DKDC/DIY Projects

Hardcore modern dance since 1986.

3 TO SEE: Palm Beach art show; modern dance class; poetry fest

Palm Beach Post | January 12, 2017 | West Palm Beach

FREE

Dancing in the library

For those of you anxious to get started on that “getting healthy” New Year’s resolution, why not infuse a little culture into it? Tonight, you can spend an hour learning the basics of modern dance with the Demetrius Klein Dance Company at Mandel Public Library in West Palm Beach. The workshop offers guests a chance to participate in a “Greek chorus” of modern dance, in addition to learning more about movement in general. This is the first workshop of the series, which continues through the spring.

Adult Modern Dance Workshop Series: On Thursday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Mandel Public Library, 411 Clematis St., West Palm Beach. Information: 561-868-7701; www.wpb.org/mycitylibrary

Dancers perform to raise awareness of opioid overdoses in South Florida

Sun Sentinel | September 1, 2016 4:05 PM | West Palm Beach

On a wet lawn near the Intracoastal Waterway on Thursday, more than 150 recovering addicts, their families and friends performed a simple dance, with outstretched arms and imaginary hugs, to symbolize their struggles.

They faced west, then south, then east and north, repeating four movements as they listened to a poem about recovery and the names of friends and relatives who had died of overdoses. In their left hands, they clutched black banners imprinted with the names of deceased drug users that flowed in the wind as they danced.

The dance, “129,” created by West Palm Beach choreographer Gaynelle Gosselin, honored the 129 people who the Centers for Disease Control says die in the United States each day of a drug overdose. The group gathered to commemorate International Overdose Awareness Day and will perform again at 3 p.m. Friday at Stranahan Park in Fort Lauderdale. The public is invited to join each performance.

To Ali Lennox, 28, of Boynton Beach, the performance resembled the fluctuations of her life. She said she has been in recovery for three years but still is mourning the death of her father, who died of an overdose in 2010.

She said many of her fellow participants had no dance experience but tried to master the basic steps, such as reaching for the sky with the right hand.

“We laughed, it was a little chaotic, then we got the hang of it,” said Lennox, as tears streamed down her cheeks. “It reminded me of the process we are going through. We have good days, we have bad days. I felt closer to my father during it.”

Public health officials say heroin overdoses are devastating families and overwhelming public safety crews. Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue has responded to more than 1,400 overdoses this year, double last year’s level. In Broward, 80 people died of heroin overdoses in 2015, up from 28 in 2014, according to the Broward Medical Examiner’s Office.

Gosselin, who dances with the Demetrius Klein Dance Company in West Palm Beach, said drug abuse has touched her own family, including her son and her niece. She began to brainstorm an artistic approach after attending a meeting of Southeast Florida Recovery Advocates, which decided to stage rallies in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale on International Overdose Awareness Day.

“I thought, ‘What if we did something public that might change people’s hearts? And we went around in a parade? And we created something that said this is our message?’” she said.

She invited fellow Demetrius Klein dancers, who dressed in black, to join her informal crew, who wore sneakers, sandals, shorts and T-shirts with sayings such as “Heroin Sucks.” They met at Memorial Presbyterian Church and walked 15 minutes to Waterfront Park, at the end of Clematis Street with a view of the Intracoastal.

Lori Brasso, of Loxahatchee, carried a portrait of her son, Tony, 29, a father of two who died of an overdose last year.

“He was funny, a great singer and a great cook,” Brasso said. “I hope everybody realizes this epidemic is spreading like wildfire.”

Copyright © 2016, Sun Sentinel

Demetrius Klein Dance Company presents ‘Elbow’

Palm Beach Post | 9:34 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015 | Filed in: Central PBC

Demetrius Klein is back on the local dance scene after five years in his native Ohio and it’s almost like he never left.

He’s still putting on modern, original performances in unexpected spaces and creating works that nobody else but the acclaimed, award-winning choreographer would dream of.

Demetrius Klein Dance Company presents ‘Elbow’ photo

Demetrius Klein performs works to the music of Elbow. Sarah Hollywood performs in Demetrius Klein’s new work. (Brian Padgett/Contributed)

This weekend, on Friday and Saturday night, he’s presenting his new work “Elbow” with his nine-member dance troupe at the Memorial Presbyterian Church in West Palm Beach. It’s called “Elbow” because the choreography is set to the music of the English alt-rock band’s 2011 album, “Build A Rocket, Boys!”

“I’ve been listening to Elbow’s album since its release several years ago,” Klein explains in a press release. “I’d already created two works to two of the songs and I thought, wouldn’t it be great to complete the other eight songs? The album functions like a score, not thematically, but the music has an arc to it … a sense of completeness.”

Klein, who began performing here in the 1980s and labels his work “hardcore modern dance,” says the new work is about partnering that is “not romantic in nature. It’s more about help, trust, and support.”

If you’ve seen Klein’s previous works — which have drawn him fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts as well as MacArthur Foundation grants — then you know that he tells more with movement, music and imagery than he often does with words.

Adding to the imagery in “Elbow” will be prints by Japanese folk artist Sadao Watanabe, which are on display through December in the church’s so-called Great Big Room, where Klein’s performance will be presented.

IF YOU GO

“Elbow” by the Demetrius Klein Dance Company

When: 8 p.m., Dec. 4 and Dec. 5

Where: Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1300 S. Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach

Tickets: $20 ($10 for students with ID and seniors).

Information: 561-758-8726, or dkdcdiyprojects.org