Center Dance Ensemble

Presents American Voices

photos by Tim Fuller

Center Dance Ensemble will deliver a powerful experience as performers find the connection between movement and words. Held in celebration of National Poetry Month, American Voices features works inspired by American poets and choreographed by the company’s dancers.

“I’m very excited to see this year’s performance of American Voices,”  said Frances Cohen, artistic director of Center Dance Ensemble. “Almost all of my Center Dance Ensemble dancers are choreographers and they are creating new works all based on American poetry.”

Performing will be professional dancers from Center Dance Ensemble and Halo Movement Collective, as well as students from Metro Arts Dance and Dance Theater West’s Storybook Dance Theater.

“The choreographers were given the task to find American poetry that would be the inspiration for them to create their dances,” Cohen explains. “This challenge takes the dancers and audience on an exciting journey – that of exploring dance in new and fascinating ways.”

Finalists from the Poetry Out Loud regional competition, the national recitation contest for high school students, will participate in the readings. Building on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of rap music among youth, the Poetry Out Loud program seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers.

In addition to the students, throughout the  performance actress Rachel Cohen will be reading poetry by D. Allen Cohen, Scott Bodily, Viren Dangwal, Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. Cohen, storyteller and rehearsal mistress for Center Dance Ensemble, has choreographed and performed in musicals with Valley theaters including Theater Works, Mesa Encore Theater, Greasepaint, Tempe Little Theater and Soul Invictus.


American Voices

April 18, 19 and 22

Center Dance Ensemble

Herberger Theater Center