DWIGHT RHODEN DESMOND RICHARDSON
Carmen De Lavallade received her early dance training from Lester Horton and Carmelita Maracci. She first appeared in New York with the Lester Horton Dance Theater and subsequently made her Broadway debut with Alvin Ailey in House of Flowers choreographed by Herbert Ross. Ms. De Lavallade’s career as a performer, dancer, actress, director, writer, teacher, educator, choreographer, coach and mentor, was succinctly summed by Duke Ellington who referred to her as one of the most “ravishing artists in the world.” Ms. De Lavallade appeared in a number of films for Twentieth Century Fox including her most successful film “Carmen Jones” (1954), in which she danced with Ailey and Jack Cole.
As a concert dancer she has had ballets created for her by Alvin Ailey, Lester Horton, John Butler, Glen Tetley, Agnes de Mille, Geoffrey Holder, Donald McKayle, Louis Johnson and Tally Beatty. She was a principal dancer with the Metropolitan Opera, a guest artist with American Ballet Theater, and a soloist with the New York City Center Opera.
Ms. Allen began her professional dance career with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater where Mr. Ailey choreographed numerous roles for her, most notably two of his Duke Ellington classics, Night Creatures and The Mooche. Under the aegis of Ailey she was recognized for her interpretive performances of his masterpieces Blues Suite and Revelations. Ms. Allen danced on television in CBS’s Ailey Celebrates Ellington, NBC’s Bill Cosby Salutes Alvin Ailey and PBS’s Great Performance of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. During her years with the Ailey she was also invited with Elisa Monte to dance at Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute, and in the movies The Cotton Club, Angel Heart, The Last Dragon and Beat Street. During this period she also worked with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Ron Brown, Donald McKayle, Eleo Pomare, Donald Byrd, Lar Lubovitch, Ulysses Dove, John Butler, and Jerome Robbins. For a number of years, Judith Jamison choreographed ballets on her after which Ms. Allen assisted in setting the original ballets for numerous companies throughout the world. Ms. Allen also appeared as Bess in the first all dance version of Porgy and Bess at the Kennedy Center for the Gershwin Centennial. While having built an extensive body of work in dance, Ms. Allen has also shared her wealth of knowledge and experience with others through curriculum development, teaching, coaching, and mentoring. She has been Company Teacher at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and The Jamison Project, and has conducted Master Classes at the UCLA Dance Department, the Kansas City Public School System and the Boston Public School System, as well as many other programs all over the world. She has served as Artist-in-Residence of Complexions Contemporary Ballet since its founding by Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson.
Meg Paul received her early training with Southern Ballet Theatre in Orlando, Florida. After winning the International Dance Competition of the Americas, Meg was invited to train on full scholarship at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. At fifteen, Meg began her professional career touring with the Joffrey Ballet Concert Group and the Joffrey Ballet II apprentice company. She was promoted to the Joffrey Ballet at nineteen, rising through the ranks to perform leading roles in ballets such as The Nutcracker-Sugar Plum Fairy, Love Songs, Italian Suite, La Vivandiere Pas De Six, The Clowns, Valentine, Suite Saint-Saens, Light Rain, Billboards, Les Sacre Du Printemps, A Trifling and more.
Meg is a recipient of The Princess Grace Award and has been a principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and Ron De Jesus Dance. She directed Ballet Builders, a NYC showcase for emerging choreographers and was Ballet Master for the Joffrey Ballet Ensemble. Meg was a faculty member at The Joffrey Ballet School in NYC and has taught master classes around the nation for the past decade. Along with her husband Vince Paul, Meg co-founded World Arts Inc., a representation agency that represented national and international companies such as Nacho Duato’s Compania Nacional De Danza, Les Ballets De Monte Carlo, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and Les Grand Ballets Canadian.
Meg assisted Twyla Tharp for the Tony-award winning show Movin’ Out , serving as Dance Captain during the Broadway run. Meg performed both leading roles as “Brenda” and “Judy” and she also staged the national touring cast of Movin' Out.
Meg was the Director of Dance at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts where she conceived and directed a benefit for dance titled National City Stars of Ballet and Broadway. For her work on National City Stars of Ballet and Broadway, Meg was honored by the Detroit Free Press as one of Detroit’s Renaissance Heroes in 2008.
Meg is thrilled to return to Complexions Contemporary Ballet as Ballet Master. Also, Meg is a full time faculty member at the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance at Wayne State University. She is Artistic Director of the WSU Dance Workshop and is Program Director for the Complexions Detroit Summer Intensive at Wayne State University, celebrating its fourth season this summer.
Born in Vienna, Austria, Christina began her dance education at age seven. She trained at the Boston School of Ballet, the School of American Ballet and the Dance Theatre of Harlem. By the time she was seventeen she began her professional career. She was a member of the Boston Ballet for two years before joining the Dance Theatre of Harlem, where she rose to become a principal dancer within four years. In her 13-year tenure with DTH she danced leading roles in much of the company’s repertoire, including Swan Lake, Giselle, Firebird, Voluntaries, Prodigal Son, Serenade, The Four Temperaments and Fancy Free. Christina has worked with distinguished choreographers and coaches, among them, Jerome Robbins, Frederic Franklin, Suzanne Farrell, Allegra Kent and Sir Anthony Dowell. She also has had original works created on her by Glen Tetley, Rui Horta, Alonzo King and Dwight Rhoden among others. She was a member of the Swiss companies, Le Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve for five years and the Ballett Basel for two years, where her repertoire expanded to include works by William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, James Kudelka, Ohad Naharin, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Twyla Tharp, Amanda Miller and David Parsons to name a few. Christina has been a featured guest artist with various companies worldwide, including the renowned Royal Ballet of London. She is an original member of Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Christina made her Broadway debut in The Red Shoes. She is also featured in The African Americans, a book which portrays accomplished African Americans in various fields.
After her performance career Christina has been sought after as a teacher, coach and ballet master, and has worked with companies such as the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Washington Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Pennsylvania Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theater, Gotesborg Ballett, Ballett Basel, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Armitage Gone! Dance, Cornish College of the Arts and the University of Washington to name a few. In addition, she assisted Frederic Franklin with the re-staging of Giselle for the Joffrey Ballet, and also assisted choreographers Dwight Rhoden, Nicolo Fonte, Trey McIntyre and Karole Armitage in creating world premieres. Christina held the position of Rehearsal Director for Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Armitage Gone! Dance, Trey McIntyre Project, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet.
Christina holds a MFA in Dance from Hollins University in collaboration with the American Dance Festival, The Forsythe Company and Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts in Germany. She is a certified Life Coach and marathon runner, and speaks French and German.
Clifford Williams 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 Projec,t 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.