YoungArts Launches Dance Residency With Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Perhaps one of the most important artistic development institutions in the country, Miami's YoungArts program has nurtured the burgeoning careers of over 20,000 alumni since its founding in 1981. Now, the organization announces the launch of a new residency dedicated exclusively to contemporary dance, inaugurated by renowned YoungArts alumnus Desmond Richardson with his company, Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

Complexions will spend their two weeks in residency at the campus's newly renovated Jewel Box studio preparing an original work by Complexions co-founder Dwight Rhoden, which will premiere at the company’s annual Joyce Theater Season in New York in mid-November. On Saturday, November 7, Complexions Contemporary Ballet will share some of its work at a free, open to the public Outside the Box performance at the YoungArts campus in Miami.

"We felt like there was a growing need in our artistic community for programs like this since residencies in Miami are rare," says Esther Park, director of campus programming at YoungArts. "As an alumnus of YoungArts, U.S. Presidential Scholar, Tony Award-nominated performer and long-time friend of the organization, Desmond and our team had been talking for a long time about working with Complexions here in Miami."

Complexions Contemporary Ballet, founded by Richardson and Roden, was created with a mission to promote diversity and individualism in an art form that's historically lacked artists of color. Encouraged to apply to the YoungArts program by his high school teacher in New York, Richardson recalls his long history with Miami fondly. "Miami has always been on my trajectory and I'm hopeful to continue the journey," he says. "Partaking in YoungArts as a student and venturing into my professional career with Alvin Ailey, performing at the Jackie Gleason Theater, and having family here, I'm thrilled to continue learning and being exposed to the many communities that make up the beauty that is Miami."

Complexions Contemporary Ballet
7 p.m., Saturday, November 7, as part of Young Arts Out of the Box series at the Young Arts Campus at 2100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Tickets free at

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Nicole Martinez
Contact: Nicole Martinez