Inside Out Blog

This Dance Performance Captures the Essence of Billy Strayhorn, a Collaborator of Duke Ellington

Choreographer, writer, director and filmmaker Roussève’s newest dance piece is Halfway to Dawn: The Strayhorn Project, exploring the arranger and composer considered to be Duke Ellington’s most vital collaborator. Halfway to Dawn seeks to capture the ‘truth’ of Strayhorn’s life by redefining ‘biography’ at the intersection of fact, conjecture, comment, and fantasy, powered by Strayhorn’s wildly diverse music.

The core of Halfway is Strayhorn’s music as interpreted through a dynamic dance vocabulary melding jazz, modern/postmodern, and social dance that is new to Roussève’s choreography. A score including recordings from the ‘40-‘50s of Strayhorn songs allows the famously private artist to emerge and “speak for himself” through his music.

The songs are immersed within a larger sound design that - like the video element - references historical material, but ultimately creates a contemporary, abstract, and wholly original digital tapestry. This is Roussève’s third project with Cari Ann Shim Sham (video), Chris Kuhl (lighting), and Leah Piehl (costumes); and his second with Lucy Burns (dramaturgy), and d. Sabela Grimes (sound design). We hope that you join us for this show at Gem Theater on Friday, October 26!

At Waterside Residences on Quivira, the premier apartments in Lenexa, Kansas, we believe it’s important to integrate yourself into the community, which is why we suggest attending this event. Meeting new people, having unfamiliar experiences, and joining neighborhood activities is the key to an exceptional lifestyle.

Event Time/Date:
Friday, October 26, 2018—7:30 PM

Event Venue Location:
Gem Theater
1615 East 18th Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64108

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