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August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble: Pittsburgh’s Dynamic Force

The Dynamic Women of Dance ~ photo: Cassie Kay Rusnak

It’s for a good reason that Dance Magazine has placed AWCDE on their top 25 list for 2012.  This Pittsburgh, PA company has been astounding audiences with its highly trained dancers who, in the words of Director Greer Reed-Jones, are “hungry, committed, and passionate.”

With their first season in 2009-2010, the company demonstrated its commitment to bringing different ethnicities together to portray the diversity in dance.  With a Horton-based technique, the dancers are able to translate and transmit a wide variety of styles as they interpret the work of a range of highly talented guest choreographers.

The Horton technique gives dancers enormous strength, while also challenging them to maintain a fluidity that permeates movement phrasing to create indelibly legible lines.  Reed-Jones’ insistence on constant training is reflected in her own history dancing with Alvin Ailey II and Dayton Contemporary Ballet.

AWCDE is helping to entrench a strong tradition of dance in Pittsburg.  With their powerful performance in 2011 for “The Dynamic Women of Dance,” choreographers Sidra Bell and Kiesha Lalama stretched each company member to maximum potential through their individual perspectives and corporal language.  In February, the company continues its “Celebration of the Black Man” with three pieces created by three choreographers:

  • Pittsburgh’s Kyle Abraham, who was on Dance Magazine’s top 25 list in 2009 with Function, a testimony to how he makes the personal universally accessible.
  • Cleveland, OH’s Antonio Brown, a dancer with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company with the lyrical piece, Pulse.
  • Julliard graduate, Darrell Grand Moultrie who has created pieces for Alvin Ailey II, Colorado Ballet, Xpressions Contemporary Dance Company, and more, with the blues-based piece, Regality.


For more information on AWCDE’s performance schedule as well as the August Wilson Center for African American Culture: