Photo by Ani Collier

Star Dancers

New York dance troupe brings Bowie tribute to Eugene

Like a one-man artistic movement, David Bowie’s creativity knew no boundaries. He touched everything from rock and pop music to film and theater. So why not ballet? 

“Bowie is an artist that I’ve admired for a very long time,” Dwight Rhoden tells Eugene Weekly. Rhoden is the founding artistic director and principal choreographer of New York-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet

On Oct. 26, Rhoden’s troupe brings Stardust to the Hult Center. The show is a dance tribute to Bowie’s long, mercurial and beloved career.

Rhoden defines contemporary ballet as classically based movement. “But at the same time,” he adds, “the upper body is much more involved. It’s modern, a mixture of methods and styles all in one type of movement vocabulary. It’s very integrated.” 

Bowie’s ever-changing nature is something Rhoden appreciates in particular. “He was always able to reinvent himself. He had such versatility as an artist. It’s kind of a passion for me,” he says.

“We couldn’t get his whole song book in,” Rhoden says of the show’s song selections. “The piece begins with one of his latest tracks before he passed away. There are some of the classic tunes.” 

The fact audiences are so familiar with so many Bowie tunes made the choreography a challenge, Rhoden adds.

His job was to take audiences on a journey, Rhoden says. “The journey of the song itself — a journey through the many different places that he went. He did rock. He did pop. He did punk. He did R&B. It takes each and every song and creates a world.”

Hult Center Marketing Director Rich Hobby is also a life-long Bowie fan. And while Hobby comes from more of a rock show background, he loves Stardust

“After seeing this show,” he says, “I was profoundly moved by seeing the music of one of my favorite artists come to life through movement in ways that connected movement to the emotion of the songs.”

The Hult Center is encouraging audience members to embrace their inner Bowie through style and makeup. The concert will feature photo booths, prizes and more.

So which Bowie persona will you choose?

Stardust is 8 pm Friday, Oct. 26, at the Hult Center; $28.50 to $73.50; all-ages.