Dwight Rhoden (Choreographer)

Founding Artistic Director/resident choreographer of Complexions Contemporary Ballet 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. As a performer, 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. In 1994, Rhoden and legendary dancer Desmond Richardson founded Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Together they have brought their unique brand of contemporary dance to the world for over two decades.

Since 1994, 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, BalletMet, The Dance Theater of Harlem, Colorado Ballet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, The Joffrey Ballet, Miami City Ballet, New York City Ballet, Diamond Project, North Carolina Dance Theater, The Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadanco, Marinsky Ballet (Kirov), Minneapolis Dance Theater, Phoenix Dance Company, Sacramento Ballet, Oakland Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, The Washington Ballet, and Zenon Dance Company, among others. Mr. Rhoden has also directed and choreographed for TV, film, theater and live performances including So You Think You Can Dance, E! Entertainment’s “Tribute to Style”, Amici, and Cirque Du Soleil’s Zumanity, and choreographed and appeared in the feature film One Last Dance. He has also worked with, and/or created works for such high-profile artists as Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Kelly Clarkson, ELEW, David Rozenblatt, Nicholas Payton, The Drifters, Paul Simon, Billy Strayhorn, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, U2, The Turtle Creek Chorus, and Patrick Swayze. Rhoden was also recently commissioned to create a work for the centennial celebration of renowned collage artist Romare Bearden, and has Directed and Choreographed The Great Gatsby Ballet.  “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).

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 including legendary dance artists Carmen De Lavallade, Misty Copeland, Wendy Whelan, Maria Kowroski, Diana Vishneva, Desmond Richardson, Sandra Brown, Jodie Gates, and Gus Solomons, to name a few.

Mr. Rhoden is the Resident Choreographer of The Charlotte Ballet and has taught, and served as Artist in Residence at universities around the United States including New York University, Juilliard, UC Irvine, Skidmore College, The Boston Conservatory, and The University of Mississippi, where his 2004 Racial Reconciliation Project was credited as a catalyst for dialogue in a community that had been historically divided. Rhoden is a beneficiary recipient of various honors and awards including the New York Foundation for the Arts Award, and subsequent induction into the NYFA Hall of Fame, The Choo San Goh Award for Choreography, and The Ailey School’s Apex Award. Rhoden was recently nominated for a Benois De La Dance award for his libretto for Gatsby The Ballet, and received an honorary Doctorate degree from The Boston Conservatory in recognition of his extensive contributions to the field of dance.

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