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Theater

Bodiography's 'Multiplicity' bounds back onto the stage at the Byham

Mary Pickels
| Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, 1:33 a.m.
Bodiography’s celebrated “Multiplicity” returns to the Pittsburgh stage with Nov. 16-17 performances at the Byham Theater.
Bodiography’s celebrated “Multiplicity” returns to the Pittsburgh stage with Nov. 16-17 performances at the Byham Theater.
Maria Caruso is the founder of Bodiography Contemporary Ballet.
Maria Caruso is the founder of Bodiography Contemporary Ballet.

Following a three-year hiatus, Bodiography is bringing back “Multiplicity,” with performances Nov. 16-17 at the Byham Theater in Pittsburgh.

Artistic director Maria Caruso’s commitment to her artists’ development includes pushing them to be powerful dancers and teachers, while facilitating their role as choreographers, according to a news release.

During a 13-year run of “Multiplicity,” Bodiography artists assumed the role of primary choreographers, with their work winning acceptance into national festival stages, the release adds.

That growth led Caruso in 2014 to shift gears and begin working on a classically rooted ballet, “The Messiah.”

Popular demand is resulting in the return of “Multiplicity,” the release notes.

Part of the reboot includes the company and guests creating premiere works for the occasion.

A blending of bodies

In addition, all three facets of Bodiography’s performance companies will unite for the first time in the company’s 18-year history under one roof. Bodiography Contemporary Ballet, BCB3 and Bodiography Charlotte will join forces and share the Byham stage, the release states.

Bodiography Charlotte will present the Pittsburgh premiere of Caruso’s newest creation, “Runaway Runway.”

In this performance, the mature artists of the southern ensemble are entrenched in couture and strut their stuff as if if they are taking the catwalk at New York’s fashion week.

In “Really?!,” the Charlotte-based ensemble performs a work that premiered on the company’s 2018 southern tour.

Focusing on the challenges of motherhood and career life, the women showcase their strength and fortitude, according to the release.

The group is making its Pittsburgh debut led by rehearsal director and veteran founding Bodiography artist, Lauren Suflita Skrabalak.

BCB3 is an ensemble of retired Bodiography artists residing in Pittsburgh. They will premiere a work by Caruso with live accompaniment by local band The Pioneers.

Rehearsal director and company veteran Kelly Basil leads the group, which is growing in numbers with an array of dancers who span more than a decade of Bodiography’s life.

The piece is described as drawing on the dancers’ varied post-professional lives, with movement based on the range of experiences of what it means to be a woman.

New works revealed

Choreographing artists of the main company, Nicole Jamison and Amanda Fisher, will take the stage with two diverse new works, one utilizing the pointe shoe and one barefoot and contemporary. Guest artists and former company stars Christen Weimer and Kirstie Corso will create new work for the evening.

Corso is still involved in BCB3, is on faculty at Bodiography Center for Movement and La Roche College and is co-director of the Bodiography student company.

Weimer, now a professor at Brenau University in Atlanta, Ga., remains rooted with her Bodiography family.

Founder Caruso began Bodiography, described as a trademarked movement language, in 2000 with the idea of transforming the stereotypical aesthetic of the ballet body.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, mpickels@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

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