Thursday, December 2, 2021

Jessica Lang visits Wharton Center for final Michigan performance

January 24, 2019

After a successful seven years as a dance company, Jessica Lang Dance will be visiting Michigan one last time in Wharton Center’s Great Cobb Hall Thursday night. 

Her company opened in 2011, with the company’s first performance taking place that November. They announced seven years later in November 2018 that Jessica Lang Dance will close April 30, the date of the final show of the company’s 19 city season. 

Since its start, Jessica Lang Dance has performed in 75 cities, 35 states, and seven countries. The group has a repertory of 25 dances that Lang choreographed. 

Prior to starting the the company, Lang attended The Juilliard School in Manhattan to pursue a career in dance. She performed with Twyla Tharp before her company disbanded, and realized she had a greater passion for choreography. She was a choreographer for 12 years and choreographed over 70 pieces, some of which were for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and American Ballet Theatre. 

“I didn’t audition for another company,” Lang said in an interview with Dance Tabs. “Because of that, I had a lot of pushback from many people who were saying that I was too good and I should continue dancing while I still could. But I went against their advice.”

The company is composed of nine dancers, and will be in East Lansing for one night only. The performance is over two hours long, including 19 different dances, all choreographed by Jessica Lang.

The performance opens with 10 dances from the “Lyric Pieces” collection, followed by a 15 minute intermission. They will return with “The Calling,” and then a a collaboration with visual artists José Parlá, “us/we.” 

Then, after one more intermission, the show concluded with a tribute to Tony Bennett with “This Thing Called Love,” a collection Lang dedicated to her parents. 

Jessica Lang Dance partnered with Selby Artists Management, and together, the decision to close the company was reached to allow Lang to focus on choreography exclusively. 

"It has been an honor and deeply rewarding for me to establish a company and to lead its phenomenal growth — in creativity, quality and rigorous touring — for the past seven years," Lang said in a press release. "I'm profoundly grateful to our dedicated dancers, board members, staff, donors, presenters, audiences and our agent, Margaret Selby and Selby Artists Mgmt., who made JLD a success."

Tickets are still available for the event here.

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