Thursday, December 5, 2013

For friends of the late Niles Ford, time is eternity

Urban Dance Collective, co-founded in 2001 by Niles Ford (1959-2012) and Marline Martin, will soon embark upon its third season at Dixon Place (December 6-21). Ford's successor as Artistic Director, Royce K. Zachery, reflects on his friend's legacy and keeping the dream alive.
The late Niles Ford, UDC founder
(photo courtesy of Urban Dance Collective)

Royce K. Zachery, UDC Artistic Director
(photo courtesy of UDC)

Thanksgiving Day would have been Niles's 54th birthday. Niles was a powerful force of love, so it was not surprising that at his memorial, everyone who spoke about him claimed that he was their best friend. He loved dance, music, his family. His performances were always commanding. His choreography was always exquisite and percussive. He had a larger-than-life personality and laughed out loudly with the world. This season at Dixon Place is dedicated to loving memory and his legacy.
Two weeks before our first season at The Irondale Center--also his unfortunately and untimely death--we had a conversation about the future of the company and where his visions were headed. Our heads and thought process were on the same page about pushing UDC forward to the next level; driving the company to become one of the best well-known and versatile contemporary modern companies in the industry. 
Niles was big on UDC bringing many different types and styles of dance artists together from different backgrounds under one roof to create work--hence, our calling it "Collective." My background, life, and experience are very versatile and cross many genres, an eclectic artistic background. I believe in collaboration, bringing multiple arts together to create a complete artistic experience. 
I've been so blessed over my fifteen-year career to work with so many amazing people, choreographers, and companies, traveling all over the world. This is the success that I want for this company. Under my direction, I want the dancers to be able to experience all of the wonderful things that I have had throughout my own career--and even more! --Royce K. Zachery 
a scene from UDC's Rejoice
(photo courtesy of UDC)
According to American author and educator, Henry Van Dyke, time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity. Rejoice is a modern day ritual celebrating life and love through various creations ranging from lyrical abstractions, social dances to vivid dance commentaries on culture and history. Dedicated to the loving memory of Niles Ford, UDC’s founder and to the memory of Carli Zackery-Rogers, Rejoice is an engaging and elegiac performance.
For a schedule and complete information on the Urban Dance Collective's upcoming Dixon Place season, Rejoice--featuring choreography by Royce K. Zachery, Nathan Trice and Niles Ford--click here.

Dixon Place
161 Chrystie Street (between Rivington and Delancey Streets), Manhattan

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