Clifford Williams in And So It Is by Dwight Rhoden, music by Johann Sebastian Bach, choreography by Dwight Rhoden. Benois de la Danse 2015 laureates Gala concert. Shot on 26th of May 2015 in The Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow.
Clifford Williams is Artist in Residence with Complexions Contemporary Ballet (New York, NY). Clifford began his dance training at F.H. LaGuardia High School of Art and the Performing Arts. He attended The Ailey School and The School of American Ballet, both on scholarship. He was a first-level recipient of a National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts award in 1998. In 1998, he attended The Juilliard School, where he danced works by many choreographers including Lar Lubovitch, Igal Perry Hans Van Manen, Jose Limon and Mauricio Wainrot. In 2001, he was invited to join Dance Theatre of Harlem, where he danced until 2003. In 2004, Mr. Williams joined Complexions Contemporary Ballet (New York, NY). He has danced works by Dwight Rhoden, William Forsythe, Nicolo Fonte and Jae Man Joo. Since 2004, Mr. Williams has assisted Director/Choreographer Dwight Rhoden on numerous projects including ballets for North Carolina Dance Theater, Pittsburgh Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and The Diana Vishneva Project as well as for the television show “So You Think You Can Dance.” He has also set Dwight Rhoden’s works on schools such as The Ailey School and NYU Tisch School for the Arts. In addition to setting works for Dwight Rhoden, Williams is certified in teaching the official Contemporary Ballet technique of Complexions Contemporary Ballet; and continues to be a part of educational outreach for Complexions. In 2008, Mr. Williams left Complexions to dance as a Principal dancer with Compañia Nacional De Danza under the Direction of Nacho Duato. During that time, he danced many principal parts and was featured in creations by Mr. Duato. Mr Williams rejoined Complexions in 2009, where he danced as principal until 2012 before being appointed to artist in residence. Most recently Mr. Williams was featured as the title character in Debbie Allen’s ” The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker ” which airs on the BET network in 2013.
Dwight Rhoden is a choreographer and artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet who began dancing at the age of 17 while studying acting. He has performed with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Les Ballet Jazz de Montréal and was a principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He has appeared in numerous television specials, documentaries and commercials throughout the United States, Canada and Europe and has been a featured performer on many PBS Great Performances specials.
Dwight Rhoden has established a remarkably wide-ranging career, earning distinction from The New York Times as “one of the most sought out choreographers of the day.” A native of Dayton, Ohio who began dancing at age 17, Rhoden has performed with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Les Ballet Jazz De Montreal and as a principal dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He has appeared in numerous television specials, documentaries and commercials throughout the United States, Canada and Europe and has been a featured performer on many PBS “Great Performances” specials.
Since 1994 Rhoden’s choreography has been the lynchpin in the development of the Complexions repertory. He has been praised for his prolific body of work, visionary style and boundary-breaking sensibility. Rhoden has created over 80 ballets for Complexions, as well as numerous other companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Arizona Ballet, The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company, Ballet Gamonet, The Dance Theater of Harlem, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, The Joffrey Ballet, Miami City Ballet, New York City Ballet/Diamond Project, North Carolina Dance Theater, The Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadanco, Minneapolis Dance Theater, Phoenix Dance Company, Sacramento Ballet, Oakland Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, The Washington Ballet, and Zenon Dance Company.
Widely known as “a dancer’s choreographer,” Rhoden has worked with, coached and created for some of the most diverse artists spanning the worlds of ballet and contemporary dance. “Rhoden’s work is post-Balanchinean choreography, a new aesthetic in movement, stage, picture, and performance concepts reflecting a post-modern, techno-savvy worldview” (Dance Magazine).
He has directed and choreographed for TV, film, theater and live perform ances including So You Think You Can Dance, E! Entertainment’s “Tribute to Style” and Cirque Du Soleil. He has also worked with such high-profile artists as Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Kelly Clarkson and Patrick Swayze.
Rhoden is the Resident Choreographer of North Carolina Dance Theatre and has lectured, taught, created works for and served as Artist in Residence at universities around the United States including New York University, Juilliard and The University of Mississippi, where his 2004 Racial Reconciliation Project was credited as a catalyst for dialogue in a community that has been historically divided. Rhoden is a 1998 New York Foundation for the Arts Award recipient and beneficiary of the 2001 Choo San Goh Award for Chore ography. In May 2006 he received The Ailey School’s Apex Award in recognition of his extensive contributions to the field of dance.
Photos by Jack Devant Ballet Photography with kind permission of the Benois de la Danse and Bolshoi Theatre Moscow, special thanks to Nina Kudriavtseva-Loory, Regina Nikiforova and Denis Savchenko.