It was nearly a year ago that the nation took notice of the striking beauty of Collage Dance Collective dancers via viral photoshoot. The Memphis-based professional ballet company is equally stunning in motion, executing a diverse repertory that mixes contemporary, modern, African, and more styles of dance all while being rooted in classical ballet technique.
Now in their eighth season, Collage Dance Collective continues to offer their powerful response in the conversation on diversity in ballet by showcasing the excellence of dancers of color.
“I think it’s about having representation because that does matter… which is the people, their stories, their background, and using the classical ballet technique to show that we can rise above any obstacle and we can be beautiful doing it,” said Daphne, a collage dancer. “But it’s not like we’re not trying to erase part of our identity, we’re incorporating that and using both worlds of contemporary dance, of modern dance, of black dance, of ballet to come together and cultivate something much more.”
The company features versatile dancers who hail from Brazil, Montreal, French Guiana, the Dominican Republic, DC, Vegas, and right here Memphis — all classically trained and all dedicated to presenting art that’s representative of and accessible to their surrounding community.
“I think Memphis is getting another added gem to its beauty, to its repertoire, to more dance, to more culture. The people of Memphis are actually going to see themselves reflected in a way through their movement.”
See them next at Mississippi Boulevard’s Christmas Concert, and in February 2018 when they present their winter concert, RISE.