Local connections are part of Koresh Dance Company’s UB performance - The Buffalo News

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Local connections are part of Koresh Dance Company’s UB performance

It will be a homecoming for Batavia natives Joseph Cotler and Robert Tyler when Koresh Dance Company makes its debut at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts’ Mainstage Theatre on April 15.

Cotler and Tyler, both former students of Cotler’s mother Robin’s studio, Images in Dance, are now members of Philadelphia’s Koresh Dance Company.

Also on hand will be company lighting designer Peter Jakubowski, a University at Buffalo graduate. The production, in celebration of the company’s 25th Anniversary, is part of the center’s M&T Bank Dance Series and caps a weeklong residency by the company at U.B.

Founded in 1991 by Israeli-born artistic director Ronen Koresh, KDC is a regular on the East Coast touring circuit and has had appearances nationally and internationally. Known for its athletic and spirited dancing, the company performs the works of Koresh, whose signature choreographic style combines ballet, modern, jazz and Israeli folk dance techniques.

For the 90-minute program on April 15, “Mezze,” the company will present a collection of dances excerpted from recent repertory works “Bolero” (2012), “Promises I Never Meant to Keep” (2014) and “Aftershock” (2015). Koresh characterizes the program as a “dinner with a lot of little dishes like tapas.”

Koresh said he likes to revisit repertory works from time to time, arranging portions of them into different configurations to see what new impact they might have.

Set to a variety of music from Louis Armstrong and John Zorn to Nils Frahm and Edith Piaf, Mezze is comprised of 14 of those dances including “8th Ave.,” a celebratory work set to Yemenite folk music that joins together a group of men and women.

Also on the program is “Chameleon,” the first of a series of duets that span the breadth of romantic relationships. Danced by former Conservatory Dance Company standout Vanessa Guinto, “Chameleon” is funny and charming, Koresh said. “It’s like a sunny day in the park with two playful individuals.”

Where “Chameleon” reflects on the beginning innocence of a romantic relationship, the final duet on the program, “Promises,” is about mature love. It is danced by Micah Geyer and founding company member Melissa Rector to a text by Karl Mullen.

“Each duet on the program is like a promise,” Koresh said. “This final one encompasses all the stages of relationships shown before, tying them all together.”

Closing out “Mezze” will be Koresh’s dance version of Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero.”

“It is the exact opposite of what you think ‘Bolero’ should be,” Koresh said. “The perception of it to be sensual is replaced by a whimsical approach.”

Koresh added that he finds “Bolero” a bit over-the-top musically so he took that idea and that of a conductor performing it and related them to child’s play.

With its Buffalo area connection and a generous sampling of the kind of dance work that has kept the company thriving for the past quarter century, there is every incentive to check out the company Philadelphia Weekly calls “Technical knockouts!”

PREVIEW

What: Koresh Dance Company

When: 8 p.m. April 15 (pre-performance talk at 7:15 p.m.)

Where: The University at Buffalo Center for the Arts, Amherst

Tickets: $13.50 to $31.50

Info: 645-2787, ubcfa.org.

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