Described by one critic as “a third stream of dance between modern and classical ballet,” Complexions Contemporary Ballet helped launch the Music Center’s inaugural dance season in 2003 and returns to celebrate the dance series’ fifth anniversary season. In 2003, the inclusion of Complexions was considered a daring choice, a test of how Music Center audiences would react to contemporary choreography. The enthusiastic response opened the Music Center’s doors to other contemporary companies. Founded in 1994 by former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater stars Dwight Rhoden (as the main choreographer) and Desmond Richardson (as the principal dancer), Complexions has built a muscular, highly theatrical company with firecracker dancers equally able to ignite a stage in pointe shoes or bare feet. Opening-night highlights include the local debut of theater/screen actor Taye Diggs as a choreographer with Loose Change, a solo he created for Richardson; and Rhoden’s Chapters suite, set to the songs of Marvin Gaye. Saturday and Sunday’s program includes Pretty Gritty Suite, Rhoden’s tribute to Nina Simone. For more repertoire details, go to www.MusicCenter.orgDorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Fri.-Sat., April 11-12, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., April 13, 2 p.m. $25-$95. (213) 365-3500.

Rosalie O'Connor

Flipping through Chapters, set to music by Marvin Gaye

Click here to watch a video interview with Desmond Richardson of Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.