Friday, October 14, 2011

4 dancers take their places with NCDT

Dancers come and go from N.C. Dance Theatre most every year. Not only do they move around in search of opportunity, but, let's face it, dancers' careers aren't very long. That's why they're eager for opportunity.

If you go to N.C. Dance Theatre's "Director's Choice" program this weekend at the Knight Theater, you'll see four dancers who have joined the main company this fall. aking their debut with the main company. You may have a bit of deja vu, though: Three of them moved from the NCDT 2 training company. Here's an introduction to the group:

You're sure to notice Jordan Leeper during William Forsythe's "In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated," where he has a series of athletic solos. Also be on the lookout for him in one of Forsythe's less-conspicuous but intriguing turns: Leeper will be in a back corner (to the left from the audience's perspective) reaching through the air as if he's measuring off the space around him. While this is his first season in the main company, Leeper belonged to NCDT 2 last year.
Hometown: Jamestown, N.Y.
Began dancing: age 12.
Training included: Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet School near his hometown;San Francisco Ballet School summer program.
If he weren't a dancer he'd be: a figure skater.
Favorite thing to do an a day off: relax and watch movies.
Never misses an episode of: "True Blood."
Pet peeve: when people chomp on food.

Naseeb Culpepper, the only complete newcomer to NCDT, is one of the five men in Sasha Janes' "Rhapsodic Dances." He and Jamie Dee are the couple in green.
Hometown: Florence, S.C.
Began dancing: age 11.
Training included: UNC School of the Arts; Houston Ballet.
Last season: member of the Colorado Ballet's studio company.
Favorite music: Bob Marley, Fleetwood Mac.
Favorite TV show: "Batman: The Animated Series."
Prized possession: electric guitar, a Jackson KE3 Kelly.

Kate Ann Behrendt, like Leeper, moved up this season from NCDT 2. She's one of the women who stir up the lazy men in Mark Diamond's "Bolero."
Hometown: St. Paul, Minn.
Began dancing: age 10.
Training included: Minnesota Dance Theatre; Pacific Northwest Ballet; bachelor's degree in dance from New York University.
At NYU: minored in anthropology.
If she weren't a dancer she'd be: an archaeologist.
Favorite music: Lynne Li, Mumford & Sons, Yann Tiersen.
Pet peeve: clutter.

Daniel Rodriguez is one of the men roused by Behrendt and the women in "Bolero." At the beginning, he's stretched out at the front of the stage, toward the audience's left. He also moved up from NCDT 2.
Hometown: New York City.
Began dancing: age 10.
Training included: National Dance Institute in New York; LaGuardia High School of Music & Art.
Prized possession: Lava lamp.
Favorite Charlotte restaurant: Cuisine Malaya.
Favorite thing to do on a day off: watch football.