11/18/14 O&A Dance: Complexions Contemporary Ballet Celebrates 20 Years (Part One)

Complexions Contemporary Ballet begins a two-week season tonight at the Joyce Theater. The season commemorates the 20th anniversary of the company. This week Out and About NYC Magazine would like to take a look back through the eyes of artists who there at the beginning.

By Aubrey Lynch II unnamed

Founder and Artistic Director, Aubrey Lynch Extra Essential Arts, ALEEArts

Desmond Richardson and I have been best friends since he was about 15. We all knew even back then that he would be a star. When Desmond, Dwight and I were in Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater together doing Alvin Ailey’s Sinner Man all over the world, we became very close, sharing our dreams and the other art forms that interested us.


During that time, Dwight and Desmond spoke a lot about the company they wanted and experimented with a movement vocabulary inspired by Ulysses Dove and Donald Byrd. When Dwight taught company class for Ailey he would turn and twist classic lines into wonderfully inventive shapes and inspired us all. At first they called their company DR2 (DR squared) and began on Ailey company members.

I remember the idea of a ballet Wonderful, seven or so solos for men performed to Stevie Wonder music. Ultimately they went with “Complexions, Dance in Every Hue” and I was fortunate enough to be a part of this original company. Unfortunately I was not able to perform the debut at Symphony Space because I was pursuing a career in film television and Broadway and was performing with Stephanie Mills in Your Arms are too Short to Box with God. However I joined  Complexions in all subsequent performances and tours. It was an amazing time and I am so proud of Desmond and Dwight for sticking to their dream and reminding us all that there is no formula to great art. One must simply remain inspired, take risks, and dare to be authentic in expressing the human story through art. 


I ultimately went on to work as Associate Producer for Lion King and now run my own arts and education program Aubrey Lynch Extra Essential Arts ALEEArts, but stayed close with my fellow “Sinner Men” following the incredible evolution of the company.  Sometimes I regret leaving the stage so soon but life is full of adventure and I wanted to be more than just a dancer as Desmond and Dwight and I had dreamed about in those early days as dancers with Ailey. We are blessed to be able to do what we love every day and I am honored to have been a part of the magnificent worldwide phenomenon known as Complexions. 

For ticket and program information for Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s Joyce season visit joyce.org

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Out & About NYC Magazine was founded to offer the arts and lifestyle enthusiast a fresh new look at New York City. We will showcase the established and the emerging, the traditional and the trendy. And we will do it with élan, and panache with a dash of fun.
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