KSU Department of Dance to host Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre will bring "Modern Myths" to KSU March 6-7. 

Atlanta’s new contemporary ballet company has close ties to KSU

KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb 18, 2020) — Kennesaw State University Department of Dance will host Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre as they present “Modern Myths” March 6-7 at the Dance Theater on the Marietta Campus. Atlanta’s new contemporary ballet company, Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre (Terminus) and KSU Department of Dance (Dance) announced their partnership in Fall of 2019. The production will be the first performance hosted by KSU since establishing the partnership.

Modern Myths

Alumnus John Welker (Dance, ‘17) started Terminus with the goal of assembling a world class group of dancers who focus on telling stories through dance. “Modern Myths” is an original production that demonstrates that “you don’t have to go to New York City to experience world-class arts programming,” according to Welker. “Modern Myths” will feature dance works that showcase Terminus’ versatile dance technique and includes students from Terminus School of Modern Ballet and a student enrolled at both Terminus School and KSU Department of Dance.

An evening of neo-classical ballet inspired by the legends of Greek mythology, “Modern Myths” will feature the Atlanta premiere of Terminus resident choreographer Tara Lee’s “Under the Olive Tree” and Terminus resident choreographer Heath Gill’s “Horizons.” An Atlanta premiere, “Under the Olive Tree” first premiered with New Orleans Ballet Theater in 2016. Called “stark,” “striking,” and “sensual” by the Miami Herald, Lee’s fluid choreography both celebrates and opposes classicism, and is inspired by the divine/human duality of the Greek gods and goddesses. The work features Peng Yu Chen, formerly with Atlanta Ballet, and Terminus School students, making it the largest cast to date. 

Under the Olive Tree KSU

“It’s remarkable that several of our top-level students have been chosen by the choreographers to share the stage with our professional Terminus artists,” says Welker. Mary Peterson, a student of both KSU Dance and Terminus, is one four students chosen to perform with the company. “This opportunity is super inspiring,” says Peterson. “I really love the level of collaboration that goes on during the rehearsal process between the dancers and the choreographer. As a student at both KSU and Terminus School, I’m pushed to get my foundation strong with technique so I can build my artistry. Being in rehearsals with professionals has grown my level of artistry just by observing and absorbing. It’s so inspiring!”

KSU alumna Angelina Pellini (Dance, ‘19) recently landed the job as Stage Manager for Terminus. She is now actively using her work experience from countless performances for both KSU Dance Company and the KSU Dance Festival, all under the tutelage of David J Tatu, production manager for KSU Dance. Pellini relishes her role as stage manager for “Modern Myths” and says, “It is always a pleasure to be back at Kennesaw State University. I was one of the first students to work in the Dance Theater when it opened, and Terminus was one of the first professional companies I started working for, so it is always a special full-circle moment for me when those two things come together.”

Three Dancers on stage

Patrons will also be treated to the work of Heath Gill in “Horizons,” which premiered at Terminus’ outdoor performance home, Serenbe, and will be uniquely adapted for a traditional indoor theatre. Using Gill’s signature storytelling ability and athletic movement style, the dance work is inspired by the tale of Icarus, who was drawn to the sun.  Gill notes that “perhaps there is appeal in watching someone attempt something great, in spite of the outcome. In many versions, Icarus’ story is a cautionary tale of ambition, a trait that is equal parts of our greatest strength and of our folly. Having been warned of the dangers of flying too close to the sun, what would drive someone to take that risk?”

In 2017, five principal dance artists, formerly tenured at Atlanta Ballet, took a risk to create their unique vision of dance, and Terminus was born. By bringing together the classical and contemporary dance forms and strengths of each of its principal artists, the company has become celebrated for the creation of daring and theatrical dance works.

KSU will host Terminus Modern Ballet Theater in its production of “Modern Myths” March 6-7 at 8:00 p.m. at the Dance Theater on the KSU Marietta campus.  To buy tickets or to learn more, please visit Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre. To learn more about Kennesaw State University’s Department of Dance, please visit arts.kennesaw.edu/dance

--Kathie Beckett