Tonights Fall Concert by the Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company includes Variations, by New York choreographer Milton Myers; an exotic work called Havoc by Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones; a contemporary ballet set to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach; and a world premiere, set to the music of Otis Redding, by Wylliams/Henry Artistic Director Mary Pat Henry.
I always loved Otis Redding, and I wanted to do a work to his music, Henry tells the Pitch. He was a musician who could play five instruments, and he could sing. He was a great songwriter, and he died early. I decided I wanted to do a whole suite of his work. She describes the resulting Sweet Otis Suite as theatrical and jazzy, different from previous multimedia performances. I really wanted to go in a different direction, she says. Describing the arc of the suite, she says, It kind of starts slow and poignant, and it becomes funny and dancey. And then it climaxes in a kind of 1950s juke joint, where all the dancers are onstage. The curtain rises at UMKCs White Recital Hall, in the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance (4949 Cherry) at 7 tonight, with 8 p.m. shows Friday and Saturday. Tickets cost $15 to $24. Call 816-235-6222.
Sept. 13-15, 7 p.m.