spain, Germany, Canada, Italy, London, and Portugal.