Tempe dance show pays tribute to late Arizona State prof - East Valley Tribune: Performance

Tempe dance show pays tribute to late Arizona State prof

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Posted: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 8:00 pm

A local dance company going strong for 35 years will look back with a live performance that honors one of its biggest supporters.

Desert Dance Theatre (DDT) presents LEGACY: 35th Anniversary Celebration and Tribute to Marion Kirk Jones this weekend at Tempe Center for the Arts. A fundraising reception will follow the show each night.

A reunion of sorts for the Tempe modern dance company, LEGACY will present three decades of past and current repertory as well as remember highlighted accomplishments presented live and on video.

It’s also a tribute to local educator Marion Kirk Jones, an integral part of DDT’s story, who passed away April 4, 2014 — just shy of her 93rd birthday.

Past DDT members will join current dancers in live performances of “The Quickening” by Jones; “The Butterfly Effect” by Billbob Brown; “Rites” by Lisa R. Chow; “Need Help?!?!?” by Step Raptis; “Arachne” by Jones; and “Motherless Child,” an excerpt from the company’s beloved annual program “Sister Moses: The Story of Harriet Tubman,” choreographed collaboratively by Jones, Renee Davis and Chow.

DDT was founded by four ASU dance graduates: Billbob Brown, Dorothy Anderson, Margie Romero and Debbie Schofield, who wanted to dance professionally but didn’t want to move away to the established dance scenes in New York or Los Angeles to do it.

At that time, in 1979, there were no professional contemporary or modern dance companies in the Valley. The only professional dance company was the Mesa Civic Ballet.

The quartet received much encouragement and inspiration from Jones, an ASU dance professor who mentored hundreds of students. Jones, who had trained with modern dance pioneers such as Martha Graham and George Balanchine, contributed as a choreographer, artistic director and administrator for the company over the years.

For information, call DDT at (480) 962-4584 or visit DesertDanceTheatre.org.

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