Anniversaries are a moment to remember the years gone by and dream about those to come.
Ann Ludwig, dancer, choreographer and founder of A Ludwig Dance Theatre, wants her company’s 35th anniversary celebration “Looking Back; Moving Forward” to do just that. It opens Thursday at the Tempe Center for the Arts.
Ludwig founded the company in California in 1977. Two years later, she moved it to Tempe, where it has become an influential part of the Arizona dance community and an active participant of the Arizona Commission on the Arts Touring Roster. The company has traveled throughout Arizona, around the country and across the globe.
Characterized by her provocative, collaborative and creative productions, Ludwig uses dance to address modern issues, including war, love, marriage, disease and the perception of self.
“Ludwig’s pieces careen through a wide assortment of female responses in theatre-dance that has all the ragged, irrational reasonableness of life lived slightly below the polite formalities,” wrote the New York Times.
“Below the polite formalities” could characterize one of the works to be performed this weekend during the celebration. “Preamble and Constitution,” a compilation of dances about politics of the past two years, allows the audience to choose the lineup of issues via text messaging during the performance.
Other works to be performed include “Five Poems for Computer, Narrator, Dancers and Bathtub,” “Ain’t Over ’Til the Fat Lady Sings,” “Xmas in the Desert” and “Someone.” The last is a solo piece created by late choreographer Daniel Nagrin, who bequeathed to his wife, Phyllis Steele, the task of finding its performer. She found him in ASU professor David Barker, who performs the work for the first time.
The show runs Thursday to Sunday and is performed as a tribute to Ludwig’s husband who is fighting a progressive brain disease. $1 from each ticket will be donated to the Cure PSP Foundation.
Artwork from local sculptor John Wadell will be available for a silent auction throughout the four day celebration, with a reception honoring him following the Friday performance. Tickets to Friday’s performance and reception are $50. General admission tickets are $22 with discounts for seniors, students, city employees, and military personnel.
DETAILS >> 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway. $22 general admission, $18 for seniors ($12 on Sunday), $15 for students ($12 on Saturday), $12 for military personnel and City of Tempe employees (Thursday night only). (480) 350-2822 or www.aludwigdance.org.