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Dance company founder returns to Las Cruces to create new digital dance


Dallas’ Dark Circles Contemporary Dance (DCCDUSA) is in residency in Las Cruces to create and shoot a new made-for-film dance, said company founder and artistic director Joshua L. Peugh, a native of Las Cruces.

Peugh has been commissioned to create an original made-for-film dance for DANCE NOW production company’s 25th anniversary digital season, Peugh said in a news release.

“The commission is to create a work that will fit inside a space, indoors or outdoors, that is the same small size (165 square feet) as the stage at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre in New York, where the original live performance was to take place before COVID-19,” Peugh said in the news release. “I wanted to choose a place with personal poetic resonance. What better place than my hometown, which is itself small but situated inside a seemingly endless desert landscape. The light is magical, the mountains are spectacular and the world seems quieter. I’m constantly trying to get back home and to bring people to share it with. This commission is the perfect alibi.”

The company will create the new work while training at Michele’s Dance Academy, where Peugh began dancing at age 3 with directors Michele and Kevin Self, before filming the work on location around the city.

“I’m very excited to share and celebrate the people and the place I was raised and nurtured in with my company members and collaborators,” Peugh said.

The work will be danced by Erin Vonder Haar and DCCDUSA Executive Director Chadi El-Khoury. New music for the work has been commissioned from composer and Dark Circles collaborator Brandon Carson, Peugh said. Costumes have been designed and constructed by Eugenia P. Stallings. Former DCCDUSA dancer Orlando Agawin will serve as director of photography and videographer.

The new work will premiere as part of DANCE NOW Chapter 6, with a performance release and watch party scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, May 6. An artist-to-audience celebration will be 5 p.m. Thursday, May 27.

Proceeds from ticket sales will support future artist commissions, Peugh said.

Peugh is a graduate of Southern Methodist University. He has created work for festivals in Asia, Europe and North America, winning awards for his choreography in South Korea, Japan, Canada and the United States. Peugh was the recipient of the grand prize at the McCallum Theatre's 18th annual Choreography Festival and was chosen as one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch."

Peugh founded DCCDUSA in 2010 in Seoul, South Korea. The company has performed around the world.

DANCE NOW provides dancemakers with paid performance, commissioning, teaching and residency opportunities through five programs, and partners with other organizations, schools and universities to present the work of more than 50 “new, emerging, established, and veteran innovators.”

For more information, visit DCCDUSA.com.