Choreographer brings dancers to TFAC in July

Published 1:50 pm Friday, June 10, 2011

Hendersonville native Nick Kepley is bringing his newly established New York City dance company, MOTION Dance+Theatre, to North Carolina for a three-week residency, with a special sneak peek offered at Tryon Fine Arts Center on Thursday, July 14 at 7 p.m.

Choreographer and Broadway dancer Nick Kepley. (photo submitted)

The evening will consist of a panel discussion with Kepley and two other choreographers, excerpted selections of their work and a question and answer session with the audience.

Kepley has danced professionally with Ballet Austin and Kansas City Ballet, performed with the New York Philharmonic as part of PBS’s “Live from Lincoln Center,” and recently finished a two-year run on Broadway in “Mary Poppins.”

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He started MOTION last summer as a choreographic laboratory.

“You don’t get to practice the art of choreography very often,” Kepley said. “Artists can make hundreds of sketches before they create a masterpiece. Writers go through hundreds of edits and drafts. But the art of making dances needs time, space and talent, all of which come at a price.”

Dancers for the project have been selected from companies all across the country, including Ballet Arizona, Colorado Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, LA Ballet and North Carolina Dance Theatre. The choreographers for this year’s session include Kepley, Hendersonville teacher Sandra Miller and Kansas City Ballet dancer Stayce Camparo.

“Our styles are very different,” Kepley said. “It should make for a very interesting workshop. And it’s really special for me to be able to involve people that I have worked with before and in whose talents I believe so strongly.”

Kepley explained that the program at TFAC would be a unique opportunity for audiences to get an up-close and personal look at what dance is all about. He emphasized the excitement that comes from watching the creative process in action, and pointed out that it would offer a unique opportunity for the audience to participate in a discussion with world class dance artists.

As to exactly what the excerpted works would consist of, he said only time would tell.

“They may be fully developed pieces,” Kepley said, “or they may just be fragments of works-in-progress. I don’t give the choreographers an end goal, I just try to take care of all the details so that they can experiment and create the best art they can, free of expectations.”

The benefits of the program are not exclusive to the choreographers. Kepley explained that many dancers often feel trapped in a box by their directors, who see them day after day and begin to categorize them and limit their repertory, based on what they think their strengths and weaknesses are. He said that MOTION gives them a chance to push themselves in new ways and discover new sides of their artistry.

“We’re interested in furthering the art of dance, encouraging artists to propel dance into the 21st century,” Kepley said. “The only way to do this is by fostering the creative talent of the future, both creatively and monetarily.”

“Creation of Dance” will take place Thursday, July 14 at Tryon Fine Arts Center at 7 p.m. For tickets and more information, contact the box office at 828-859-8322.

For further information, visit the company’s website at

– article submitted by Beth Child