David Roussève/REALITY

NC State LIVE presents David Rousseve. Photo by Rose Eichenbaum
Halfway to Dawn
Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 8pm

Stewart Theatre, Talley Student Union


Pre-show Talk

Arrive early to meet award-winning choreographer, David Roussève, and learn more about how Billy Strayhorn has influenced his work as a gay, African American choreographer who grew up at the apex of the civil rights movement. Talk begins at 7pm in Talley Student Union, Room 3222 (March 2nd performance).

About the Performance

 “Roussève’s work is a call for grace, a cry to reunite with some large universal framework… inspired, ingenious work.” Chicago Sun Times

NC State LIVE is embarking on an ambitious partnership with critically acclaimed dance company David Roussève/REALITY. As a co-commissioner of the company’s newest piece, Halfway to Dawn, we’ll bring them to NC State twice over the course of the year to provide them with space, time, community engagement, and technical support to fully realize their work.

Though instrumental to the creation of one of the most important bodies of work in American music, Billy Strayhorn (1915-1967) remains decidedly less known than his larger-than-life collaborator. As Duke Ellington’s main arranger and writing partner he wrote or co-wrote Ellington signatures like “Take the A Train,” “Satin Doll,” and others. But gay, out, and living in Harlem in the 1940’s-60’s, Strayhorn died largely unknown for his work; having instead led a private life, whether by personal choice or because he was fearful that the public would not accept his sexual identity.

Halfway to Dawn seeks to uncover the truths of Billy Strayhorn’s life – with full throttle dancing to Strayhorn’s remarkably intelligent, ‘blow the roof off’ music. From a series of emotion laden ballads to ebullient jazz anthems, Strayhorn’s music and the choreography exploring its’ rhythmic foundations and bittersweet emotional subtexts provide the spine and very raison d’etre for Halfway to Dawn.

Immerse Yourself in the Process

Take an artistic journey with us. We’re planning two weeks of audience interaction with this worldclass company – from workshops with the American Dance Festival to intimate dinners with the artists.

Below is our residency lineup for Fall 2018:

    Tuesday, September 11, 7:00-8:30PM, Stewart Theatre
    Using the music of Billy Strayhorn as a springboard, this opportunity will allow you to experience the development of creative material along side the artists. David Roussève and members of the company will lead participants in the creation of movement and words inspired by Strayhorn’s lush and lilting melodies. Come prepared to play, share, and explore with new acquaintances and these lovely dancers. No dance experience necessary. Space limited. Wine and snacks included!


    Wednesday, September 12, 5:00-6:00PM, Stewart Theatre [SEPT 12 EVENT CANCELED DUE TO HURRICANE FLORENCE]
    Get an inside look at the artistic and technical decisions that go into making a new, collaborative, multidisciplinary work. Choreographer David Roussève, video artist Cari Ann Shim Sham*, and lighting designer Chris Kuhl will share insights into their process and artistic choices with you as they work with the company to finalize design elements. No reservations or tickets necessary.


    FREE work-in-progress showing of “Halfway to Dawn”
    Saturday, September 15, 8:00PM, Stewart Theatre [SEPT 15 EVENT CANCELED DUE TO HURRICANE FLORENCE]
    The company will show an excerpt of “Halfway to Dawn” and then engage the audience in a conversation to gather helpful impressions and feedback before premiering the work later this fall. To reserve your free seat, call Ticket Central at 919.515.1100.

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The presentation of David Roussève/REALITY was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This project was supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources, and is funded in part by the City of Raleigh based on recommendations of the Raleigh Arts Commission.